Why do Mennonites wear dresses?

In my years in theology school, I spent a considerable time researching on various religions. I was, especially intrigued by the Mennonites and their unique dress code. In my last semester, I went to Pennsylvania and spent a month studying and interacting with this religious group. Last week, a member of my online Christian topics forum asked me to explain the Mennonite dress code. Another member also asked why these people prefer to wear old-fashioned dresses. Having lived among the Mennonites, I had all the answers in my fingertips. So, why do Mennonites wear dresses?

Mennonites wear long dresses as a show of their modesty and humility, as they believe that their bodies are sacred and deserve to be covered. By not showing their legs, they avoid being flashy and colorful. Mennonite women also wear long dresses to show their submission to their men, as putting on pants will appear like a competition with the men.

In this article, I invite you to join me as we uncover the mode of dressing of the Mennonites. I have looked at why they wear old-fashioned clothes and whether they can wear trousers. We will also discover what Mennonite dresses are called. Read along to get answers to these questions and so much more.

Why do Mennonites wear old-fashioned clothes?

Mennonites dresses
Why do Mennonites wear old-fashioned clothes? Image source: Pixabay

Mennonites’ clothes are old-fashioned because they are designed to be practical and comfortable rather than fashionable. Therefore, the clothes do not have flashy colors or intricate patterns as modern fashionable clothes look.

Mennonites believe that their outward appearance is secondary to their spiritual life, hence the need for them to lead a simple life that entails service to others. They believe that they are born in this world, but they are not of this world.

Why do Mennonites wear denim skirts?

Mennonite women wear denim skirts as they are comfortable, modest, and not too flashy. It is not uncommon to find a Mennonite woman wearing easy-fitting jean skirts whose fabric is long-lasting and durable. They believe that God commands them to be humble even in their dressing. Therefore, their clothes must be simple and conform to the community. No one should stand out to appear either wealthy or poor.

Can Mennonites wear trousers?

Yes, Mennonites can wear trousers. While the traditional dress code for the Mennonite men is trousers and shirts, women too are allowed to wear trousers. However, the pants should be long and loose, either solid-colored or striped.

Why do Mennonites wear coverings?

Why do Mennonites wear dresses?
Why do Mennonites wear coverings? Image source: Pixabay

Mennonites wear head coverings as it is part of their religion. According to 1 Corinthians 11:3-15, women are commanded to wear bonnets while praying as a show of modesty, conformity to the rules of the church, and as separation from society. Women often put on black bonnets as a symbol of God’s presence and their submission.

What are Mennonite dresses called?

Mennonite dresses are called cape dresses. Cape dresses are traditional wear for female members of the Anabaptist Christian Church, such as the Mennonites. It is called a cape dress as it has both a cape and a dress.

The cape is either attached, sewn, or pinned on the dress and is considered a symbol of a woman’s modesty and desire not to tempt men. The cape normally has a fabric that is square or v-shaped form and is plainly styled.

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