What is your understanding of "plain" . . . and the "history" of plain . . . and the "origin" of plain . . . and the "function" of plain.

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Hello Rickey!

For me plain is - what is pleasing to God. It is allowing every aspect of life to be organized around the love of God - a way that shows the Gospel power and promise.

The function I think is - not putting any limit on the way God's power may come to dwell plentifully in us - answering God's call. It is a path of only having the possessions that God's peace and justice show us is our right share; living in order to bear witness to the precious gift of grace that God is bringing to birth in the world. Gospel order in the material things of our lives.

Plain is - simple, hardwearing, beautiful-in-God's-way, justice-making, stands outside the fashions of media culture, honours the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, and as the site of our prayers and our transformation into God's co-workers, it's ecologically-appropriate, and tends towards using God's love, loving relationships of connection between humans, and freely-offered labour, to reduce and replace exploitative monetary relationships and fossil-fueled chains of action.

I'm not so much up with the history and origins ... Let's see if Isabel is around for some of that, she has a lot of knowledge in that area.
It is unclear to me if thee is seeking opinions or facts, but I am going to answer as if thee were seeking facts . . .

This question is far too broad for me to feel any strength in myself to answer it. Let me offer some suggestions for research:

My favorite succinct discussion of Quaker plain dress: http://www.quakerquaker.org/profiles/blogs/my-favorite-piece-on-quaker

Thomas Clarkson's early 1800s discussion of Quaker Plain Dress is very thorough and surprisingly relevant, including history of the practice among Quakers.
Go to: http://www.quakerquaker.org/notes/Quaker_Library
(click on the PDF A_Portraiture_of_Quakerism-Peculiar_Customs-Dress.pdf file)
or see it in HTML at: http://www.worldspirituality.org/plain-dress.html

For more about plain dress that concentrates more on the Anabaptist tradition (who do it differently and for different reasons), see Stephen Scott's Why Do They Dress That Way? (http://www.amazon.com/They-Dress-Peoples-Place-Booklet/dp/093467218...)

I hope this is helpful.

Isabel Penraeth
Hi Isabel

Thanks for the link to other articles on plain.

I'm seeking Quaker opinions and seeking Quaker history and Quaker facts.

I have come across and article written by Margaret Fox, that states dressing plain was out of economic necessity. She states that most early Quaker were so poor they had only one option of dress.

She also stated that she hoped that "dressing plain" did not become a requirement by the next generation of Quakers.

Thanks again.


Sorry I didn't ge back to you . . . every time I chose to reply . . . something came up. Your a great help.

It seems that most quakers are very shy to my questions?


If thee takes proper care of the inside, that will tell thee what's appropriate for the outside, when/if that matters.

This prophet I knew briefly considered an army blanket proper attire for professional appearances. The rest of the time he dressed pretty normally.
Is the prophet still alive?
When last I saw him (decades past) he was playing a fiddle. For whatever light that may shed.

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