Covering for Beginners – What

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Now that you have decided when to start covering, what do you wear?

If you have clicked through my blog at all, you will see that I have worn just about every type of covering available on the market over the past year. Some are of my own manufacture, some have been gifts to me from other sisters, and most of them I ordered from various vendors. Even after all this time and experimentation, I have not settled into one particular style. One facet of any covering I wear, however, that I have settled on is to have at least 80% of my hair/head covered.

This brings us to the balancing act between the symbolism of a Christian covering and the modesty aspect. If you are comfortable with having a small triangle of lace pinned to your hair everyday to satisfy the symbolism, then that is covered enough. If you are like me, I find that my hair is one of my best features. Men really are attracted to long, healthy hair! Since my hair is a special thing for my husband to see, I cover it up. That simple.

A second consideration is whether or not you desire some denominational identification “tag”. The most common covering associated with a church is the Amish cap. They are practical, especially if you tie them under your chin, no clippies required. But, you have to be prepared for all the questions. If you are not aligned with the Anabaptist/Quaker theological tradition, I suggest staying away from caps.

The next, deeper connotations involved in choosing a covering style is the “hanging veil” versus a cap-like or snood-like covering. The Greek words detailing the NT covering used in 1 Cor. 11 describe something that hangs down or that can be wrapped around. Does this delineate the type of covering, or are the words only what Paul had to use to describe the covering? Lots to think about.

So, onto the fashion gallery of coverings:

  • A veiling, as pictured above. These require one’s hair to be pinned up and also require at least two clippies to hold it onto your hair. PrayerCoverings.com offer several versions, including one or two styles that tie under your chin.
  • The cap. I like caps, because my theology does line up with the traditional cap-wearing churches. And they do stay put without extra metal secured to my head. This is important for those living on the windy prairie!
  • Scarves. This is where your artistic/fashionable sense can shine. I love scarves for the same reason I love caps. Once you can handle tying them in the way you like, they do stay put. Tznius.com and Modest World sell the best, most beautiful scarves. I’ve also sewn some summer scarves of my own out of cotton voile.
  • Hijabs. I’ve been known to wrap my scarves into a traditional Muslim style. The look might make you feel uncomfortable in the “religious cross-dressing” category. ;) I find it rather…well, comforting and feminine.
  • Snoods offer a variation on the scarf theme. I have not worn snoods, but many ladies are dedicated snood-wearers. Modest World has a nice selection of snoods, as well as She Maketh Herself Coverings.
  • You can also find an assortment of covering styles designed for medical hair loss.

There are so many choices out there, that I am sure you will find the right balance between modesty and symbolism. Try out several different coverings at first to see what works for your family and situation. Give away the coverings you don’t use to another sister.

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31 Responses to “Covering for Beginners – What”


  1. 1 LisaM March 24, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Once again you’ve written a lovely and concise answer to what could be a very broad and/or deep subject. I will share… :)

  2. 2 laurasthoughts March 24, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I would say that my theology lines up with Anabaptist principles but I attend a pentecostal/charismatic church. There is only one other lady in the church who I know attempts to cover. It is so hard to attend church and be the “odd ball” in the congregation as many of the women dress rather boyish or immodestly. Also the music in the church is rather modern-contemporary where I appeal to old-fashioned hymns. I have attended an Anabaptist church before. It is so simple and ordinary, and I appeal to that type of life-style. It is hard to overcome the “looks” of people who think its strange that I take the bible so literally….especially when it comes to head coverings.

  3. 3 karen March 24, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    I am wearing a snood right now :D I forgot I had it – I got it from the dollar store a couple years ago! I wonder what happened to the others i bought that day. Stays in place really well, and you don’t even notice the hair pins and jaw clips.
    My personal preference is for pretty and cheap – so scarves/bandannas work well.
    Easter I wore a salwar kameez (indian outfit) that came with a huge scarf (dupatta). I spent probably a couple hours throughout the week trying to find a nice non-conspicuous, and non-hijabi style (although, I respect hijabis for following their beliefs, I don’t want to be mistaken for one. I ended up just tying it at the nape and letting it all hang down. Then I realized when I got there – I could have used one of the easier but more conspicuous styles.
    Oh and someone at my church was covering last night! I didn’t get a chance to talk to her, but it was a real encouragement. :)
    Laura – perhaps you could consider visiting other churches that are more inline with your beliefs, maybe go with a friend one Sunday. I love my church – but it is traditional Baptist and I am a traditional Baptist so it works out. I have tho visited other churches to make sure I wasn’t going to my church because it was the 1st one I went to that I locked.

