Suits for men has always been practical, for keeping out the cold and hard wearing.   The style has been influenced by the fashion from Europe, and also by the fact that the men traveled to other valleys to do business and they were also in the army.  The accessory also changed with the fashion and what people could afford.    Luckily, records have been kept and old clothes are exhibited at museums across the country.  

The style of clothing was mostly what people had at hand and what they could afford.  There were not such strict guidelines on what to wear as there is today.

We are now very concerned about: what to wear, what can be worn with what and who can were what.  Is this right?  There are a few guidelines that must be followed, but we have to accept and let the “bunad” develop.  We don’t drive to church with a horse and sledge anymore either.

There are many discussions on who is allowed to wear the ”Halling bunad”.  If your family comes from Hallingdal you are entitled. But a couple of examples: Someone with great grandparents from Hallingdal, but has never been in Hallingdal or knows the valley at all, is he entitled? Or someone with a cabin, who’s been in the family for generations, has spent a lot of time in Hallingdal and his heart and soul is in the valley, is he entitled?  I feel they should both be entitled to wear the “bunad”.  But someone driving through, noticing the “bunad”, and thinks: “this is a nice and practical suit”, should not be entitled.  He should think twice about it and rather chose another form of status symbol.

“Bunad” is very fashionable at the moment, and the most popular is the black with the short jacket.  Why has it become so fashionable in the last 25 years?  We have discussed this and we think that all the questions about joining E.F., E.U. and 2 elections could have something to do with it.  People has been looking for their roots and found it in the old style of clothing.  From 1970 and back in time very few wore “bunad”.  This shows that fashion goes up and down, at the moment we are on the way up. What will happen in the future, we don’t know.  The discussion will carry on, what’s wrong what’s right, who can and who cannot wear “bunad”.  The same questions will be asked in 50 years time.  An example is: should a knife be worn with the female “stakk”? What does the original Halling knife look like, on which side should it be worn?  These are all good discussions to keep the old clothing tradition alive.  

The good thing is that the young people take a healthy interest and we believe that this is important for a bright future for the “bunad.  What would a 17th May parade look like without the stylish male in “bunad”?

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