Why do nuns wear a habit?

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Answered 2010-01-22 22:54:02

Nuns and sisters wear a habit as a sign of their consecration to God,to show their unity as a group and to demonstrate that fashion is nor important.

Not all nuns or sisters wear a habit. Canon law, which is the legislative authority within the Catholic Church, only states that they should wear a visible symbol of their consecration. Some nuns wear a lapel pin or a pendant.

The practice of wearing a habit comes from the idea that to avoid scandal or temptation they would wear clothes that avoid any display of human form. A coif (the large white starched linnen item worn by nuns across the chest) was to prevent the showing of the bustine.


In the middle ages, "clothes made the man." That is, one clothing revealed much about that person's station in life, one's profession, etc. This is still true in come countries today, but in the United States most people tend to dress pretty much the same. The difference would be in uniforms designating persons who fill certain tasks and are therefore given certain authority: police, airline pilots, etc.

A religious habit derives from the same motivation: to publicly show membership in a certain group. As noted above, that sign of membership may be as small as a pin or encompass one's whole wardrobe.

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What did nuns wear?

a habit

What is the name of the garment that nuns wear?

a habit

What religious order of sisters wears a white habit?

Domenican sisters wear an all white habit, as do Cisterians nuns, and I believe Carthusian nuns.

Why do nuns wear an all white habit?

.Catholic AnswerVery few nuns wear all white habits, most of the all white habits you are used to are Sisters (nuns are cloistered in a monastery and are never seen outside), although Cistercian nuns wear an all white habit. Even Sisters who do wear all white (Dominicans are one Order that wear a white habit), will still wear a black veil for the fully professed, white veil for the novices. The only all-white habit, including the veil was in the missions, for instance Sisters who normally wear a black habit, but are nurses or work in the mission field would wear an all-white habit, including the veil. The color of the habit, outside of missions and nursing, is strictly traditional depending on what their founder set as their habit, and often what was the least expensive material in the area where they were founded.

How do nuns dress?

Nuns wear habits. Some wear a Habit as required by their religious order, but many now just wear everyday clothing except on special religious occasions.

Which nuns were white?

Roman Catholic AnswersMany nuns wear white: Cisterians and Carthusians among others. Also, most nuns, regardless of the color of their habit will wear a white veil before they are professed. There are also many sisters who wear white, such as Dominicans, but they are not nuns.

What is the word for the black attire that nuns wear?

Different orders wear different colors, Benedictine nuns wear black, Cistercian nuns were white, and there are others. Regardless of the color, the entire "outfit", if you will, is called a habit, you can see more of an explanation at the link below:

Is a habit used to lay out dead bodies?

Actually, a habit is what nuns traditionally wear... I've never heard of it being used in death.

What do nuns look like?

Nuns look just like everyone else. They are human beings. However, if you are referring to what they wear it depends on what community they belong to. Communities of nuns are cloistered and usually wear a habit. Apostolic sisters can wear habits and some wear regular clothing depending on their community customs.

What is the clothing called that nuns wear?

It's called a habit. The piece that covers the neck is called a whipple.

What type of clothing do nuns wear?

A nun's outfit is called a habit. The head piece alone is referred to as a wimple.

Why do women wear a black veil and gown at Vatican City?

Certain religious orders of nuns wear a black habit and veil but the general public does not.

What kind of clothes did nuns wear?

Roman Catholic AnswerThe primary habit of most nuns was based on a robe worn by women in ancient times, along with a distinctive veil, and wimple.

What is a religious habit?

A Religious Habit is a head cloth worn by nuns.

Why nuns wear gray?

All nuns do not wear grey.

What does a Carmelite nuns wear?

Traditionally, and many contemporary convents of Carmelites wear a brown habit with a white wimple and black veil. They wear a cape over the entire thing when they are in choir, although there are some "modern" nuns who have modified their habits, or done away with them altogether. For the most part, the nuns with no habits are dying out, and the only orders that are surviving and growing are wearing habits.

What uniform includes a habit?

A monks and nuns clothing

What order of nuns in the movie doubt?

what kind of question is this??? idk Nuns (actually they are sisters, though "nuns" is commonly used for teaching sisters as well) belong to different religious orders which are distinguished, among other things, by the habit they wear. The habit with the bonnet resembles the historic habit of the Sisters of Charity, the order founded by Elizabeth Ann Seton. However, I can never recall seeing a nun in such a habit and suspect that by 1964 even that order was wearing a more conventional habit. I speculate that it was chosen for its effect of sustaining a slightly sinister air about the principal.

Do nuns wear pajamas?

Yes, nuns as well as most people wear pajamas.

What do nuns wear?

Catholic AnswerNuns wear many different kinds of robes depending on their order. Classically, they wear a robe which may be black, white, brown, grey, or even other colors. Some wear a scapular over this, a long shoulder wide cloth that hangs to the ground in the front and back, sort of an apron. Most classic nuns habits have a white helmet like affair that ties around their head. Some nuns wear a wimple, which is a white bib like affair that goes under their chin, some nuns wear a veil over the headdress which may or may not have an underveil. Other nuns wear a coronet. ("The Flying Nun) kind of headdress). Underneath, nuns used to wear medieval type underwear, heavy woven stockings, many petticoats - and yes, underwear.Many post-Vatican II nuns in nations like the United States modified their habits (the official name for the outfits) until they ended up, with, in many cases, only a modified cross, an uncovered head, and polyester pantsuit. The Vatican has asked that all nuns wear a distinctive habit, and many orders have gone back to their original habit, or a modified version of the same. The picture of the "modern nun" in dress or pants with no head covering is going the way of the dinosaur, and will be gone in under a generation. Most nuns wear a wedding ring. At their solemn profession they often dress in a white dress as they are getting married to Our Blessed Lord.More input from Answers contributors:The religious costume is usually referred to as a Habit, such as Dominican Habit, Franciscan Habit (also used by male Franciscans- it is usually brown). and so on. There are many different varieties of Veils, wimples, quimpes or guimopes ( sort of like a breastplate) and arrangements of crosses, etc.

What is the name of a nuns uniform?

A nun's clothes are called her "habit".

Are nuns able to enjoy outdoor sports and recreation?

Cloistered nuns, no. Sisters who are active in the world, yes. Most of the latter don't wear the habit, but conservative business clothes. So for outdoor sports, the sisters would most likely wear ordinary sportswear of the more conservative variety.

Why do nuns wear black and white?

The short answer is : "Some do, most don't". Brown habits are common, as are blue and grey. White habits are the most common.nuns don't always wear black and white. Each community has their own particular habit or style of dress. The community that I belong to wears blue in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary to whom we are dedicated. There are other communities that wear different colors. The Pink Nuns, Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters wear pink for the Holy Spirit. The Religious of the Assumption wear purple. Some communities do not wear a habit at all. They wear normal modest clothing in keeping with poverty. You could be standing next to them in line somewhere and not know it.

What do nuns wear when they're not wearing a habit?

Each community has different rules and customs regarding habits. I am a sister who wears a habit but when I go to the beach I wear a modest bathing suit to go swimming and when I garden I wear sweatpants and a t-shirt. When I sleep I wear normal pajamas. Some communities don't wear leisure clothing at all and some always dress down.

What kind of nun is Sister Mary Robert in Sister act?

She is just a regular nun. Some nuns wear different clothing then other nuns just to identify the kind of convent she's from. Sister Mary Robert is a novitiate that is why her habit is different.