Black Caps and Bonnets

My black caps arrived yesterday. They are beautifully made, but a bit smaller than my new white cap. I wanted them for home, rather than outings, so that is fine. They sit farther up my head, which means I need to put in a bun higher on the crown. I think they look rather Old World, like a Swiss costume cap. They are pleated down the back, and stiff, so they will shift less on my little head.

The bonnets, one for me and one for Child Patience, are again beautifully made. Hers is bright cobalt blue, and she loves it. She wore it from the time it arrived until supper, and wanted it again, although it was time for bed. Mine is black, Piker style, but sits tight over my ears and doesn’t come as far forward on my face as I like for a bonnet. Nonetheless, it is flattering in its way, fits well, and now I have an official outing bonnet for a trip I will be taking next week. It came without ties, so I will get ribbons on it today. It is close enough that it doesn’t block my peripheral vision, so I can drive in it, once the truck is back on the road. (With God’s blessings, next week!)

I now have to get Nicholas a new hat. His looks like it has seen combat with wild bears, but he wears it every day. I may buy an Amish straw hat for now, and get the black felt hat, expensive as it is, from Quebec. I should have a bit more cash in March, and will focus on his clothing needs then.

I was meditating this morning on what a blessing it is to be Plain, or at least practicing humility in dress. I don’t have anxieties about fashion, about trends, about colours and prints. I find what works for me and I stick with that. Even though I have capes and aprons and caps to pin on, and long hair to brush and put up, my total dressing time is less than fifteen minutes. How many fashionable women can say the same thing? I spend no time at all in salons or spas, and very little in clothing stores. I buy when something is completely worn out and can’t be mended any more.

Not that I’m proud of my humility – but I want to acknowledge that God has blessed me in this way, and blessed me with a husband who supports and understands my vocation to be Plain. The best blessing is that I am a visible witness to Christ, no matter where I go and who sees me. The world can see that there are some who are called to take their Christianity seriously, and who wear it consciously.

2 thoughts on “Black Caps and Bonnets

  1. Those sound lovely. Who did you get them from? I’m glad you got a bonnet for the girl too. Teaching about modesty early is best for keeping them away from the snare of worldly fashion.

    My daughter has a pink prairie bonnet which she loves. She wore it a lot on our South America trip. Even though we speak very little Spanish, it was obvious from some comments others thought she looked like Laura Ingals form the Little House series. I’m glad because there’s so many ungodly role models for children today. They seemed pleased when they saw my daughter in her bonnet, braids and modest dress. I never got the impression they were teasing or looking down on us for dressing modestly rather than worldly. Instead, it was quite the opposite.

    • I got the bonnets from eBay, a vendor in Pennsylvania who occasionally has a few Amish items. I think my bonnet was maybe too small for its original owner, who cut off the ribbons before selling it! The child’s bonnet looks new. I also think that the black caps I bought may have been too small for their intended wearer, as they look new. I think I can shrewdly buy up odd caps and bonnets cheaply on eBay when they’ve been cut too small, since they will probably fit me!

      When I was a missionary in Honduras, teaching the girls at the children’s home to be modest was a bit of a struggle. Some of them had come from homes where mothers had turned to prostitution to support the family. Although I wasn’t Plain then, I did take the advice of other missionaries and wore loose blouses and skirts or long dresses. It kept me from being the target of suggestive “chisme” (gossip, street-talk) when I was out shopping or sightseeing. American and European women sometimes go around in foreign countries like they are on the beach at home! Then they wonder why the women are unfriendly and the men too friendly!

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