Amish Dress Code
The Amish are a group of people who follow the traditions and beliefs of the Anabaptists or those who have been baptized anew. They live a simple, rural lifestyle, avoiding many modern comforts and technology. This extends to their dress code. What they wear expresses their principles in an outwardly visible way.
What this article covers:
Amish Beliefs on Clothing
One of the core beliefs of the Amish faith is humility. They strive to avoid drawing attention to themselves, emphasizing their commitment to the community and its values. As such, clothing should be functional and non-flamboyant in design.
You'll find no bright or flashy clothing among the Amish. Instead, the fabrics used are generally muted in color and subtle in design, though some styles may vary slightly between genders.
Amish Dress Code for Women
Women are an integral part of the Amish community, and they’re expected to follow the same dress code as their men folk. Women typically wear mid-calf length skirts with a long-sleeved blouse or shirt underneath. They also always have their heads covered, usually in the form of a bonnet.
The bonnets are often made from black, navy blue, or purple material. This signifies a woman’s commitment to her faith and humility. Along with covering their heads, women also wear either black or white ankle-length socks.
Why do women cover their heads? Well, in the book of Corinthians, the bible says that “Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head.” The Amish are nothing if not devout.
The colors and fabrics that Amish women choose to use in their clothing are also very important. All fabrics must be solid colors. Women may not wear any printed fabric or patterns. The skirts should also always fall to the ankle or lower.
Amish women are also expected to abstain from wearing any ornamentation. This includes earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. This is because they believe that material goods can lead to vanity and greed.
When working on the farms, women wear gray aprons. Straight pins are often used to keep their garments in place. These aprons are also used during other manual labor, Amish quilt making, and making vintage Amish dolls, woven harvest baskets and wicker easter baskets.
Dressing Code for Married Women
Married Amish women are expected to wear a white head covering known as a Kapp. This is a visible sign of the woman’s commitment to her marriage and her faith. Married women are also expected to wear long skirts that fall at least two inches below their ankles.
They should also wear a black cape and apron to church services or other formal gatherings. The purpose of the cape and apron is to signify their status as married women and to emphasize modesty.
Prayer caps are also a common part of the Amish dress code for women. These are worn during prayer services and signify humility before God.
A laboring woman wears an Amish birthing gown made of plain white fabric. This gown is usually simple in design and is made to ensure modesty and comfort during labor.
Do Amish women wear panties? Well, Amish women must cover their entire bodies, and so women are expected to wear underwear. However, their undergarments are different from what we in the modern world consider panties. The Amish women wear full-length bloomers, usually made of white cotton or muslin fabric. These bloomers are worn underneath their skirts and as a layer between their skin and the bonnet.
Do Amish Women's Dresses Have Buttons?
No, Amish women don’t use buttons in their clothing, but why can't Amish women have buttons while men can? Well, buttons in women's clothing are considered to be too flashy and ornamental. This goes against the Amish's principles of simplicity and humility. Instead, women often use straight or safety pins to secure their garments.
Just like women, Amish men dress conservatively, focusing on practicality and modesty. Their clothing is generally made from natural, durable materials such as wool, cotton, and linen.
Amish men usually wear a solid-colored, long-sleeved shirt with a vest or jacket worn over the top. They may also wear a suit coat or overcoat, depending on the weather and the occasion. The shirt is typically tucked into a pair of trousers held up by suspenders. Amish men also wear a hat, often a wide-brimmed straw hat in the summer or a felt hat in the winter.
Amish men don’t wear jewelry or other decorative items and typically avoid bright colors and patterns in their clothing.
Do Amish Wear Any Shoes?
Do Amish wear shoes? Yes, they do. Shoes must be practical and conservatively designed. Men's shoes are typically black or brown leather Oxfords with laces and a low-profile sole. Women's shoes include slip-on loafers and ankle boots with low heels.
It's worth noting that some Amish communities may have specific guidelines about footwear, such as avoiding leather or choosing plain, unadorned shoes, but it's not uncommon for Amish people to wear shoes like any other person. In fact, shoes are an important part of Amish attire as they protect the feet from the elements and provide support while working. In some cases, Amish people may also wear boots for added protection or for specific tasks, such as farming or working with animals.
Amish Night Dressing
What do Amish wear to bed? Men typically wear a white linen nightshirt with buttons at the neck and sleeves. Women wear a full-length, long-sleeved nightgown that goes down to their ankles.
The Amish also have special clothing for going outside at night. For example, women may opt for black footless stockings or gaiters over their regular shoes in order to provide extra warmth and protection. Men may choose to wear a full-length dark greatcoat with a tall hat to conceal their identity from non-Amish people.
Who Makes Amish Clothing?
Do Amish make their own clothes? Yes, they do. Many Amish people make their own clothes, as self-sufficiency and simplicity are important values in Amish communities. They prioritize practicality and functionality in their clothing, and they may make their own clothes using traditional techniques such as sewing by hand or using a treadle sewing machine.
They may also make clothing for their families and community members. However, it’s important to note that not all Amish people make their own clothes, and some may purchase ready-made clothing or have clothing made by Amish seamstresses.
Regardless of how the clothing is made, all Amish people adhere to a strict dress code that dictates the types of clothing they wear.
The Amish dress code may seem strict and outdated to some, but it’s an essential part of Amish culture. It reinforces their simple, self-sufficient values. It’s a way for them to express their faith, identity, and commitment to their community. Therefore, respecting the Amish dress code and its significance is key to understanding Amish culture.
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