The Welsh National Costume evolved from an influential lady, Lady Llanover.She lived in Gwent South Wales. She thought that by having a national dress would help and encourage the speaking of the Welsh language. The National Dress can still be seen being worn in many parts of Wales, and if you have visited the Smallest House in Wales in Conwy you will see Margaret Williams dressed in this costume everyday during the summer season. A large red cloak and tall black hat and black woollen stockings.
The garments are made of Welsh flannel and wool and were based on the ordinary clothing that country women used to wear every day in the villages and country areas in the 1820's to 1840's. There was at that time ample supplies of local wool sheared from the Welsh Black mountain sheep.
The orignal costume that Lady Llanover inspired was made up of the followng items. Tall Hat , a long frilled white cap worn under the hat and extending down to the shoulders. Bed gown, white blouse, red flanne shawl, black cloak, skirt made of wool with a black and white chequered pattern, a starched white apron sometimes edged wth lace, black woollen stockings, and black shoes.
All these materials would withstand the everyday weather of rain, wind, frost or snow, all of which are amply available in Wales.
Today the colours and make up of the materials are of a much lighter design. On St Davids Day the costume is worn by young girls throughout Wales. .Bringing us up to the present day there are calls for the National Costume to be dropped altogether.
Some say THE TRADITIONAL Welsh costume gives off a negative image of Wales as a backward-looking country, an organiser of the National Eisteddfod claimed.
Children should swap hats, shawls and aprons for more modern attire like rugby shirts.
Wales was in danger of stereotyping itself as it often relies on over-traditional images which are broadcast around the world and give the wrong impression.
Red clothes, daffodils and Wales football shirts would be better than out-dated and irrelevant colliers' outfits and tall hats.
These days you never see anybody dressed like that. Perhaps we should get rid of it altogether.
I doubt if that will be the case. Wales should keep it's National Costume.