The unique practices of Amish people make them one of North America’s most fascinating religious subcultures. Visitors to Lancaster County, PA, are often intrigued by the simpler way of life embraced by the Amish. Their way of dress is one of the most overt signs of simplicity.
How do the Amish dress? They adhere to the ordnung, a biblically-based expectation/blueprint that emphasizes separation from the English world and to be “non conformed.” Their manner of dress may vary among settlements, but generally can be described as modest and plain, without embellishments.
Some groups banish the use of buttons, zippers, and eye-and-hook fasteners, while other groups use them on their clothing. Fabrics are typically plain and muted hues of purple.
Their clothing is an outward form of their inward spirituality and is founded, partly, in the scripture: “Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2)
This ordnung is not in writing but, instead, is taught verbally from one generation to the next among the Amish people. Specific details can vary across church districts and Amish settlements, according to “The Riddle of Amish Culture” by Donald B. Kraybill. Let’s take a closer look…
What Do Amish Men Wear?
Amish men wear solid colors that are somewhat muted. Pants are typically black and held with suspenders (belts are considered ostentatious). Their shirts are generally without any pattern or printing on the fabric and with long sleeves. Amish men wear straw hats and Old Order Amish wear black vests over their shirts.
How Do Amish Women Dress?
Old Order Amish women wear layered dresses including a cap and apron on each. A head covering is also worn. The Lancaster County Amish women can be seen wearing bonnets or white covering, however young, single women may wear black coverings for Sunday service. (Shop our 5,000 square foot Country Store for authentic Amish made bonnets, dresses, wooden toys, dolls and crafts, and more)
Amish women do not wear jewelry or other embellishments.
The prescribed clothing may vary according to each congregation, settlement, and region in which they live. However, in general, their manner of dress is plain and modest and serves as an outward sign of unity.
Can I Learn More About the Amish?
Lancaster County has many venues that provide information about the Amish. You can find information online at Amish Resources at the Library of Congress, Amish Studies at The Young Center, as well as in-person tours and activities to learn about the Amish lifestyle at destinations like The Amish Country Homestead & One Room School, Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Rides and more.
Many of our guests appreciate the chance to learn more about the Amish while enjoying their stay at AmishView Inn & Suites. Want to have your own relaxing getaway to Amish Country, PA? Contact our staff at 1-866-735-1600 for general questions or, for convenience, book online!