Why did Dutch women wear “iron ears” (10 photos)

Category: Nostalgia, PEGI 0+
1 February 2024

Different countries have their own traditional outfits. Sometimes they appeared by coincidence and became part of the cultural code. Today we’ll dive into Dutch fashion.

The photo shows Dutch ladies from the early 20th century wearing an unusual accessory on their heads called “oorijzer” (“iron ears”). It appeared before 1906.

This unusual element has become an integral part of the traditional women's costume of the Netherlands, especially in the northern provinces. Why is it so bizarre and how did it come up?

It is windy in the Netherlands and hats could often fly off your head. And to be seen on the street without a headdress at that time was considered shameful for a respected lady. Therefore, women began to fasten their caps in this way - with the help of special iron pins.

However, “iron ears” were not only a practical accessory. Over time, they became the object of design creativity and even competitions. They organized competitions for which women stylized their “ears” in an original way.

And here are a few photos from modern Holland:

Women continue to maintain the tradition - and come up with various variations with hats

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