Saturday, April 9, 2016

Fashions, Cultures, & Religions

Fashions over the years sure have changed. When I was in high school, I remember that I would get made fun of if my mini-skirts weren’t short enough.  Bell bottoms and hip-huggers were the rage.  Fashions and fads were changing faster than I could keep up with.  Those were the days when the kids would pretty much wore the same styles of clothing, and if you didn’t, then you just weren’t cool.

The generations before me also had their own styles for their times.  You can Google them to see just how much they have changed over the years.  One thing I love about today’s times is that people can wear whatever they want and it’s rare you will find anyone wearing the exact same thing. 

Modesty in clothing has changed over the years as well.  We go through times where women have to keep everything covered up, and then there are other times where showing a lot of skin in various places is perfectly acceptable. 

Men have had it a little easier in that wearing suits and ties has been the style for decades, though the material of the suits have changed, as well as the length and width of ties.  Like women’s clothing, men’s casual wear has also changed throughout the years.

Where does clothing and styles come in with regard to religions and cultures?  Again, depending on the religion, culture, and era, they all have their own traditional clothing that they wear, either required or because it’s what they feel comfortable wearing.

To give you an idea of what some people from various religions wear, I did some research on the Internet.  (I’m hoping all the information I present is accurate.  Remember, these are only some examples and that what is worn is based on many factors, even within a particular religion or sect.)  For instance:

Buddhist monks wear robes of various colors based on the region and tradition. 

Traditional nuns wear habits covering the whole body except for the face. 

Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair and wear skirts below their knees. Orthodox men typically wear long black garments, and some grow long beards and wear wide-brim black hats. They may also wear curls on the sides of their heads. 

Sikh’s spiritual clothing includes a turban and modest attire and they wear their hair uncut.
Mormon Missionaries (full-time) wear modest clothing and plain hairstyles.  Women wear either blouses with skirts or dresses that cover the knee.  Men must wear business suits.  Mormons in general also wear modest clothing.

Amish wear plain clothing they made themselves.  Males wear broad-brimmed black hats, dark-colored suits, suspenders, solid-colored shirts, and black socks and shoes. After they marry, the men must grow beards, but they are prohibited from having mustaches.  Females wear bonnets, long dresses, shawls, and black shoes and stockings.  They also never cut their hair, which is worn in a bun, and they are not allowed to wear jewelry of any kind. 

In Christianity, the clothing styles vary depending on the denomination and culture, and can range anywhere from the very modest to wearing anything. 

Muslims generally observe modest dress, but the variety of styles and colors vary depending on the country and culture, and whether they are wearing the clothing in public or private.  As in many other religions, women may wear some form of head covering, as well as some men for different reasons. 

In many religions, women in particular cover their head with either a bonnet, scarf, or other covering.  If you search for pictures of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, you will find that in every picture, she had some form of scarf covering her head; therefore, women have covered their heads throughout history in numerous religions. 

As you can see, this is just a snippet of all the various religions and what they wear or how they look, and they should all be respected and not be judged.  Many from these religions are also following passages from their holy books in regard to what they wear. 

I love the diversity of our religions and whatever the people from a particular religion may wear.  For me, it doesn’t matter one iota what a person wears because of their religion.  It’s what makes us all wonderful and unique.  Anthon St. Maarten said, “We are not supposed to all be the same, feel the same, think the same, and believe the same.  The key to continued expansion of our Universe lies in diversity, not in conformity and coercion.”  And Maya Angelou stated, “We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.”


Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper April 8, 2016.

1 comment:

Linnet 'innit?' said...

Great article! Really enjoyed this thought-provoking tour of the dress codes of the different religions. Thank you!