The Oslo Bunad – A Unique Hand Craft

Several Norwegian cities and municipalities have had their own bunad for many years and it has become tradition all over Norway. Every bunad symbolizes a geographical heritage and in some places also your marital status. Read more about the tradition of bunad here.

In 1947, the Oslo bunad was made. It was, of course, the ladies who first had the opportunity to show their affiliation to their city through a garment.

When it was decided that Oslo should have a ‘special’ costume, the questions of composition were many. At that time, Oslo was (and still is) an urban city built on old traditions. It was the department store Steen & Strøm who took the initiative to create an Oslo costume for women on the occasion of their 150th anniversary in 1947.

The suit was, as they say, composed. The colors blue and grey are the city’s own colors, and the design of the embroidery shows the ‘Oslomarka’ midsummer flowers. The motif on the women’s purse shows Oslo’s guardian angel, St. Halvard, Oslo City Hall and Akershus Fortress.

The woman’s costume is sewn in blue wool. The west is embroidered both front and back. The skirt has folds at the waist and at the bottom a recessed piece of grey where most of the embroidery is sewn. The shirt is light grey and has a traditional shape with Chinese collar. It is made from either cotton satin or linen, with matching embroideries on the collar and cuffs.



50 years after the woman’s bunad was launched, men could also slip into their own Oslo bunad.

The men’s costume consists of a long jacket and long pants, both in navy blue wool. The shirt is light grey made from cotton satin. The west is made of light blue or red brocade in silk and wool. It comes with a navy blue hat, scarf, suspenders, shoes and silver. In 2003 it was made a men’s pocket watch in silver with the St. Halvard motif engraved. The motif on the watch matches the women’s purse.

The Oslo bunad is also adjusted in small sizes for the kids.



Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen

Source and photos: Oslobunaden

Categories: Bunad, Culture

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