Friday, August 10, 2012

What To Wear!

 I think I shared with you last time I went to the Plain Community for a visit that I got to participate in washing clothes.  It is in the top 3 jobs women in the community have to keep up on. Unlike most of us, they have very few clothes. It is part of the different mentality concerning  material goods.  Mom has to make every ones clothes so it is very time consuming. 

Most of the children school age have a dress or pants and shirt that are considered "good".  They wear the same outfit during the week because they take it off when they get home and hang it up. They then put on their work clothes.  When you have to sew every stitch your family wears and wash it by hand to boot, you tend not to have many clothes. Don't misunderstand, they have "enough" just not allot of extras. 

Sewing tends to happen right after canning season and before school starts. The mama sews as fast as she can.  There is also some sewing done  during the winter time.  The boys wear what is called broad falls with suspenders and button down shirts without the regular collars.  There are no zippers in the pants,just buttons on the side.  Every community decides on the colors they will wear.  In the community where son and family lives they have chosen dark blue or black broad falls with black suspenders.  Most wear either white, blue or grey button down shirts.  If you look at a mans dress shirt you will see and collar and below that is called the band.  In plain communities you will never see the collar part but the band is all they have on their necks. 

Have you ever wondered why they don't wear the collar?  For you history buffs it is because back in the 1800's men were developing syphilis and wanting to hide the fact. So they had shirts made with collars added to keep the sores from being seen. Interesting little known fact!  The Amish and Mennonite decided not to add the collar for obvious reasons.

The women in the community wear a very simple dress with an apron over it.  Allot of Amish groups will wear the cape dress (which is what I wear).  The cape dress is a simple dress, no collar but a second piece of cloth over the bodice.  It prevents anyone to see the shape of your bosom.  The women in the community always keep their aprons on. I can tell you from personal experience that the apron is quite handy to wipe your drenched brow, wipe off a canning jar, open the wood burning stove and last but certainly not least wipe away a tear from a grand baby.  The dress is long sleeved and the bodice is button down to the waist and either an elastic waist or band waist.  The skirt is pretty full and goes down to the ankles.  The women have a couple of dresses made from heavier cotton for winter and lighter weight cotton for the summer. The aprons wear out much faster than the dress so some women who have time make a couple of extra aprons to replace worn out ones. They wear mostly blue dresses.  The aprons will be made out of the same material as the dress. 

This group does not wear any printed materials.  They are simply plain. I have told a couple of the ladies that I am such a slob I would walk around with stained dresses all the time.  The prints in my dresses hide any spots I have. They just giggle at me.

During the summer most go barefooted. I even see a couple of families going barefooted for "meeting" the church service. When cold weather comes the women wear black shoes that are sturdy since they walk everywhere. The men wear work boots most of the time. 

No one wears jewelry in the community.  They believe wearing even a wedding ring is prideful so you will not see anyone with jewelry.  The men wear beards and the women cover their heads whenever they are out of bed. Although, on Saturdays the girls wash their hair and they run around most of the day with their beautiful long locks flowing in the breeze.   It is such a sight to see.  Each group decides on the covering.  Most Amish wear a kapp.  It is a starched covering that you will find on any Amish fiction book. Some Mennonite wear either black or white smaller kapps.  You can actually tell which region of the country a family lives in by the type of covering their women wear. In son's group the women wear a white polyester kerchief that covers the hair, the ears and the back of the neck.  

Our society loves clothes and shoes.  The Plain Community spends little time worrying about such things.  Clothes are considered utilitarian.  Next time I will talk about washing all those clothes.

Till next time, remember that God judges the inside of the heart, not outward beauty.
In Christ Alone,
Jill


Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

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