Département Finistère. Peasant and bourgeois costumes of Brittany.

Brittany, Département, Finistère, France, French, peasant, National, costumes,


  • No. 1. farmer’s wife from Plougastel-Daoulas (Breton Plougastell-Daoulaz), Arrondissement Brest. Linen or calico bonnet with barbs and bows. Bodice in blue cloth with sleeves. Waistcoat in red cloth; jacket in brown cloth; wool skirt; belt in yellow ribbons; breast cloth in yellow calico with blue stripes.
  • No. 2. woman from Plonévez-du-Faou (Breton Plonevez-ar-Faou), Arrondissement Châteaulin. Cap in calico over a cap in red wool; slightly stiffened collar in linen; jacket in cloth; wool skirt; apron, with a pocket in the front; a red wool ribbon as a belt.
  • No. 3. woman from Douarnenez, Arrondissement Quimper. Bonnet in calico or linen; above the waist a blue sleeveless bodice with multicoloured trimming.
  • No. 4. woman from Carhaix-Plouguer (Breton Karaez-Plougêr), Arrondissement Châteaulin. Skirt in light yellow cloth; linen apron; headdress in the same fabric.
  • No. 5th woman from Kerlouan, Arrondissement Brest. Bonnet in calico (dense cotton fabric in linen weave), falling over the shoulders; breast cloth in the same fabric, trimmed with lace; skirt and waist in light blue cloth; calico apron.
  • No. 6. maid from Quimper, in the costume of Rosporden. Cap, covered by a bonnet of muslin; breast cloth to the strongly stiffened canvas; above the blue waist a second, same-coloured bodice decorated with embroidery; white calico apron; over sleeves.
  • No. 7th woman from Gouézec (Breton Gouezeg) near Châteauneuf-du-Faou, Arrondissement Châteaulin. Bonnet and collar in lightly embroidered calico; bodice and skirt in blue cloth; apron in lighter coloured calico.
  • No. 8th Young female farmer from Ploaré *) near Douarnenez, Arrondissement Quimper. Bonnet made of lace or embroidered tulle; broadly pleated linen collar; a gold-embroidered ornament attached to the knotting band of the bonnet, falling over the “Hirvis”, the shirt; bodice and skirt of red fabric with gold embroidery; “tavanger”, apron of silk with gold embroidery; shoes of cloth, often with silk embroidery.

*) Ploaré is a former commune and parish of Finistère, which was annexed to that of Douarnenez in 1945.

  • No. 9. farmer from Saint-Yvi (Breton Sant-Ivi) near Rosporden, Arrondissement Quimper. Felt hat (Toc) with long black velvet ribbons; blue waistcoat (Rokedennou); jacket (Corquen), made of the same cloth with embroidery; trousers of modern cut.
  • No. 10 and 11. married couple from Kerfeunteun *), Arrondissement Quimper.
  • No. 10 – Squared headdress in calico; stand-up collar in the same fabric: bodice and skirt in red cloth with silk ribbons; tavanger in silk with gold embroidery; gold cross on a black velvet ribbon; shoulder ribbon falling over the chest from both sides; cloth shoes.

*) Kerfeunteun is a former municipality north of Quimper and was incorporated into it on 1 January 1960.

  • No. 11 – Blue Rokedennou with double row of buttons; triple corques in black velvet with light yellow embroidery; Bragou-bras *), wide puff trousers in cloth; Gouriz, leather belt with pierced and chiselled copper plates always worn with the Bragou-bras; Houseaux in the same fabric as the Bragou-braz; leather shoes.

*) Bragou bras, or bragou braz: large knee-length bloomers worn with woolen leggings.

  • No. 12th woman from Plonévez-Porzay (Breton Plonevez-Porzhe), Arrondissement Châteaulin. Square bonnet (cf. no. 10); wide pleated collar, bodice and skirt in brown embroidered cloth; wide belt in similarly embroidered ribbon; tavanger in floral and embroidered silk.
  • No. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 after photographs.

Cf. Émile Souvestre, Le Foyer breton: contes et récits populaires und Élisée Reclus, Géographie universelle.

Source: History of the costume in chronological development by Auguste Racinet. Edited by Adolf Rosenberg. Berlin 1888.


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Auguste Racinet. The Costume History by Françoise Tétart-Vittu.

Racinet's Costume History is an invaluable reference for students, designers, artists, illustrators, and historians; and a rich source of inspiration for anyone with an interest in clothing and style. Originally published in France between 1876 and 1888, Auguste Racinet’s Le Costume historique was in its day the most wide-ranging and incisive study of clothing ever attempted.

Covering the world history of costume, dress, and style from antiquity through to the end of the 19th century, the six volume work remains completely unique in its scope and detail. “Some books just scream out to be bought; this is one of them.” ― Vogue.com