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…