An indication of what the dance clothes used in the 18th century were like is available thanks to José Maria Gandasegui’s descriptions of the guild festivities held in San Sebastian in 1732. He describes how the carpenters’ guild danced a sword dance and that the dantzaris wore hats with cockades. Maria Elena Arizmendi explained that the cockade is a rosette usually made out of various coloured ribbons, gathered or tied into arches around a point. He also said that the 16 dancers from the tailors’ guild and its leader who danced a troqueo dance wore the same uniform, i.e.: silk sashes from the right shoulder to the left armpit, baggy trousers or breeches to the knees and half skirt in the Valencia style. They were accompanied by four sergeants standing at the four corners of the group that wore the same attire: a type of fine suede waistcoat known as “coleto”, brightly coloured silk sashes and hats with feathers. The dantzaris’ wearing a short skirt over their trousers is not surprising as this costume is widely found in the folklore of many European regions and it is still used in Oñati during the Corpus festivities.
Manuel Larramendi described the costumes of the ezpatadantzaris in the 18th century as follows: “well-dressed, with good shoes, stockings and shoes, and the others wearing a very white camisole and white caps on their heads".
In his 1824 book, Juan Ignacio Iztueta described the attire of the espatadantzaris of that period:
Maria Elena Arizmendi points out that white hats were used by the dancers until the 18th century. As far as the headscarf is concerned, according to Arizmendi, the scarf was worn under the hat, but Iztueta considered the hat to be expensive and decided to standardise the dantzaris’ costumes with a headscarf to hold their hair in place. The txapela
(beret ) spread rapidly after the Carlist wars. Yet Arizmendi claims that it was probably used prior to the wars and that given its rapid popularity thanks to the Carlists, Iztueta was likely to have seen the dantzaris dance wearing a txapela
before his death around 1845.