5 Reasons the Amish Wear Hats

The Amish community is known for its traditional values and beliefs, including their modest nature, which can be reflected in their clothing. More specifically, there are a select few accessories that are acceptable for the Amish to wear, which include hats. But why do the Amish wear hats?

Amish individuals wear hats for a number of reasons, including upholding their values of simplicity, modesty, and tradition. Hats also reflect the marital status of people through colors. They also protect against the elements and are a traditional part of their clothing.

Throughout the course of this article, a number of topics surrounding the ways in which the Amish accessorize will be discussed. More specifically, the symbolism and functionality of hats within the Amish community will be shared.

Amish man wearing a hat in front of a fire
@jamiesue via Twenty20

Hats Preserve Modesty

According to the Amish and their interpretation of the bible, God commands individuals to dress in a modest fashion. For this reason, it is common for women to wear head coverings (to cover their hair) to church, and for men to wear hats when not inside their own home. 

Amish Fashion Is Based on Tradition

As a formality, Amish men are expected to wear plain black hats to church. This is just one example of the many long-standing traditions in Amish society. In fact, the concept of tradition reaches far beyond fashion alone. Less conservative Amish communities may permit straw hats as an accessory to be worn to church. 

Hats Uphold the Biblical Values of Simplicity

The Amish community is founded on tradition. Hats must be removed upon entering the church, which is performed not only out of respect for the institution but also in response to a specific biblical verse that suggests that men should participate in prayer with their heads uncovered while women should participate with their heads covered.

Hats Reflect Marital Status

In the Amish culture, the color of a woman’s bonnet reflects her marital status. For example, it is very common to see a recently married woman wearing a white bonnet. 

There are a few reasons that this distinction is made through the hat.

One reason why it is important to the Amish that married women wear white is so that men understand that this particular woman is no longer available. 

Another reason deals with a deeper, symbolic meaning, as the white bonnet is a symbol of lifelong commitment and relation, a concept that the Amish value deeply.

Hats Give Protection Harsh Direct Sunlight

Straw hats are among the most popular hat styles for Amish men, as it provides a sturdy structure and durable texture that can withstand the heat of the sun. This style of hat offers an impeccable sense of ventilation as well. For those reasons, straw hats are worn by Amish men during activities such as gardening, plowing, and other forms of outdoor labor.


In the Amish community, hats serve several purposes that are both symbolic and functional. There are a number of different reasons why both male and female members of the Amish community wear different types of hats and other head coverings. 

One reason that the Amish wear hats for functionality includes protection from direct sunlight. 

Head coverings can serve several symbolic purposes. For example, female members of the Amish community wear bonnets on a daily basis. In fact, a married woman would wear a white bonnet as a symbol of her commitment to her husband.

Read more about the history of bonnets in this article.