Germany: East Holstein (Ostholstein) – General information

1) Men and women from a local Testorf dance group

Ostholstein (East Holstein) is a district in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. It is bounded by (from the southwest and clockwise) the districts of Stormarn, Segeberg and Plön, the Baltic Sea and the city of Lübeck.

Two different types of traditional costume are used in this region, one based on fisherman’s clothing and one based on milkmaid’s clothing. The second type is called the Testdorf Trachten as it is made according to an original pattern used on a manor farm in the village of Testdorf in the 19th century.

Testdorf Trachten

Female version

Typical hat and buttons of the Testdorf Tracht
Typical hat and buttons of the Testdorf Tracht

The milkmaids wore a torque made of black velvet with long ribbons made of crocheted lace that were fixed in middle of the chest. This type of headdress is used for unmarried women nowadays, while married women wear a brocade bonnet decorated with lace and a velvet ribbon tied at the nape of the neck.

The black velvet blouse has a double row of mother of pearl buttons that are set on the left side of the chest. The short puffed sleeves of the velvet blouse have a narrow hemming of white crocheted lace.
The skirt is striped (Beiderwandrock) with a basic colour of dark red, blue grey or blue. A white linen apron embroidered using Holraumstickereien (I have not been able to find out what this is exactly) is worn over the skirt. The apron is much shorter than the skirt.

Male version

As this type of costume was only for milkmaids, a corresponding costume was developed by the local folklore group for the men. The characteristic mother of pearl buttons are used on a black velvet waistcoat, which is worn over a linen shirt with a collar and wide sleeves. The trousers are made of black cloth in the style of wide-legged trousers (Klapphose), sailor’s trousers (Schifferhose) or fisherman’s trousers (Fischerhose).


Source(s) of information


1) Men and women from a local Testorf dance group –



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