Why These Religious Groups Wear What They Wear


The clothing worn by members of various religious groups means much more than a form of a fashion statement. While some religions like the Roman Catholic allows regular Catholics to wear shirts made from T-shirt printing machines or any other types of clothes, other religious groups require their members to follow certain religious garments. In this article, let’s discuss hambly’s top 10 list about some religious groups and the reasons why they wear what they wear.

Catholic Priests

According to the Ministry and Life of Priests’ Directory, clergy must dress in such a way that distinguishes them from the laypeople. In the past, Catholic priests wore cassocks or long robes. Today, modern clergy can now wear a Roman collar or simply a black suit outside the liturgical functions.

Buddhist Monks and Nuns

The iconic robes Buddhist monks wear, according to history, date back to the early Buddhist time. There are three components to a Buddhist’s robe, and these include an upper robe, an outer robe, and a waistcloth or an inner garment. On the other hand, Buddhist nuns usually wear a bathing cloth and a vest. During the Buddha’s time, there used to be monastic robes patched together along with cloth scraps to symbolize the monks’ simple life. As what a Buddhist clergy explained, their robes create a visible reflection of their uniform intention.

Today, the color of the robes Buddhists wear varies according to the region where they belong. However, in the past, Buddhist monks generally wore garments colored in yellow-orange. This color was the result of dying fabrics with spices like saffron and turmeric.

Orthodox Jews

Orthodox Jewish women generally wear long skirts and cover their hair as a sign of modesty. On the other hand, Orthodox Jewish men wear long black garments to symbolize their inattention to color and other details of fashion. They also typically wear a shawl, kippah, or tallit and tzitzit. The clothing styles Orthodox Jews wear may vary from different sects.

Mormon Missionaries

Mormon missionaries, who also call themselves elders and sisters, are required by their religion to wear modest clothes and simple hairstyles. Mormon women must wear dresses or blouses with skirts that stretch to the knees while men must wear business attire. These clothing guidelines are said to ensure that all missionaries look “attractive” and “professional”. For this reason, wearing sweatshirts, backpacks, body piercings (except for earrings), and tattoos is generally not allowed. However, according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, elders living in hot-climate countries are no longer obliged to wear suit coats.

Sikhs (Traditional)

Bana, the Sikh spiritual clothing, includes a modest attire, a turban, and the5 articles of faith. According to the Sikh Coalition, the turban, also called as the dastar, serves as the sign of piety and dedication. The 5 articles of faith include a loose undergarment (kachhera), a wooden comb (kanga), an iron bangle (kara), a ceremonial sword (kirpan), and an unshorn hair (kes).

Different religions have different clothing attire. But regardless of the type of clothing people wear, it’s important to respect our differences and the religions each of us believes in.