Back in my school days, I spent a summer among the Amish and learned much about their culture. What stood out was their dress code which emphasized modesty and simplicity. Recently, during class, my theology students asked if the Amish made their clothes. This came up during a discussion of what the Bible means by modesty. I shared my experience living among the Amish and what I learned through research and studying the Bible. We had a stimulating discussion on the Amish dress code and the source of their clothing. So, do the Amish make their own clothes?
Yes. The Amish make their clothes. The women, in particular, buy materials from local stores and use them to make clothes for their families. Amish dress code is conservative, emphasizing modesty, simplicity, and uniformity. As such, they choose muted and solid colors. Furthermore, they frown upon accessories and extravagant hairstyles among women and men.
So, join me in delving deeper into the culture and beliefs guiding the Amish fashion choices. I’ll explore their stand on clothing and how they make their clothes.
What do Amish believe about clothing?
The Amish believe that wearing plain clothes is in line with Biblical teaching and promotes the values of their community. One of the core tenets of the Amish is humility. In line with this, the Amish avoid attracting attention through flamboyant clothing and extravagant lifestyles. As such, they choose clothes with muted colors that are simple and functional. Here are some beliefs the Amish have about clothing:
Clothes should be modest
As mentioned, the Amish prefer plain clothes that aren’t revealing. You’ll notice the Amish women wearing calf-length dresses over a blouse. They’ll also cover their heads with a bonnet. Men, on the other hand, wear solid-colored trousers held up by suspenders. They pair these with plain long-sleeved shirts and straw hats. Their fashion sense is based on 1 Timothy 2:9-10 where Paul emphasized modesty in dressing and encouraged women to shun flashy jewelry and hairstyles. The Amish uphold virtue over outward appearance.
Clothes are integral to their identity
The Amish use their clothes as an identity. To outsiders, these clothes mark them as Amish; among themselves, they distinguish individual communities.
How do Amish get materials and make their clothes?
Women buy fabric from local stores. Owing to their numbers, the fashion industry doesn’t specifically cater to the Amish community. Therefore, the Amish usually rely on leftover material from the garment industry. These materials are sold in the wholesale market at a throw-away price, and some in the Amish community buy and sell them to their people.
How do Amish people make their clothes?
Women make clothes using materials bought at the store. They’ll use dark materials, especially blue, purple, black, grey, and brown. They’ll make the typical Mutza suits for the men and long- or short-sleeved dresses for the women. Their clothes tend to be loose-fitting and cover most of their bodies. Men also wear straw hats and hold their trousers up using suspenders. These are usually bought ready-made from Amish-owned shops.
Why Do the Amish Make Their Own Clothes?
The Amish make their clothes because it’s cost-effective, practical, and allows them to ensure modesty in their design. Amish girls learn to sow early, so making clothes is almost second nature. This practice also ties in with their belief in self-sufficiency and humility.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.