If any one article of women’s Plain dress says, “I am not of this kingdom,” it is the bonnet. It is the public declaration of being different. It covers the hair, a source of vanity. It shadows the face, a clear boundary of privacy. It is the symbol of feminine identity as a Christian: Quaker, Amish, Mennonite, Anabaptist, Brethren, Salvation Army worker, Plain Anglican.
The bonnet is unmistakeably a way to say,”I am a serious Christian.”
It is anti-vanity, anti-lust, anti-world. It says that the wearer intends to guard her femininity.
I described wearing the bonnet as having the monastery on one’s head. It is a place of security and grace when one takes it on with the understanding that under it, one is in the Kingdom of God.