Province of Groningen

Groningen is the northernmost province in the Netherlands and is bordered to the west by Germany. In the heyday of Dutch traditional dress its economy was mostly agriculturally based, but Groningen also had many ports that contributed to the economy.


The costumes of the women of this province in the time followed many of the usual the fashion trends of the times, but there were a few things unique to the province. In the late 18th century the skirt to the usual silhouette was more pleated than what was popular elsewhere. A fichu (triangular lace shawl) was also often worn, as well as aprons.


During the early 1800s the outfit changed: the high-waisted jackets and skirt were mostly the same, but now with small, usually floral, designs on them. Later the skirt of the dress became wider and the sleeves of the jacket were puffed. Underneath the skirt most women would wear a white petticoat, then other colored petticoats made from red flannel.


What was truly interesting about the Groningen costumes was their distinctive caps. There were two different parts to this cap, the oorijzer (an under brace made of metal) and the lace cap over it. The oorijzer of this area was larger than most, and was distinctly helmet like. As time went on the knobs soon became more complicated and had holes in them so decorations and ornaments could be put on them.


The cap of this province would often drop to the shoulder blades. Then there were the many various ornamentations that were placed on the caps, attached to the oorijzers and the clasps that kept the lace cap connected to the the oorijzer. 

Men’s outfits of Groningen were usually composed of tight breeches that came to just below the knees with black, white, or light blue stockings with black shoes. These black shoes had large silver buckles on them, showcasing some of the elaborate ornamentation popular among women. The jackets could either be black or red with a high-collared white linen shirt underneath. The men had equally dramatic hats as the women of Groningen did. They wore a Biedermeier style, tall black top hat.


Another important part of the traditional dress of Groningen had to do with how they got around. Groningen boasts many canals that freeze over in the in winter, so many of the people got around on them by strapping on skates, and skating to school or work.