By Kevin Williams
This an interesting topic and the following reflect my experiences and observations only. Someone else my have different experiences or encounters.
But I ran into this surprising sign and display at an Amish-owned store recently in Ohio. It's not so much the sign that I found surprising, I've seen signs like this in other Amish-owned businesses, signs asking for non-Amish patrons to practice modesty. But this is the first time I've ever seen scarves or textiles offered to help patrons cover up. (So, hence the Amish "cover up!")
Interestingly, the modesty issue seems to be more pervasive among the New Order Amish, although I've also seen it among the Old Order Amish of Lancaster County. Basically Amish that are more evangelical seem to stress modesty more. I've been around mainstream, conservative Old Order Amish who don't ever seem to emphasize modesty. In fact, some Old Order Amish will wear surprisingly revealing swimsuits if going swimming in the summer, for instance.
Also, noteworthy, is that the modesty issue seems primarily directed at women. Many businesses require shirt and shoes or no service, but I wonder if the Amish business has any provision for men, for instance, if someone came in wearing a muscle shirt or perhaps an unbuttoned shirt? You do see that sometimes during the summer. There didn't seem to be any "men's fabric" provided, the fabric would be wrapped around a woman's neckline if the store deemed it too low or, I suppose, wrapped around the waist if too much leg is showing. What are your thoughts?