Friends:

I thank you for your thoughtful answers to my previous question regarding the use of color in Plain dress. As you may have noticed, I mentioned going thru a discernment process to determine if it is the right time for me to start a clothing manufacture business to create Quaker Plain clothing, among other things. It would be very helpful to have further information and I have created a survey to collect data on Quaker Plain dress. Would you mind taking a moment to visit the survey and letting me know what you think? You are certainly welcome to leave further thoughts here on the forum, or contact me directly. 

 

I thank thee very, very much.

~paula

 

Quaker Plain Dress Survey

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Replies to This Discussion

Done, and thank thee for creating the survey.  It would be tremendously helpful to have a Plain Clothing merchant who is familiar with the differences between Quaker Plain and other modest clothing from various denominations.  Not only color and style, but purpose as well.  I dress plain for worship for various reasons, but a major reason is to detatch from the dictation of style from society.  I used to dress what I considered "modern plain" by wearing comfortable clothing such as jeans and a sweater.  But the reason Plain Quakers dressed as they did was to "be in the world but not of it", and this philosophy has extended into all aspects of Quakerism.

 

Because of my job I cannot dress Quaker Plain for most of the time, so this devotion is very important to me.  Thanks again, and best of luck.  -  Caroline

I am honored and amazed at the quality of the answers! Keep spreading the word, Friends, and I'll share some of the data when collected. Thank you, thank you. :)

Done! Thanks for doing this. Is your focus to be historical Quaker Plain, or do intend to include more modern interpretations as well? I ask for strictly selfish reasons <smirk>. I would love some simple skirts in quaker gray.

 

Hi, Paula,

I took your survey yesterday and planned to respond here today, but now I can't see the survey anymore. But that's OK; I'll wing it.

I felt that it would be helpful to have a spot for further comments, perhaps at the end of your survey. One of your questions was designed for women, but because of the wording of the possible answer, I did not feel I could choose any answer. I could have explained if given the choice of "other," or if given a place for further comments.

And what I might have said is this: Much of what we try out may come out of our human understanding of plain dressing. But the call is from God. To paraphrase Kevin Roberts, if God were to order me to wear a tin pot on my head, my response would have to be, "What color?"

In my case, openings I've received allow for leeway within current fashion streams (meaning, simple, classic cuts--I have clothes more than 20 years old that still look good). This allows me to shop in local stores. However, my leadings follow those of John Woolman: do the least harm to others. This includes choosing natural fabrics, supporting fair trade and union labor, and avoiding all practices that are harmful to people and the earth. If you were to find such wares, I would be happy to support your business and all that you do.

...Don't forget the yellow dresses! ;D

Yours, Paula Deming

Thank you Beth! I'm honestly still figuring out my focus and products. I myself prefer a modern interpretation with some historic twists, which is why I decided to do a survey. I was curious to know what others think. And yes, I'm thinking about things like simple skirts in quaker grey. ;)

Beth Belch said:

Done! Thanks for doing this. Is your focus to be historical Quaker Plain, or do intend to include more modern interpretations as well? I ask for strictly selfish reasons <smirk>. I would love some simple skirts in quaker gray.

 

Paula,

 

I'll add a yellow dress just for you. :)

Thanks for filling out the survey and your extra comment. The free account did not allow me to do all I wanted with the survey, so I had to adjust and do my best. I can't make any changes now either, as I've already collected answers. It may also have been a bit sneaky on my part because I was really after something in particular with that question. 

Yes - the testimony of John Woolman is very important to me and my products will be sourced ethically. This gets to be a problem, however, because these sorts of products cost more to produce and most survey answers reflect a price sensitivity. I'm not sure how to address this yet. Way will open.

paula

 


Paula Deming said:

Hi, Paula,

I took your survey yesterday and planned to respond here today, but now I can't see the survey anymore. But that's OK; I'll wing it.

I felt that it would be helpful to have a spot for further comments, perhaps at the end of your survey. One of your questions was designed for women, but because of the wording of the possible answer, I did not feel I could choose any answer. I could have explained if given the choice of "other," or if given a place for further comments.

And what I might have said is this: Much of what we try out may come out of our human understanding of plain dressing. But the call is from God. To paraphrase Kevin Roberts, if God were to order me to wear a tin pot on my head, my response would have to be, "What color?"

In my case, openings I've received allow for leeway within current fashion streams (meaning, simple, classic cuts--I have clothes more than 20 years old that still look good). This allows me to shop in local stores. However, my leadings follow those of John Woolman: do the least harm to others. This includes choosing natural fabrics, supporting fair trade and union labor, and avoiding all practices that are harmful to people and the earth. If you were to find such wares, I would be happy to support your business and all that you do.

...Don't forget the yellow dresses! ;D

Yours, Paula Deming

Friends:

The s Plain Dress  survey is now closed. I'll be posting results soon.

I thank thee!

pmc

My sense of adventure says ''Go for it.'' My sense of business says "Caution!"  The quiet voice says "Does the garmet industry lead to the promotion of pridefulness?"

My sense of adventure tends to leap into the pool of water fed by a rushing river and a waterfall without determining if there is depth, sand instead of sharp rocks on the bottom, or if the water is polluted with some toxic minerals.  Sounds like some kind of suicide venture that at its outset might provide a degree of that elusive intense feeling of fun.  I know there is a wider market for plain clothes than the 360,000 Friends world wide of whom only a few consistantly wear plain clothes.  I, and other Ffriends in plain clothes, often darkened the doors of the Gohn Brothers retail store in Middlebury, Indiana, who could accomodate orders not advertised for us super plus Friends.  Having lived and ministered to FUM Friends, grey double breasted suits seemed to be the unwritten pastorial uniform.  I could only afford one jacket and two pairs of trousers.

My note of caution tells me to do my intelligence assessment before putting good mony into production of any retail product.  Who is the competition?  How will I determine providers of raw materials are not using child labor, banned materials, sweat shops, unpaid prison labor, arms, ammo, illicit drugs, etc?  Do my providers and vendors reflect my values?  If I fail, can I fail gracefully?  What would that look like?  If I succeed,  what would that look like still promoting my spiritual values?  How will I avoid becoming prideful?

Pride is the root of so many of the peccadillos that plague mankind, such as vanity, selfishness and narcissism.  The clothing industry on the whole would collapes if it could not capitolize pride.  I caution tlat among plain folk there is pride afoot with the "I am plainer than you are" attitude.   also, the " look at us we're so plain" challenge seems to be born of pride.  

I think plain Ffriends need a resource for plain clothes especially for those who do not sew their own clothes and those of us who connot operate snaps, hooks or buttons.  Velcro is noisey but so easy on the osteoarthritis.  Womens clothing is hard to find among plain providers, even at Gohn Brothers who handles a few ladies accessories.  

Food for thought.  Blessings on you and yours.

Ah, pride - it does follow the Plain everywhere!

I thank thee for such good thoughts. I am moving into this slowly and cautiously awaiting God's blessings. I am blessed to have among my mentors several successful Amish business men and women - some in apparel bushiness - that have been invaluable in helping me sort this out. I could not even attempt to go in this clearly without the help of my dear Sister Ibbie (our beloved Quaker Jane!) who patiently reads my blabbering letters about plain clothing. At the moment, space is an issue and I literally do not have space to work. Way will open, or it will not.

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