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*Photos used by permission of Plainly Dressed

Modest Dress

Many people who choose to adopt religiously observant dress do so in a slightly more modern context. Historically among Quakers, there were always those who wore what was currently fashionable but omitted objectionable frills and fancies. At one time, all a Quaker woman had to do to "go plain" was to move her kerchief from being tucked into the neck of her dress to being worn on the outside and adopting the Quaker cap rather than one of the current styles of caps. In this day and age, simply wearing a modest skirt can be quite the statement, as well as covering. I know a Friend who chooses to wear skirts who went in to work on her day off wearing jeans. A co-worker saw her and was shocked because she assumed that since this Friend wore skirts so religiously, skirts were a religious requirement of the Quakers.

Generally, women who observe modest dress do not wear the traditionally plain cap styles, usually preferring "Bush" or "Charity" veils or head scarves and kerchiefs. They usually observe strict gender difference in their styles, wearing hand-sewn modest dresses of a feminine print, florals being popular. They cite:

"The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God." Deuteronomy 22:5

While their clothes may seem old fashioned in spirit, they are not specifically anachronistic and usually do not have symbolically important items. Jumpers are also a popular choice. Women in this category almost always keep their hair long. Makeup and jewelry may be worn, particularly for preserving feminine appearance. When they are avoided, it is usually per I Timothy 2:9,10.

Some resources for non-traditional plain, modest dress and coverings:

The Modest Clothes Directory has an ever-evolving list of links to websites offering ready-made, made-to-measurement and patterns for modest dress and headcoverings.

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Quaker spirituality Spiritual mentor Plain dress
daily george fox quote

Epistle 363
1680

"Of Stedfastness:" "Not only to talk Godly but to live Godly"

AND therefore keep your Spiritual Order, joying in the Spirit, beholding your Spiritual Order, and Stedfastness of your Faith in Christ Jesus; and in this you will be all stedfast Men and stedfast Women, and not tossed up and down with every windy Doctrine, but stedfast Men and stedfast Women of the Faith of Christ . . . And this is the Grace of God wherein ye stand, that will teach you to live Godly, Righteously and Soberly, and brings Salvation; so not ...

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Quaker Jane's
Recommended Reading


I am not Amish or Mennonite, but some people who come to my website are interested in knowing more about these groups. I can recommend these books as authoritative and relatively inexpensive sources of further information.


An Introduction to Conservative and Old Order Mennonite Groups




Living Without Electricity title=

(More Recommended Reading
on Amish and Mennonites . . .)