Regional costumes – or traditional costumes – have long played an important role in everyday Dutch life. Around 1800, costumes started becoming gradually more and more specific and recognizable per region and locality.
In a number of villages, such as Staphorst, Spakenburg, and Scheveningen, you may nowadays still see women wearing traditional clothing showing that they live there. However, most of these women are elderly and their number is decreasing year by year. And so, little by little, regional costumes are disappearing from the street scene. They are no more the ‘living wear’ they were in the past: costumes that used to change gradually over the years and that played an important role in communities according to unwritten rules.
The image conveyed by the 7887 selected items is the broadest possible representation of the Netherlands Open Air Museum’s collection of Dutch regional costumes.