Welsh traditional costume

Brenda Harries as Welsh GirlHere is Brenda Harries, my father’s cousin, smiling behind a very unhappy little girl seated at the front. The photo was taken in about 1925 and shows the Welsh national costume as it was still worn on occasions. Sorry it’s not in colour!

celebrations-at-fishguard-on-mauretania-day- August 1909 (2)e1414436529640

August 1909. The Fishguard residents are walking down to the harbour to see the liner ‘Mauretania’ at Goodwick. See how many of the women in this crowd are wearing national costume.

The costume was traditionally made up of:

Salem_water colour by Vosper_1908

‘Salem’ by Vosper 1908. Lady Lever Collection.

  • a ‘bedgown’ of red, blue or black and white flannel. This was tailored like a coat, of varying lengths, with a tight bodice, but otherwise loose and open
  • a skirt of heavy flannel, often striped, in similar colours
  • a kerchief, usually worn round the neck and tucked into the top of the gown
  • a square woollen shawl  (paisley shawls were expensive and not for everyday use)
  • an apron – white, grey, black or checked
  • a cap – often with folded fabric round the face
  • a tall hat with a broad flat brim
  • a cape with a large hood to cover the hat.

Cousin Brenda lived in Swansea but holidayed in Dinas, as her family originally came from the village. I expect that the paisley shawl was an indication that her family was doing rather well, years before her father was appointed mayor of the town.

About bookvolunteer

I'm passionate about books, about Oxfam and about making the world a better place. When I'm not filling the shelves in Oxfam Wilmslow, I might be found reading the books I've bought in the beautiful surroundings of North Pembrokeshire.
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