Religious Dress

Amish Farmers

People from many religions use dress as a sign of their faith. Sometimes a special type of dress is required by religion, while other times it is a matter of custom.

  • Islam requires both men and women to be modest not only in behavior but in dress. Some Muslim women wear modest dress, or hijab, that covers most of the head and body.
  • Sikhs—followers of Sikhism, a religion from India—also keep their heads covered. Sikh men wrap their heads in cotton turbans, while Sikh women may wear turbans or headscarves.
  • Most Hasidic Jewish men wear payos, curled forelocks, and tzitzit, fringed shawls, both of which were worn by some ancient Israelites. Jewish men of all backgrounds may wear yarmulkes (skullcaps).
  • Buddhist nuns and monks wear robes in a variety of colors, from gray to orange, depending on their region and their tradition. In many cases, both nuns and monks in the Buddhist tradition shave their heads.
  • “Plain people” such as the Amish and Mennonites dress in simple clothing that reflects a devotion to traditional ways. Men often wear plain hats and long coats, and women wear simple dresses and aprons.

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