The Province of Friesland

Friesland in one of the northern provinces of the Netherlands with Groningen to the west and Drenthe and Overijssel to the south. Their economy is largely agricultural, but they were famous for their dairy farms in particular. While there is one main style for costumes, the village of Hindeloopen, in particular, has its own colorful garb.

The average female costume of Friesland is simple but elegant, following many of the trends of that day. The dress patterns follow that of the normal silhouette of the time, with the patterns on the dress usually small and floral. One major difference is that short sleeves were acceptable--many women would have shorter sleeves, some of these being fitted and others puffed. Instead, the costumes would include either lace or knitted arm warmers that went up to the elbows.


Women also wore a fichu (a triangular lace shawl) and long lace aprons tied at the high waist of the bodice or jacket. The jacket or bodice was much longer than the usual trends. The jackets still had the high waist but would then continue down to the knee or mid thigh; under that a second skirt was either the same color and pattern or a solid color matching that of the designs.


Another variation of the costume was that of the wealthy farmers, following the fashion trends of a fondness for Spanish black lace. The silhouette stayed the popular style, the coloring became darker and the sleeves became pagoda style, coming to mid forearm with white undersleeves going to the wrist. The fichu also became larger, and both the apron and the fichu were black instead of the usual white.


The hats of this province had two parts, the oorijzer (a metal band and cap under the lace cap with flat extensions around the face) and the lace cap placed over it. To accommodate these hats the women would cut their hair short. The oorijzer got bigger and bigger throughout the 1800s to showcase wealth and to add ornamentation, but in the late 1800s became smaller again.

The Village of Hindeloopen in Friesland has its own look, colors, and meanings.

The hat was in Floddermuts style; in the early 1800’s it was longer, reaching to the lower shoulder blades, but by the late 1800s it became shorter, not even coming to the shoulders.

The trends of male dress in the area followed that of normal European fashion trends, with a few exceptions. The stockings were black and had knitted patterns or stripes, but the ones worn on Sundays were plain. The jacket was a bit shorter than average, not reaching more than a few inches above the waist. The only colorful part of the costume was the vest. These vests had specially made buttons that were usually locally hand crafted and usually depicted the occupation.


Hindeloopen is a port village in the province of Friesland that had its own unique costume. Because of the port, the Dutch merchants would bring back different textiles from China, causing different fashion trends, the most popular textile among these being Chintz. The costume of this village also said different things about the wearer: it could indicate things like marital status and if the wearer was going through hard or happy times. While the male costume was mostly the same, a woman’s dress was very different.

The women's costumes of Hindeloopen were different from the normal fashion trends in many ways. They had the same high-waisted bodice and long, full skirt, but there were many differences. Instead of a closed jacket, women of Hindeloopen wore a wentke or a jacket almost as long as her dress that was worn open. The wentke was also often made out of Chintz.


Under the wentke was a black vest reaching up to the throat, but with colorful panels in the middle, the top part being a panel of cloth with checked patterns, the bottom half being a multiple pieces of cloth sewn together to made a layer of clothing with many horizontal lines. This reached down to the high waist where a checked apron was tied. From the colors of their dress you could tell one different things about a woman. Colors such as reds and greens were normal, but blue was associated with mourning, and if a woman was wearing a wentke made with blue chintz, it meant she was in mourning.


From the hats of Hindeloopen women, one could tell if a woman was married or not. If a woman was not married she would wear a sondook, or an outer hat, which was an intricately folded starched square of plaid fabric. This hat would cover much of the forehead and was a rounded trapezoid shape in the front and a triangle shape in the back and left the top of the head to be covered by a white under hat. A married woman on the other hand would wear both a sondook and a foarflechter. The sondook would be pinned to the foarflechter, which was a tall cylindrical under hat.