Ethnic Clothes: The Amish


Figure 1.--Here we see some modern American Amish children. Boys and girls wear very destintive dress, the same garments worn by their parents. Boys had different hair styles than their fathers, commonly wearing bangs, but their clothes were the same. Here the only basic sifference was that Amish children often go barefoot.

Old Order Amish women and girls wear modest dresses made from solid-colored fabric with long sleeves and a full skirt (not shorter than half-way between knee and floor). These dresses are covered with a cape and apron and are fastened with straight pins or snaps. They never cut their hair, which they wear in a bun on the back of the head. On their heads they wear a white prayer covering if they are married and a black one if they are single. Amish women do not wear jewelry. Men and boys wear dark-colored suits, straight-cut coats without lapels, broadfall trousers, suspenders, solid-colored shirts, black socks and shoes, and black or straw broad-brimmed hats. Their shirts fasten with conventional buttons, but their suit coats and vests fasten with hooks and eyes. They wear suspenders (braces) rather than belts. They do not have mustaches, but they grow beards after they marry. The Amish do have a very distinctive children's dress. Boys wear the same clothes as men. The only clothing difference I know of is that many Amish boys go barefoot in the summer. The Amish feel these distinctive, but plain clothes encourage humility and separation from the world. Their clothing is not a costume; it is an expression of their faith.

Women and Girls

Women and girls wear bonnets and not the straw hats that the men and boys wear. Old Order Amish women and girls wear modest dresses made from solid-colored fabric with long sleeves and a full skirt (not shorter than half-way between knee and floor). These dresses are covered with a cape and apron and are fastened with straight pins or snaps. The girls and women never cut their hair, which they wear in a bun on the back of the head. On their heads they wear a white prayer covering if they are married and a black one if they are single. Amish women do not wear jewelry.

Men and Boys

Amish men and boys wear dark-colored suits, straight-cut coats without lapels, broadfall trousers, suspenders, solid-colored shirts, black socks and shoes, and black or straw broad-brimmed hats. The broad-brimmed straw hats are one of the most destinctive items of Amish dress. One the men and boys wore them. Their shirts fasten with conventional buttons, but their suit coats and vests fasten with hooks and eyes. They wear suspenders (braces) rather than belts. They do not have mustaches, but they grow beards after they marry. The Amish do have a very distinctive children's dress. Boys wear the same clothes as men. The only clothing difference I know of is that many Amish boys go barefoot in the summer. The Amish feel these distinctive, but plain clothes encourage humility and separation from the world. Their clothing is not a costume; it is an expression of their faith.






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Created: 4:39 AM 11/18/2006
Last updated: 10:02 PM 8/30/2007