As in the central and eastern parts of North Brabant, the main costume has no distinctive features, but the caps used are unique. The caps in this area mostly developed from the historical Brabantse muts, the Brabant cap. This cap has long side lappets which are sometimes doubled, and no frill hanging from the neck. This is in contrast to the caps which are worn further east, in Den Bosch and Limburg. The top of the cap is often enlarged.
The Brabant cap has been retained in the folk costume of Hulst, in southeastern Zeeland, close to the Brabant border. This costume belongs to the West Brabant type rather than the Zealand type. Note that here the cap has a ribbon tied around the base of the lappets.
Here the cap is called the Speldenmuts, or pin cap. The only ornament used in this region, besides the basic lace, is hundreds of tiny pins, often copper, inserted parallel to each other down the center of the lappet, lengthwise. This first one only has them on the top half, perhaps they got lost.
The Catholic women of Oudenbosch wore either the old Brabant cap, or later, the cap of Breda and Bergen op Zoom.
This cap is worn only in these two southern extensions of western North Brabant. It has a back of lace, and several rows of goffered lace around the face. The back is ornamented with wide colored ribbons which hang down behind.
This cap is worn over a headband with fake hair locks and a black undercap. See below for the manner of putting them on.
The rest of the costume is similar to that of Bergen and Zoom, and in all parts of this province they are fond of wearing Paisley shawls. Some more images of the Belgian cap costume.
Breda and Bergen op Zoom
After this a black undercap is put on, as is usual all over the Netherlands. Care is taken that the forehead band is visible. This protects the lace cap from the hair, and provides contrast for the lace.
After this the strakke muts itself is put on. The lappets fit tightly to the head, and the back is full, showing off the lace.
For dressier occasions, a band with looped ribbons and some artificial flowers are put on over the muts.
It is put on the same way, but instead of wearing the strap, the 'crown' is put on instead. This is a rather large puff of artificial flowers, somewhat similar to the 'poffer' worn further east, but it is confined to the forehead area.
This is obviously more elaborate and expensive than the strakke muts, and not all women could afford one, but those who could wore it on more dressy occasions.
There were two kinds of headgear worn for workdays. The first is sometimes called the lol, and resembled the girls' cap of eastern Brabant and Limburg. It was made of printed cotton, with many ruffles and bows.