There are 12 Provinces in Holland and every Province has their own Costume. The best known of these is from Volendam with the colourful-stripped skirt and peaked cap. Most people think this is the Dutch National costume, but this is not true as every Province has their own costume
The Dutch Couple are wearing a costume that is traditional to the Province of Twente and was worn there from the early 1900’s to the early 1960’s.
Twente is in the eastern part of Holland and borders with Germany.
The ladies costume is a style that was worn daily. The cap is worn with the frill up for daily use, and for Sunday best the frill was worn down.
The man’s costume is also a style that was worn daily and traditionally was made from a heavy woollen fabric to suit the cold winter weather over there.
The wearing of clogs is also a normal form of footwear. They are warm, dry, and comfortable to wear. They are made from willow or poplar wood, which is readily available throughout Holland, and they can be easily slipped in and out of at the back door of the farmhouse.
The History of the Clog
The clog in its present shape has been worn in many places in Europe since the Middle Ages.
In some countries you will still see them, especially in the Low Lands, in Holland. Due to the wet conditions and the abundance of the right timber growing in this country, this simple footwear has kept its popularity.
The clog is made from poplar or willow wood. The average size poplar tree will produce enough timber to make 75 pairs of clogs. Three million pairs are made each year in The Netherlands of which approximately 65% are sold as souvenirs or exported to many countries.
In earlier days, the clog was not only a cheap and practical type of footwear it was also a form of expression. There were beautifully painted clogs to be worn on Sundays, even so called church clogs, bridal clogs, clogs for young children, and one could see in which district the clog had been made.
For this reason the clog is a part of Dutch cultural history. Clogs are very practical footwear for the following reasons:
· They are easy to slip on and off
· Easy to keep clean
· They keep your feet warm in the wintertime.
· Ideal for working in the garden
· Poplar wood ventilates
· They keep your feet cool in summer
· Wooden shoes are not affected by extreme temperatures as much as leather is.
· In certain Dutch industries with heavy machinery, the clog is regarded as the safest type of footwear.
There are many expressions in the Dutch language where the clog plays a major part. Here are some of them:
(Geen veters in je klompen hebben) Having no shoelaces in your clogs
Meaning: short of cash
(Met de klompen op het ijs stappen) Walking on the ice with
Meaning: Taking risks
(g’n broekspijpen gullen
g’n klompen niet bijten) His trousers won’t bite his clogs.
Meaning: He is rather simple