From “The Aran Islands” by J M Synge (!)
The simplicity and unity of the dress increases in another way the local air of beauty. The women wear red petticoats and jackets of the island wool stained with madder, to which they usually add a plaid shawl twisted around their chests and tied at the back. When it rains they throw another petticoat over their heads with the waistband around their faces, or, if they are young, they use a heavy shawl like those worn in Galway. Occasionally other wraps are worn, and during the thunderstorm I arrive in I saw several girls with men’s waistcoats buttoned around their bodies. Their skirts do not come much below the knee, and show their powerful legs in the heavy indigo stockings with which they are all provided.
The men wear three colours: the natural wool, indigo and a grey flannel that is woven of alternate threads of the indigo and the natural wool. In Aranmor many of the younger men have adopted the usual fisherman’s jersey, but I have only seen one on this island [he’s on Inishmean].