CAPTION: Amish Cook columnist Gloria Yoder carries her 2 ½ year -old daughter, Julia, into Amish-owned Villa Country Store in Flat Rock, Illinois.
I have seen signs in Amish businesses over the years expressing appreciation for "modest dress"among their non-Amish customers. I've seen such signs in a wide range of places, from among the Old Order Amish in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to the New Order Amish in Ohio. But what constitutes "modest dress?" That's a tough question and very subjective. I think you just have to use your good judgment. I know if I am visiting an Amish family that I don't know well, even on a simmering summer day, I will wear khaki pants or jeans and closed toe shoes. I'm just not sure wearing shorts and sandals radiates the professionalism that I am trying to convey as a journalist. But I will wear a short-sleeve polo shirt. Still, these are sort of dress standards that I'd use on any journalistic assignment, but I think it is a good guide when making a social call also. I guess I'm a little old-fashioned. I still can't bring myself to go to church wearing shorts, even though "come as you are" clothing has been widely embraced by many faiths over the years. I'd just feel funny going to church in shorts and flip-flops, but that is just me, I'm not criticizing those who do. I see some people in shorts, flip-flops, and muscle shirts for guys in church and, well, at least they are attending....
Since I'm not a woman I have a more difficult time discerning what a woman should wear when visiting an Amish home or business. Just don't wear something too low-cut or too short and you'll be fine. For men and women, don't wear t-shirts with raunchy or racy slogans. Don't go to an Amish home or business wearing a t-shirt with a goofy slogan or picture. Just be respectful, think conservative and the gesture will be appreciated greatly by your Amish hosts.
I have, by the way, been to plenty of Amish businesses where no such sentiments about modesty are on display and visited Amish people who probably could have cared less what I was wearing. I actually think that sentiment may be espoused by the majority of Amish. But, still, I think it's good to err on the side of respect and being conservative. Among family, modesty may be less of an issue. An Amish man might walk around the house shirtless on occasion or women will let their hair down, literally.
Interesting post,Kevin. When I go to the bulk food and feed stores(bi-weekly),I dress as I normally do. I dress modestly anyhow,but I have seen a couple people there that I wondered why they'd dress that way in the first place! I agree with you,dressing for church always seemed a respect issue. Maybe that is an outdated way of thinking..but not for me. At the auction on Sat.,there were all sorts..many tatoos(yuk),I wonder what the Amish thought?
Interesting, Barb...Yea, at a public auction you get all sorts of people....I think many of the Amish just sort of roll their eyes and hope the person spends some $$$$
I agree about wearing shorts etc. to church. We wouldn't wear that if we were going to the White House and church is more important than that! It really bothers me to see the lack of respect shown to God;s house,
Hi Kevin, I sometimes wear slacks when I go to an Amish house. Is that correct for a woman? I either wear a long sleeve or medium sleeve blouse. I know all the Amish ladies wear dresses and wonder if I should wear one when I go to an Amish business or home.
Marilyn, I don't think a dress is necessary....Nice touch and appreciated, but slacks I don't think are frowned upon by 99 percent of the Amish I know! - kevin
If I were invited into an Amish home then I probably would wear a dress. At the mom and pops around here I just dress like I normally would. I think any business person would appreciate modesty.
Kentucky Lady 717
I really don't see anything wrong with a muscle shirt, even shorts and flip flops to wear to an Amish bakery or store....but I do agree with you, that kind of wear is not for church.....where is the respect. for God's house ? For one day a week, people should be able to dress decent to go to church......that is just my belief........
You see women with their breast half showing, short shorts that should be worn at the beach. Church is usually only an hour, I'm sure you could stand clothes on that long....at church no one wants to see half naked people......it's disgusting......just sayin...............just telling it like I see it.....
Good Morning Kevin,
Thank you and Loratta for your help. I have been to a funeral for an Old Order Mennonite and I wore a black dress. Don't want to offend anyone.
It's a tough call regarding modesty....I try not to be judgmental of others, but when things are hanging out, well, I tend to roll my eyes and sigh....I don't wear pants (personal conviction) but I don't mind others that do....My son in law has asked his friends to have their wives/girlfriends cover themselves while in his home b/c of his children....He says they know what "body parts" are, they just don't need to see them right now, except on the cows!
Well said, Lisa...
Funny you should mention church attire. Last week I noticed the number of men wearing cargo shorts, tennis shoes, and printed t shirts attending. I was raised that you wore your "best" clothes to church to show respect to the Lord. People now make comments about how God would rather have them there in that attire than not at all, but I'm not so sure. It just seems like there is no respect any more. And don't get me started on inappropriate clothing on women!
Thank You to everyone for saying the things that I've been thinking! I miss the days when people would dress for church! But to be fair" A lot of young people weren't taught how to dress for church because parents don't have time to take them any more"Or wont take the time? The sad part is " They are growing up Atheist!
Definitely is a different world these days, people aren't as formal as they used to be...I kind of miss the more formal dress of my youth....