What Do Mennonites Wear?

The two basic groups of Mennonites, assimilated and traditional, wear distinctly different clothing. Assimilated Mennonites wear contemporary clothing, and traditional Mennonites wear plain, conventional clothing.

Assimilated Mennonites are those who have assimilated, or incorporated, themselves into the culture and wear typical, modern clothing.

Traditional Mennonite men generally wear dark, loose slacks with white shirts and particular suit coats. Mennonite women generally wear head coverings and dresses with patterns and designs.

Assimilated Mennonites, in addition to wearing current clothing, choose to live contemporary lives. They live in urban locations, pursue higher education, have careers and use current technology.

Some traditional Mennonites still use a horse and buggy for transportation, while others drive motorized vehicles. Traditional Mennonites usually live in rural areas, rarely attend college and have church services in meetinghouses. They do use electricity, but many times they have restrictions for Internet and television use. Traditional Mennonites believe they should live their lives in such a way as to be separate from the world.

The Mennonites, an evangelical Protestant sect, formed in the 16th century in Europe. Core beliefs include opposition of war and bearing arms, restricting marriage to denominational members, baptism exclusively for members, and opposition of infant baptism. Plain dress and simple living are key elements of their practice.