The Truth About Amish Men's Fashion

It only takes one look to notice that plain and simple are the guiding principles of how Amish men chose to dress. Deeply committed to their beliefs, their clothing choices reflect their faith. They shun anything flashy or eye-catching. Instead, Amish men wear a similar uniform of sorts that shows that they are part of a community and separates them from the world at large. Their coats are made of dark fabric in a simple design, that usually lacks a collar or lapel or even pockets, according to Ohio's Amish Country. And keeping with the minimalist approach, their coats are usually closed using hook-and-eye fasteners instead of buttons. 

The Amish don't believe in ornamentation of any kind so everything they wear must be functional. So any type of jewelry is forbidden (even wristwatches). According to the 2008 book "Utopias in American History," men's belts and neckties are banned because they are only for self-decoration. Zippers and Velcro are frowned upon (via USA Today). But there's no need to worry about any wardrobe malfunctions as men use suspenders to keep their trousers up. And like their coats, Amish men wear dark-colored pants without any patterns. 

Different Amish communities have their own fashion rules

It's important to remember that the Amish in the United States are made up of more than 1,900 local congregations, according to PBS. And the rules for all parts of life are established by each congregation, even their fashion. Also, these communities are spread across several parts of the country as well. So there's going to be some style variations based on region. While all Amish men wear straw or wool hats, the shape and style will be slightly different depending on where they're from, according to the Amish Resources at the Library of Congress. The hats worn by Amish men from Ohio usually have a rounder top than those worn by the Amish men from Pennsylvania.

The width of an Amish man's suspenders could also provide a clue as to where he calls home. In general, Amish men from Ohio prefer a narrower suspender than their Pennsylvania counterparts. The use of buttons on shirts also seems to vary from congregation to congregation. Despite a few minor differences, all the Amish congregations see clothing as a way of demonstrating their commitment to their religion. According to Amish America, the Amish believe that several passages from the Bible instruct them to dress modestly and plainly.