Amish Clothing

Amish Clothing

The Amish adopt a simple style of clothing without buckles or bright buttons. Historically they learned to live simply because they were frequently deprived of their goods by the ruling princes in Germany. But also as a matter of faith, they believe they should not be vain about their person or set themselves above others. The women have their hair covered by a starched white cap with strings or a black bonnet.

The clothing is made from plain fabrics, usually of one color without any kind of design or pattern. The women have two or three colors they favor including blue, green, and black. The Amish men dress in blue-jean material pants without zippers and with suspenders for their work. They wear white and blue shirts. In the summer they favor a straw hat. In the winter they may wear a dark blue or black stocking hat. For more formal wear, the men wear straight-cut suits and coats without lapels or pockets. The trousers don't have creases or cuffs. They wear suspenders usually with buttons rather than with any kind of snap or metal connector. They don't wear sweaters, neckties, or belts.

Amish Walking
Men's shirts fasten with traditional buttons. Their suit coats and vests, however, are frequently fastened with hooks and eyes. The young men are clean shaven until six-weeks prior to marriage. Once married, the men are required to let their beards grow. Men don't grow mustaches. Historically in Germany the men who wore mustaches were connected to the military. The Amish rejected the military connection and refused to display mustaches. They are forbidden today, even though many of the Amish are not aware of the reason.

Amish women typically wear solid-color dresses. They have long sleeves and a full skirt covered by an apron. On colder days they will cover everything with a cape. They sometimes wear formal black shoes, but during the workday, they most often wear the comfortable walking or running athletic shoes commonly worn by English women. They let their hair grow long, pull into a braid or a bun covered by a white prayer cap. The Amish caps have strings; the Mennonite caps do not. In colder weather or when traveling, they may wear a black bonnet. While working in the garden or outside, they may wear a large-brimmed, straw hat over a hankerchief scarf. It is their interesting custom to fasten their dresses with straight pins. The dress patters are cut in such a way that the size can expand or shrink. They may wear black hose, but quite often wear a small, footie sock or no sock at all during the work day. Amish women are not permitted to wear patterned clothing or jewelry. The Ordnung of the each Amish order sometimes specifies how long dresses may be and how wide the seam.