Clergy clothing: the simple elegance of the clergyman

Clergy clothing: the simple elegance of the clergyman

Simple and sober: this is what we expect a priest to look like. Practical clothes that let people can immediately identify them for what they are and the role they have. What defines clergy clothing today? What is the most appropriate clothing for a modern priest?

In the past, strict and codified rules used to regulate clergy. Priests and friars could easily be recognized because of the clothes they wore. Not just that, it was also possible to tell immediately what religious order a man of Church belonged to according to the type of clothes he wore, the color of his tunic or his robe, whether he wore a scapular or not, a hood, and so on.

With modern times, these rules have changed. Nowadays priests need to move conveniently in order to fulfill their duties as spiritual guides, but also to be able to offer their help and support to the faithful in more practical and earthly matters.

At the same time though, the priest must keep on expressing his belonging to the Church and God with his clothes and looks, and somehow embody the presence of God among men.

In the article 284 of the Code of Canon Law, it is stated: “Clerics are to wear suitable ecclesiastical garb according to the norms issued by the conference of bishops and according to legitimate local customs.”

Pope John Paul II wrote in his teachings: “The pastoral care of the beloved diocese of Rome raises many problems to my mind, among which the one concerning the discipline of ecclesiastical clothing seems worthy of consideration, due to the pastoral consequences deriving from it. I expressed my thoughts on the matter several times in my meetings with priests, noting the value and meaning of this distinctive sign, not only because it contributes to the decorum of the priest in his external behavior or in the exercise of his ministry, but above all because it highlights the public witness that every priest is obliged to give in the ecclesiastical community about his own identity and special belonging to God.

Wearing clergy clothes is a way to remind themselves and others of their role and their spiritual closeness to Jesus then. The social and psychological impact is strong on those meeting with a man of Church, because it is like he brought a living witness of God around.

Nevertheless, many priests are intolerant to clergy clothing, some even refuse to wear the ecclesiastical collar. That alone would be enough to make the priest easily and quickly recognizable. The ecclesiastical collar was first introduced in the XIX century. It was once made of cotton or white linen, and was buttoned up around the neck, above clothes. Today collars are often made of plastic and can be replaced by a partial collar under the shirt or cassock collar, so that people can see only a small portion.

Among religious clothing, the clergyman is the practical and functional response to the priests’ need to be comfortable.

Clerical Shirts
Discover Clerical Shirts and collars on Holyart

It is a suit for priests made of trousers, shirt and jacket. Jacket and trousers are usually black, grey or dark blue. Under the shirt collar, matching the color of the suit, goes the ecclesiastical collar, or anyway a white collar. Over the shirt, priests can wear a jacket, a waistcoat or a simple sweater for occasions that are more informal. Clergyman’s suits are a practical alternative to cassocks.

Holyart online catalog offers a wide variety of religious clothing. In our store, you can find shirts for priests and modern and functional ecclesiastical clothing such as clergyman shirts, jackets, waistcoats, round-necked shirts, sweaters, vests, fleece and polo shirts with clergy neck. All of the religious garments are made in Italy and guaranteed by the Marcellino brand and other famous brands. They are excellent products, elegant and with highly wearability; they include classic wool models with buttons and pockets, but also modern sweaters with zipper and pockets, warm and practical handcrafted wool vests, suitable to face the winter.

Cardigan jackets
Discover Cardigan jackets on Holyart

Clergyman shirts in the Holyart catalog are available in end-on-end, a perspiring fabric that is light and resistant, created by weaving two fine cotton, poplin or mixed threads. They are available in dark gray, light gray, light blue, white and black. Short or long sleeved, they are all excellent quality, elegant and comfortable to wear, with practical pockets and hidden buttons.

As an alternative to the clergy shirt, the modern priest can wear a practical polo shirt, with clergy neck and ‘civil’ collar. All polo shirts in Holyart catalog are produced by the Marcellino knitwear factory with fine and excellent fabrics in order to guarantee thin and practical shirts that are suitable even under a jacket.  There are short and long sleeved models, all handmade and tailored in Italy.

Over the shirt or polo shirt, the priest can wear a jacket, a waistcoat, a round-necked sweater or a pullover. The sweaters made by Marcellino for Holyart offer solutions for all tastes and occasions, from the classic V-neck pullover to wool cardigans with buttons and pockets.

Besides clothing for priests, Holyart catalog proposes clergyman pins, which can be applied to jackets or shirts, in order to distinguish oneself with sobriety and elegance in any situation.