With people traveling so much these days or just being exposed to news around the world, I thought it might be helpful to create a guide for understanding sacred outfits. Sacred clothing has been part of religious practices and sects since the beginning of time. Unless we know someone or are affiliated with that religion, we may not have learned the proper word for the garments and of what faith they belong to. Here is my clothing 101 guide for understanding sacred clothing.
An Introduction to Sacred Outfits
Sari– A rectangular cloth that women wear in artful ways and folds. Sometimes it is wrapped around the shoulders or legs to cover body parts. Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism
Temple Robes– White robes worn during ceremonial rites of passage by Mormons. They have green aprons across the front. These were fashioned by the robes worn by Hebrew priests in Exodus.
Tallit– A square prayer shawl that covers worshippers clothing during their mooring prayers and on the Shabbat. The edges have knotted fringes hanging from them.
Turban– Head covering worn by adult Sikh males, referred to as a daystar. Muslim males are not required to wear turbans, though many may, but they do wear them on pilgrimage to Mecca.
Ephod– A garment worn by high priests similar to an open-sided tunic. Ephods are made of fine linen and rich dyed threads with straps across the shoulder and a sash.
Hijab– Islam requires moderate dress for both sexes. This code of dress is called hijab and refers to the headscarf worn by moderate Muslim women.
Amish Clothing– Amish people show their commitment to faith with simple clothing without zippers or belts. They believe in nonconformance to outside fashions.
Monk’s Habit– A monk’s robe (referred to as a habit) may vary by religious order and sect. The robes lean toward drab or boring colors- black, brown and gray- and are simple in appearance.
Kasa– This is a traditional flat hat, large and rounded, worn by Buddhist monks. The hat covers most of the face ion rider to guard against distraction.
Mitre– This is a Greek term for “headband” or “turban”. It is a headdress worn by Catholic bishops and other Orthodox dioceses during high ceremonies.
Nun’s Habit– Though the elements can vary, it is typically a full-length dress with a square, white, starched coif covering ones hair. This well-known garment makes nuns one of the most easily identified religious preferences in the world.
Robe– Flowing robe, mostly in white but can vary in color, worn to serve as a message to observers that a magical ritual is about to take place.
Canterbury Cap– A square cloth hat with 4 distinct corners worn by Angelican clery members. The cap is soft and foldable.
Kasaya– Robe created originally from recycled fabric consisting of three rectangular cloths. Kasaya were named for the reddish-brown dye used to color them. Buddhist monks wear them.
Asian and Indian Buddhism
Taqiyah– A short, rounded hat worn by Muslims, similar to the one the Prophet wore, which is said to bring them closer to holiness. It is often worn underneath a turban.
Mantilla– A Spanish Catholic ladies headscarf worn in church to cover their heads. It is also worn when seeing the Pope.
Temple Garment– Special underwear worn by adult Mormons to enter a temple. It is typically worn daily as a personal symbol of their faith.
Cassock– The traditional liturgical robe worn at Orthodox and Catholic churches. It is usually a simple ankle-length robe.
Were you familiar with all these sacred outfits? I learned a few new ones myself. You never know when the correct terminology will come in handy. For my posts that include places you may see these outfits, check out: