The Province of Drenthe

Drenthe was one of the poorer and more rural provinces of the Netherlands. As the province is land locked and bordered by Germany to the west, Groningen to the north and Overijssel to the south, its economy was mostly livestock based as the land was poor for farming.


The area is mostly heather-covered moors and woodland, with most of the people living here wearing a simpler dress, following the fashion trends of the time.

Most of what the women wore were the homespun, average outfit of the day with a high-waisted bodice. The colors of the area were darker, as colored dye was expensive. The fichu (a small triangular shawl) of the province was larger, less likely to be lace, and often tucked into the apron, as most of the women were working women.


The oorijzer was also used here in day to day life, and following the trends of the provinces around Drenthe. The oorijzer was a brace that went under a cap usually made of iron, silver, or even gold. It came in different sizes and was usually helmet shaped. It clamped around the head with knobs at the ends to protect the head from too much irritation, though they were known to cause sores. The cloth covering of the hat were attached to the knobs of the oorijzer. It translates literally as "ear iron." The oorijzer is something that is unique to Holland and is used in every province. Ornamentation of the oorijzer was popular there, but the lace over cap was a cherished and expensive item, and often only wore on Sunday to church.

The men’s costumes followed the fashions trends of the day, but men would often wear dark striped shirts to work. The men would also oftentimes knit their own socks.