Several years ago I had a conversation with my Amish friend, Sally. Sometimes Sally wore a navy dress and a light blue apron or a light brown dress with a dark brown apron, and I wondered what she thought of other colors. “Would you ever wear pink or yellow?”
I thought I knew what her answer would be, but after all, God had created those colors and they bloomed in Sally’s garden. I was also thinking those colors soft and non-threatening.
“Oh, no!” Sally was quite horrified at the thought. “I’d never want to call attention to myself in that manner.”
I wondered how she would have reacted if I’d asked about wearing red.
Since one of the major ways the Amish yield individualism to the community is through uniformity of dress, her answer was what I expected.
But even the staunches traditions and laws changes. I have now seen local Amish women wearing red dresses, bright red, true red. Oh, not many, granted, but I’ve seen them.
For many years the accepted wear for our Amish women was rich and royal blue, green or purple under a black apron for every day wear. Now every color seems acceptable.
A group of stair-step boys walk home from school, brothers if the soft aqua shirts they’re all wearing are any indication.
An Amish family enters the store ahead of me, the mother and the daughter wearing crimson dresses, the father and sons wearing shirts of the same color.
A family drives down the road in an open buggy, the father and mother in the front wearing rust-colored shirt and dress, the two young boys in the back wearing bright aqua shirts.
An Amish woman in a red dress and black apron calls to her children to come get a soft ice cream from a vendor at an auction.
The clotheslines at local Amish houses have bright pops of color hanging beside the traditional black.
Color. Individuality. How will this relaxed freedom affect uffgevva, the giving up of self to the community? It’s an interesting trend to watch.
Gayle Roper is the award-winning author of more than 40 books. She has been a Christy finalist three times and won the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance.
Gayle is also a trainer of Christian writers and enjoys speaking at women’s events across the nation. She’s been married to her husband, Chuck, for “more years than seems possible.” The two make their home in southeastern Pennsylvania where they enjoy their family of two sons, two lovely daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren.
Gayle enjoys reading, gardening, and eating out every time she can talk Chuck into it.