Province of North Holland

The province of North Holland, or Noord Holland, is a large peninsula surrounded to the east by the North Sea, to the north the Wadden Sea, and to the west by the IJsselmeer and the Markermeer. Much of the land is flat and situated below sea level; this province has the capital city of Amsterdam in it and has many historic windmills and fields of tulips. Noord Holland has many different styles of traditional dress because of its many rural areas that were isolated from each other. 


The fashion was affected by the strong fishing traditions on the coast of this province, such as the costume of the villages of Huizen and Volendam. The Isle of Marken is cut off from the main land and thus has its own colorful style quite difference from the others.



The costumes of the village of Huizen of Noord Holland were a little different from the fashion trends of the day. Instead of a completely fitted bodice, it would be a bit looser with pleating, and the sleeves would be similarly pleated and puffed, reaching to the wrists. The dress itself would usually be a dark color, then fastened around the high waist was a more colorful apron. As time went on the colors would start the same but patterns would be added. The most interesting part of the costume was the hat. As with most hats of the day, a smaller oorijzer (gold helmet-like hat) was placed underneath, and then a white lace cap was fastened to the oorijzer. Ornamentation would then be fastened to the cap and oorijzer around the temples.



The costumes of Marken were incredibly colorful and one of the most intricate seen anywhere in the Netherlands. While the dresses of the women followed the trends of tight-fitted bodice and a high waist, there were many differences, even compared to that of other costumes in the Netherlands. Over a red, blue, and white shirt with sleeves that ended at mid forearm, a rijglijven was worn. The rijflijven, a piece of clothing that was a cross between a corset and a fitted kraplap (bodice). The rijflijvens worn in Marken usually had red as a base color but had floral designs on a bauw, or square piece of cloth attached to the rijflijvens, worn over the breasts and often made of chintz. At the high waist of the dress there was an apron tied; the apron would often have a red check pattern near the top, but from upper thigh down was a darker shade of blue. Both the apron and rijflijven would often have embellishment and designs embroidered on them. The skirt underneath the apron was black with a red lace trim at the bottom. Then around the neck a fichu or red-checked kerchief were tied. The reason so much red was worn is because the people of Marken believed the color symbolized good health. In times of mourning the usual red and bright colors would be replaced with darker colors like black, white, blue, and green.


Marken hats were also different and unique from the rest of Holland. They were smaller and placed at the crown of the head and were more box like, with lace covering the red cloth in the front and ribbons running around the bottom and hanging down, acting as a tie to keep the hat in place.

The male clothing of the village of Marken was different from the usual trends of the time. Though knee-high stockings were worn, the pants above them were incredibly loose-fitting and tied at the waist and knees. The shirt was also more loose-fitting than was popular and was usually blue with white vertical stripes. Worn beneath the blue shirt a red shirt to symbolize health was worn and could usually be seen peeking out around the waist and the collar.  A flat style cap was also worn. Marken was one of the villages that wore wooden shoes more often, and would put intricate designs or patterns on them.



The village of Volendam had a strong fishing tradition that can be seen in their clothing. The women’s clothing fits most of the trends of the time, but their dresses are a bit shorter than usual and are black. Over the dresses, tied at the high waist, was an apron with a white base and blue and soft red vertical stripes. The skirt underneath the apron was made of cloth with red, blue, and white vertical stripes, more vibrant and evenly striped than that of the apron.


They also had a variation of the kraplap; it was smaller than usual, ending halfway over the shoulder and stopping at mid breast. The kraplap was heavily embellished and embroidered, with geometic designs around the outside and floral in the center. The kraplap was then worn under a kletje, or a short sleeved black jacket, with sleeves that went to the elbow. The village of Volendam also had one of the more unique hats of Holland. It had a base and was made of lace, but that is where similarities to other hats of Holland stopped. The back came up off the head into a more triangle shape that was rounded toward the front, reaching usually around four to six inches above the head. In the front was lace that would stick out around the face or to the side of the head. This outfit worn by women is one of the more stereotypical Dutch outfits.

The men’s costumes of Volendam were also influenced by the fishing tradition. Instead of stockings they wore loose-fitted pants. On their fitted jackets shiny buttons were worn and there was often pocket watch chain as ornamentation. Underneath they wore either white, red, or white-and-red striped shirts with cross stitching at the collar and golden buttons. They also wore a flat cap.


One of the six port cities that formed a base for the East India Company, commerce and wealth flourished in the village of Hoorn, and that wealth can be seen reflected in their fashion. This wealth and exposure to outside influence allowed different fashion trends to blossom. Colorful silk and chintz were popular among the wealthier women, and women would often use chintz to make their skirts, which were ankle length. The bodices and aprons were usually also colorful: deep pinks, maroons, and purples were the most popular colors. The bodice itself fit most of the normal fashion trends in Holland at the time, except for the sleeves ending just below the elbows.


The aprons were often a lighter color of what the bodice was and tied at the waist. Their hats sat a bit farther back on the head than most of the other hats of Holland. Starting at the top of the head, the base of the hat was usually rich blue in color, with a supporting oorijzer. It had lace in the center on top of the hat and on the outside, kept away from the face and dropping down in the back to the top of the shoulders.


The region of Zaanstreek in the the province of Noord Holland has a long and industrial history, which caused differentiating fashion trends due to the wish to show of their wealth through their clothing. The women in the region of Zaanstreek during the eighteenth century had many differences in their fashions compared to the rest of the Netherlands. While the costume had the usual silhouette of the time period, they would often wear heavier fitted jackets, sometimes made of chintz, that dropped to the upper thigh and with sleeves that ended at mid forearm. Fingerless gloves were worn underneath the sleeves.


Over this jacket there would be a white piece of cloth, attached at the shoulders and forming a collar, that puffed out over the chest. This cloth was held against the chest by a strip of embroidered fabric that was attached over the breasts. The skirts were solid, complementing colors that dropped to the ankles and a large checked apron was worn over it.


Their hats were different from most of the other hats in the province. They were larger and had two different parts, the under hat and the hood. The under hat was fitted and lace and would flair a little at the side of the head. This flaring was held in place, though, by the hood. The hood was often made of opulent fabric like silk and satin. It was large and was covered the head but stayed away from the face in a somewhat square shape. The hood completely covered the head, and dropped to the center of the shoulder blades and the upper arms.

The men of this region also showed their riches through their clothing. They had long, richly colored coats, with different colored and embroidered undershirts, with white shirts under the embroidered ones that could be seen at the collar and the end of the sleeves. They wore knee- length white stockings, and their shoes often had large buckles. On their heads, a top hat was worn by men of wealth.