Quakers have historically practiced plaindress, a testimony that we are famous for. While the practice has mostly become extinct, the theology behind the practice is often still held amongst Friends. What is your relationship with clothing? Does your clothing set you apart from the mainstream in some way? Here is Friend Karla Moran’s response. Click here to give your own.
Name: Karla Moran
Meeting: Indianapolis, IN
Branch: Evangelical/Conservative Quaker
Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Revelation 19:8
I delight greatly in the LORD;
my soul rejoices in my God.
For he has clothed me with garments of salvation
and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,
as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Isaiah 61:10
God has given us beautiful clothes to dress in. He does care about the way His wife (church) dresses, and the way he wants us to dress is in good deeds by showing love to one another so that everyone will know who we are (John 13:35). Through out the history of humanity the way we dress has been a way to show who we are. Like the saying “clothes make the men”. For example a poor peasant could never dress as a majestic king. The way we dress people know who we are. Quakers for example adopted the plain dress form of dressing but their reasons for dressing this way went further ahead than just trying to be distinguished among society. Quakers dressed this way for equality reasons. God also wants the world to know who we are, but not the way we usually think about it because God has bigger plans for us.
I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 1 Timothy 2:9-10
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 1 Peter 3:3
The deeds are not necesary for salvation, but instead we do them to show the world that we are already saved. But what are this good deeds, to treat each other with love. Its interesting how the Quaker testimony of Equality translated into dressing plainly.