History and customs
The South Tyrolean traditional costumes are renowned for their beauty. It is interesting that almost every village and town has its own costume. These pieces of clothing are worn at every festive occasion, such as religious festivities or at processions. During the time of Charles the Great, it was not permitted for farming folk to wear expensive clothing. People of the lower ranks of society were not allowed to wear more than a Loden jacket. The farmers had to wear clothes made of materials they could produce themselves. Expensive fabrics such as silk and brocade were reserved for the richer people in society.
Only when Empress Maria Theresia came to power, was this law amended so that the population could wear traditional costumes of any style. This resulted in a variety of traditional costumes that are still used to this day.
Kastelruth costumes for men: Men wear a shirt, cardigan and jacket with trousers and costume shoes. Their hat is decorated with a carnation and some leaves. The top button of the cardigan and jacketremain open.
Kastelruth costumes for women: Women wear a long black skirt and a black velvet corset. During the winter, they also wear a black small cape and during the summer a white jacket. On top of these, there is a silver or coloured shawl with long fringes. With the jacket, they need to wear a blue apron and with the small cape a black, water-silk apron. In addition, they wear fashionable ribbons that look well with their shawl.
Married women wear their hair up, with a silver hairpin and a type of stylish comb, which helps to keep their hair in a knot. Unmarried women wear pigtails that are arranged in a type of Gretl hair style and incorporate this with a black velvet ribbon.