  4. 5 Maria April 12, 2008 at 12:05 am

    May I ask…..Black Lace Coverings: ONLY appropriate for funerals? Or can they be used for everyday wear?

    • 6 Meri Tiekamp November 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      I attend a Mennonite church. We have lots of visitors, mostly all cover. Since I am not a member, I use a veil. But the other ladies that use veils or snoods wear black a lot of the time. I wear white to church because my hair is white but I am thinking about wearing black during the week because white is hard to keep white. I hope this helps. It seems a lot of the covering sisters attend churches that do not cover regularly or only a few if any do. I have only covered for a few months but I like it. My nephew makes fun of me for wearing a towel or rag on my head but since he isn’t a believer, I do what I think is right and I do it with conviction so the rest all accept the changes.

  5. 7 cbrunette April 12, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Maria,

    Interesting question….hmmm….

    I’ve seen ladies wear black coverings daily, but I guess it depends on your religious background. In Catholic circles, I could see where a black mantilla is a mourning symbol.

    If a black lace covering honors Jesus on a daily basis, go for it!

    ~Anna

  6. 8 mary April 14, 2008 at 6:28 pm

    Traditionally unmarried Catholic women wear white mantillas (not sure about other colors) and married /widowed (not sure about divorced)women wear black.

    Hopes this helps.

  7. 9 Pamela July 7, 2008 at 6:57 am

    hello sisters,
    I am a just-turned-20 yr christian australian woman..
    i have many muslim friends,and studied Islam for a long time. I have also lived in the middle east. I always felt drawn to hijab, and yet am not Muslim. It was only recently that i discovered information about christian women who cover (outside of amish/orthodox groups.) I am considerign covering full time (i already cover durign prayer.) However i dont know how to go about it. I have attended mostly Church of Christ, Baptist and Anglican Church, and they all fit with me, and im not into ‘religiousity’ (for want of a better word!) What I am finding hard atm is the that I dont “fit” the idea of covering. I greatly admire Christian sisters who are subdued and modest, wear long skirts and dresses – but this isnt me. I am a passionate person, study political science, do volunteer work with refugees and human rights. As an activist shy and retiring isnt in my nature! I love music, dancing, being with lots of people. I can dress modestly like a long top/dress over jeans, covering up my booty, not wearing things too tight or low cut, or above the knee – and have already made that transition but even so i wonder if this “fits” with the image of Christian head covering – if it isnt enough? Wearing a cover and a mini-skirt would be ridiculous we agree.. so how far does it go? How should one dress to ‘match’ covering?
    Also I still wear make-up too (not extreme colours or loads, but more than a slick of lip gloss n some foundation.) Because I don’t know any women who cover I have no examples – and all the women i see online are older, married and more coventional – orthodox, catholic etc .. any ideas ladies? Or am I kidding myself that i can be both covered without adhering to a particular dress code/life style?
    Peace and Blessings :)

    • 10 Meri Tiekamp November 23, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      Pamela, I am fairly new to covering as well as changing my dress. My husband and I went to a Mennonite church and fell in love with it. I made a dear friend that answered a lot of questions and I also read a book called Glories Seen and Unseen which is a Biblical study of the head covering. If you are new to this, a good study might be a good idea especially if you are wanting to follow the teachings in 1st Corinthians 11. I have read a lot too and most of the sisters that cover went through some period of experiment to find the right covering if you are not a member of a church like the Mennonites and Amish that wear caps. I am currently wearing a white slip on veil. It’s comfortable and easy to put on. I need two clippies on each side to have it stay put and I go to the Plain and Simple Prayer Coverings sight to look at what might be ok. The pros of the white veil is it looks nice with my white hair. I am 48. The con is it is hard to keep clean. It won’t dry overnight so I have to dry it in the dryer. I am seriously considering trying a black snood next. It will be easier to keep cleaner looking and I can braid my hair vs pinning it up. It’s a little easier because it is sometimes hard for me to get my hair up. I also dress in the cape dresses my dear friend makes for me. I hope this helps you some as you discover what is right for you. The church I attend is ultra conservative and I have found peace there as I let go of an old and unsatisfying life for one in the Lord. Blessings to you in your journey.

