With traditional folkloric dancing comes traditional clothing. When performing, we wear a costume sown from scratch which reflects the regional dress worn by our ancestors in the 19th century. More specifically, that would be the period between 1800 and 1850.
Those costumes were introduced first for our female members in the work year 2008-2009 and those for our men followed in the work year 2016-2017. We based our costumes on works by H. Vanoppen, including “Streekdrachten in onze streek”, and the Antwerp fashion museum.
With our design, we strived for a balance between authenticity and stage presence. The result was a colourful and very diverse outfit which at the same time formed a whole and, above all, proved to be dance worthy. Historicity being the general guideline, the resemblance to the traditional 19th-century attire was key. In that period the colour range in clothing expanded because, on top of natural colouring methods, people started to experiment with chemical colouring. Indigo blue, terra cotta red and moss green, but also ochre yellow, rust brown and bright orange could be spotted in 19th-century outfits. One could also find a wide variety of patterns, such as stripes, checker, geometric figures, flowers or dots. And all of that mixed and matched according to personal taste. The fabric itself obviously only contained natural fibres. It could be wool, linen, cotton or silk. To let our costumes flow nicely when we dance – while still staying true to tradition as much as possible –, we agreed on the standard of at least 45% of natural fibres per piece of clothing.
The women’s clothing can be split up in two parts. The top part consists of a blouse with a waistcoat. On the bottom, we have drawers for undergarments up to right under the knee and long socks. Over those come two long skirts and a long waist apron. The shoes should be black leather with or without a heel. Finally, the head is covered with a bonnet. A shawl or cloak can be worn on cold days, but they aren’t obligatory pieces.
The men’s clothing can also be split up in two parts. They wear a shirt with long wide sleeves (based on a smock or peasant blouse) with a waistcoat on the top and trousers held up by suspenders, plain socks and black leather shoes on the bottom. The men also cover their heads. They wear a cap or fess. For cold days, the men have jackets to keep warm.
Every member puts together their own costume. The work group of Costume sees to it that each one of us has an outfit that meets the prescriptions.