The Province of Zeeland

Zeeland is an extreme southern province of the Netherlands, surrounded on three sides by the North Sea.

Several villages have their own costumes; most notably of these are South Beveland and Walcheren.

In South Beveland, you can distinguish between the women's Catholic and Protestant costumes. On both of the costumes, the black jacket is short-sleeved and edged in velvet. A brocade-type fabric is used for the vest and the shawl. A triangular piece of the same material is bolded at the back in pleats, forming a V neckline for the shawl.

The shawl is fastened with pins to the shoulders and is tucked into the front of the apron. The pleated skirt--as well as the Sunday apron--are black. For workdays, the apron may be blue checked or striped. 

The hat consists of a small undercap with gold "oorblikjes", or small gold "plates" near the eye level. The Catholic hat is funnel-shaped with long side pieces down to the shoulders. In a Catholic woman's hat, the plates are nearly touching each other high on the forehead. In a Protestant woman's hat, the plates are at eye level, on the temples.


Walcheren is a former island off the coast of Zeeland, but due to polders and a dam being built, it is now connected to the mainland.

The traditional costume for women on Walcheren is a sleeveless bodice, called a beuk, made of cotton, silk, or lace. This bodice can be flowered or plain, gathered, pleated or smocked. The jacket fastens in the front and is cut very low, exposing the beuk.

The jacket is worn outside the skirt, which is gathered at the waistline and worn ankle length. The apron is full and meets at the back, hiding most of the skirt; it is worn about 2 inches above the skirt. 

Zeeland map2.png

Girl wearing Catholic hat, left; Protestant hat, right. Notice how the Catholic hat is more square in shape and how the gold plates almost touch on the forehead. The Protestant hat, in contrast, is rounder with the gold plates at the temple.

walcheren costume3.jpg
walcheren costume.jpg

The undercap is made of lace or embroidered linen and a large part is seen on either side of the head. At the crown, the hat is cut in a deep V. The undercap is pinned or snapped onto the back of the undercap. It is a stiff, heavy linen-type fabric with lace trim on the bottom. Black socks with black-laced shoes are worn.

An alternative hat is a straw bonnet with streamers hanging down the back, fastened to a cockade of the same color.