OK, here is a challenge for you Quaker ladies who dress plain.

We've had lovely fine weather here today and it got me thinking about summer and then about plain dressing in summer.

As someone with a public facing job, I am modern plain. I don't have to wear uniform (which would incidentally make it easier to be a modern plain), for work but all my clothes must be machine washable at 60 degrees if needed (not done always, but it is a case of if I get contaminated with body fluids, then they need to be washed that way). I also need to be able to move freely (defined as being able to walk backwards for 10 metres at the same speed as if I was walking forwards).

What would you list as a core wardrobe for a modern plain, both summer and winter?

I figure I will be refining my wardrobe over several years towards this, but I figure it is an interesting discussion.

In my favour I can sew, and I have tame family members who could sew for me!


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I think its , long dress in plain , possible ,grey or black , with nice white top , common sense on this one , in this day and age , but with quaker thought s ,in mind .

I'm modern plain in a public facing job, too.  I wear low-calf length crinkle cotton pullover dresses with elbow-length sleeves year-round (I am in New York).  I just bought the same dress in a number of colors, and that's almost all I ever wear.   I can run in them, hike, go to the office, go out to dinner, do yardwork, paint the house, whatever.  One wardrobe for just about everything, all year long, and no ironing.   In winter, I just wear a sweater, sweatjacket and/or fleece vest over them and long johns and/or wool stockings under them.  They do the trick, and since they're loose, I can load up the warm undergarments if needed, without ever feeling stuffed into my clothing.


 (It's the Tara dress from Devalifewear.com, if you're interested.  It comes in 2 weights.)


So I guess my core wardrobe is several of these dresses in my favorite colors, long johns, black over-the-knee socks in cotton and in wool, a couple sweaters, a couple sweatjackets, a spring/fall coat and a winter coat, a rain coat, black Keds or similar shoes, boots, some slips.... and that's about it.    I do wear aprons when I'm doing messy jobs, so I'd add a couple of those.  No skirts -- skirts just mean you need shirts, too, so they add more to your wardrobe than you realize at first.

I swear by my jumpers. They are summer and winter.  Mine are made of cotton, but you can go with other fabrics.  I get mine from Katie's Mercantile. They're quite addictive! I wear them at home, I go for walks (about 4 miles) with the dog, I wear them to work, you name it.


I am also having a love affair with aprons and long whole slips LOL!






Hello to a fellow "modern" plain.  I as well am in a public setting...an entertainment business for kids. As such I have to wear either black or tan, so I do so in a plain and simple skirt with hidden pockets.  With that I can pair my uniform shirt and of course my headcovering.  As far as outside the work place; I swear by all in one dresses.  What I mean by this is 3/4 sleeve ankle length and button up with hidden pockets. I found most of mine at a thrift store, but I've also made a few as well.  I hope this helps.

Thanks.  I'm doing some serious planning.  I agree on the all in one dresses being great.
My own thoughts are that 5 sould be about the right number for each season, because you would then have 1 for best, 3 for day to day and 1 for really grubby jobs, where an apron just won't cut it. e.g picking blackberries

No ironing ! Sounds like heaven!  My best friend who I share a house with has a penchant for linen shirts, and because we have split labour along the line of skills and tallents, I usually end up on the ironing roster.


Paula, I also like aprons, I have two chefs aprons hanging on the door in the kitchen. 


I had to look at your pictures to work out "jumpers", because I realised that we were using the word differently - we call woolen jerseys "jumpers".

Karen, with lighter fabrics there is the old trick of sewing small lead weights or pennys into the skirt hem to give it a bit of extra weight,

I think I will remain wearing trousers a fair amount of the time in my work place. I have a lovely grey, wide-leg trouser I bought from Marks & Spencer in the UK, which I should have bought 4 pairs of when I realised they were so great!  I think I will keep a look out for fabric and draft the pattern from them.

I always chuck any cotton fabric (pre-shrunk or not) into a 95 degree wash before I start to sew them - seems to avoid the worst of the clothes shrinking disasters (though I just shrunk some of my favourite socks!)

Humidity is a great problem, but one trick I have learned is that cotton jersey boxer shorts are the answer to avoid sweat trickles under skirts.

I've got out of sewing of late (rather busy with work), and wonder if I would be able to find someone I could trade skills with...

A trick I learned for static stick - put some moisturising cream into your hands and just before it is completely rubbed in to your hands, run them lightly over the peticoat or slip. It knocks the static completely out of anything!
Considering the yardage that goes into one long  jumper (from my estimate) or into one long skirt, I am quite happy to pay Katie's $30 for the jumper and $19 for the skirt -especially knowing it is made "locally" (in the US) by hand by craftspeople.  I have 4 good ones (as in the ones I can wear at home and to work) and just ordered 3 more.  She's also made snoods and caps for me. I have as many of her skirts I think.  I think however you came up with 7 it sounds like a reasonable number for me...for now. I do love jumpers!  I'd like some house dresses from her as well.


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