Dear Sarah

Dear Sarah: On Amish Dresses

Dear Sarah,

I love the photos that you share on your Facebook page of the Amish, especially the clotheslines. My question is why do Amish women wear the same style of dresses?

Betty U.


Hi Betty,

Great question and fairly easy to answer. The Amish follow very specific doctrine, most of it based on the following Bible verse:

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye 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 (KJV)

In other words, they try to live their lives according to the Bible and God’s Word, not according to society and the outside world. Hundreds of years ago, they would not have stood out among their peers for dressing plain and simple. Most people dressed that way, unless they were royalty or extremely high society. As the non-Amish communities began to change (and their style of dress with it), the Amish did not change.

Now, that being said, let’s remember that Amish people are not made from a cookie cutter. Different communities have different levels of acceptance when it comes to fashion. For example, most Amish women make their dresses from polyester fabric. Obviously that is a new trend since polyester wasn’t invented until 1941. Polyester is very practical since it is inexpensive, wears well, and doesn’t require ironing (although I much prefer cotton!). Additionally, the traditional colors worn by Amish women reflected nature (green, blue, pink, burgundy, and yellow). Today you might see other colors such as red, lavender, and deep purple. The fabric patterns are different, too. Some might have tiny pinstripes in them or a texture.

Basically, the style stays the same: a modest neckline, long or mid-length sleeves, and a skirt that hangs below the knee (WELL below the knee). Other than that, the individual patterns differ by community and even family. The length of the skirt might be longer or shorter. The waist might be slightly tapered or loose. And the shoulders might be a bit puffy or very plain.

In conclusion, the main reason that their style of dress has not changed over the past few hundred years is because if they embraced the non-Amish way of dress, they would be conforming to the world. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t changed their sense of fashion over the years, but they try to always keep it plain and simple.

Hugs and blessings,


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3 thoughts on “Dear Sarah: On Amish Dresses

  1. I have read lots of amish books.I have read where they use pins to hold their dresses together. Is that stick pins or safety pin? If stick pins do they ever get poked with them.

  2. Why don’t they use closures on their clothing. Buttons were made before 1041. I would think straight pins to be dangerous. Especially with babies

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