Valle di Gressoney

Gressoney-La-Trinité

Gressoney-Saint-Jean

The traditional dress of Gressoney

A precious Walser dress

By: Visit Monterosa

The traditional dress of Gressoney

In ancient times, the women of Gressoney used to wear a dress similar to today's traditional costume: it was shorter and unadorned and the skirt was made of local cloth and characterised by many folds.

They also wore a wide apron and a handkerchief tied behind the nape of the neck, sometimes replaced by a large, heavy felt hat with wide brims to protect them from the sun and the weather.

The festive dress was of fine fabric, the pleats were higher and it was black, blue or dark purple. A white hemp blouse was worn over a black jacket and a coloured silk scarf.

With the arrival in Gressoney of Queen Margherita of Savoy, the traditional costume was enriched by her with refinement, elegance and style, so much so that the Queen herself used to wear it on summer holidays in Gressoney.   

Today, the women's dress is scarlet red and is still worn on feast days and special occasions such as baptisms, communions, confirmations and weddings.

In the 1950s, a men's suit was made to accompany the women's suit. It is very reminiscent of the German tradition and has the same colours as the women's outfit: white, red and black.

The Gressoney women's dress

The long skirt is embellished on the back with pleats in a special shape, gére, and the bodice is embellished with gold chevrons; the blouse is decorated with precious lace; the apron is black and embellished with lace and embroidery.

The bib, férblätz, is of black velvet embroidered with gold or coloured threads in various designs such as ears of corn, edelweiss, wild flowers or arabesques. The dress is enhanced by a short, close-fitting jacket with golden trimmings, initially made of black cloth, now made of velvet or heavy silk, z'wòlhemd.

More recently, a long black cloth cloak has been added, with a red-lined hood to protect against the winter cold. Sometimes, a wool or silk shawl, with flowers or arabesques, may be worn over the shoulders.


The bonnet, d'golden chappò, the most precious piece of the costume, is made of gold filigree, richly embroidered, ribboned and sometimes adorned with semiprecious stones. This headgear was adopted by women as far back as the 18th century, but, as the centuries went by, it underwent minor changes and, from the 19th century onwards, the halo was higher than the initial models. The cap is considered a family jewel and is passed down from mother to daughter, with love and pride.

In addition to the scarlet costume, a violet-coloured dress with silver ornaments is also in use, which is worn at funerals or by mourners. In this case the cap is made of silver.

The elegance and combination of colours make the Gressoney costume one of the most refined and internationally admired.

The Gressoney women's dress

The Gressoney women's dress

Gressoney men's dress

The men's dress has a much more recent tradition and was created when the folk group was founded to match the women's dress and is worn almost exclusively at traditional events.

The shirt is white cotton or linen, the waistcoat is red sewn from the same cloth as the women's dress, the jacket and trousers, which reach below the knee, are made from a heavy black cloth for the harsh mountain winters. The socks are white, made of cotton or wool and have different patterns. The black felt hat features a white feather and the shoes are black leather moccasins with a central metal buckle.

Gressoney men's dress

Gressoney men's dress

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