Folkedragter: The Many Styles of Denmark’s National Costume

A country’s national costume can tell you a lot about the country itself. It tells you what kind of climate they have, the kind of plants and animals that are indigenous to the area( via the threads, dyes, and maybe even furs and leather that make up the garment), and perhaps even the religious and cultural mores of the people. It can even tell you a bit about what kind of overall attitude the people have towards Life, in general.

Denmark is pehaps one of the most fascinating and unique countries in this regard, because it doesn’t have one set of national costumes – it has five, and more. The Folkendragter takes many different forms based on the regions the wearer hails from. It is said you can tell where a Danish person comes from based on the Folkendrag they wear.

The variations of women’s Sunday best are much more visible than the men’s. The colors, aprons, jackets, skirts, and even head gear and kercheifs are all quite different from region to region. However, these Folkendrag follow a definite composition: petticoats were commonly long, at least ankle-length, and covered with an apron either of fine silk or embroidered gauze. A close-fitting jacket was also worn, and closures like hooks or lacing depended on the origin region. Headdresses could varry from bonnets, to kerchiefs tied at corners to cover the head and neck, to finely embroidered caps.

Men’s wear weren’t as colorful as the women’s, but hand-knitted knee socks were always the norm. they mostly wore long-topped boots. Both men and women could wear clogs, or leather shoes that were buckled in front.

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