Province of North Brabant

North Brabant, or Noord Brabant, is the southernmost province of the Netherlands and has a culture that closely resembles the culture of their southern neighbor, Belgium. Noord Brabant is also one of the largest provinces in the country, but the land is less fertile than land north of it that was reclaimed from the sea.


North Brabant is a less wealthy province with much of the same fashion trends. Most of the variations were in their hats, but these variations could be dramatic. There are thought to have been more than fifty different hat styles in the province.

Despite the stereotype that the people of Noord Brabant were fun and lighthearted, the fashion of their women appeared more somber. The village of Best is the best example of the traditional dress of Noord Brabant at the time. Dark colors were often used: blacks and dark purples. The women wore black shirts with unfitted sleeves that went down to their wrists. Their skirts went down to their ankles and were usually also black. Over this shirt and skirt, either an apron of a dark color was worn, or a loosely fitted overdress that was oftentimes dark-colored and patterned. These dresses were open in the back and would act as both covering for the chest and an apron.

Many of the hats were made of lace and started at the top of the head. One of the usual styles was that of puffed out and/or lace that dropped down to the shoulders in the back. There was also the hat style of the poffermutsen, a hat that was seen in Limburg, a province that was also heavily influenced by Belgian culture.

One of the best examples of male traditional dress in the province of Noord Brabant is from the village of Sprang. They would dress like men from the rest of Europe. With a black jacket and white, high collared undershirt and black tie, with trousers that went down a little past the ankle, it is clothing that is still worn today. One of the only differences was a flat style cap that was often worn with it.