  8. 11 Magdalena Julie Bragdon Perks September 27, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Pamela,
    Blessings to you, sister! I just came across your comment. I am a Plain dressing Anglican priest. Talk about standing out! Like you, I have a strong sense of social justice. I dress like a Conservative Quaker, which was once part of the Anglican church. There’s plenty in our background to guide you. You might start with a plain scarf and a long blouse over your jeans – modest, plain, and covered. Or wear modest ethnic clothes with a scarf, snood or close cap. Don’t let go of your conviction that you should cover, or you will only make yourself unhappy.

  9. 12 Sarah Elliott October 15, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Hello Pamela,

    As a fellow Australian Anglican who covers, I encourage yu to cover in accord with your conviction of conscience. I am the only headcoverer in my congregation that I know of and may i say, my fellow sisters have been most generous and loving concerning the whole thing. I’ve been covering ever since first attending the particular congregation 3.5 years ago so this may have made things easier as this is the way they have always known me. it can be more dificult when taking up the cover in a congregation where they’ve always known you bearheaded and covering is not publically espoused. if you would like an ‘entry level’ style of cover that may be ‘easier’ for your fellows to accept, try http://www.headcoverings.com or http://www.garlandsofgrace.com Both of these sell delightful options for those transitioning to covering. Wide cloth headbands and buncovers may also be an option you might like to consider.

    I will pray that all goes well with your choice to cover.

    As for skirts vs jeans and the like, I’ve gradually edged away from jeans/pants and now only wear them around the house as nightwear. however, this is also a matter of conscience that varies from sister to sister; Give it to God and do not be afraid. if you like the look, you might consider salwar-kamees style outfits and equivalents that are bright, feminine and very practical. if you are a dab hand with the sewing machine or even just starting out, the sky’s the limit; you might like to throw together nice loose pants with long tunics or flowing blouses in any number of colour/print combinations, trims, fastenings, collar styles etc to come up with a modest look that you are comfortable with that is truly your own.

    I go with styles from ‘the King’s Daughters’ but appreciate this isn’t for everyone.

    May all here be blessed abundantly as we allow God to actively move upon and within our lives as Christian women!!

    Sarah,
    Australia. so

  10. 13 Spring November 7, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    How nice to find this page! I am a UU ministerial student exploring religious hair covering and have been covering for about a month now. At the moment I’m wearing a do-rag my kid brought back from a motorcycle rally! It stays on snugly despite my uncooperative head shape and slick hair.

    My biggest challenge is finding ways to cover which look corporate and professional, as my day job involves IT management. Wearing a cotton do-rag under a nice scarf works much of the time.

    I have some hijabs and under-hijabs to pass on to any sister who might be able to make better use of them. I posted to Craigslist, but no answer. Full details here:
    http://miami.craigslist.org/pbc/clo/895895963.html
    If anyone is interested, drop me a line at that craigslist email, and I’ll send them to you.

    Spring Dew

  11. 14 Pamela November 17, 2008 at 5:29 am

    Thanks Magdalena and Sarah! Great to know there are some of us covering in Australia! well i started covering in July so it has been 4 months now! Covering was something that was awkaward at first.. it felt awkward not to do it, and awkward to do it! But after a while it became easier, and even a blessing! im still exploring my own sense of dress, but im more comfortable in finding that place between modesty and my individuality! Thanks for all the tips and encoragement!
    Peace

  12. 15 Teresa November 19, 2008 at 10:27 pm

    I have just recently decided to cover my hair. I have thought about it for a long time but wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do, I didn’t want to step on any religious toes or be disrespectful. I am Catholic and I have only ever really seen Jewish woman with head coverings and I’m so glad to know that other catholic/christian woman are covering as well. I am also transitioning away from pants to strictly long skirts and dresses. I find that alot of young married woman today dress way too revealing, I want to keep modest and traditional and I’m hoping others will follow. I believe it can only make the world a better place.Thank you for this article, it has made me feel so much better. Peace be with you and God Bless.

  13. 16 Melissa Beshore December 23, 2008 at 11:06 am

    Hi Anna,
    I’ve come across your site many times while doing a headcovering search and have watched all your videos on Youtube. Thanks for all your openness and honesty. I started covering back in July of this year. I currently wear veils, wide headbands (because my husband likes them), convertible coverings, one snood, and two tichel style scarves. I prefer the longer veils myself. Thanks for sharing!

    Melissa : )

    http://titus2wifeandmommy.blogspot.com
    (Christian women blog on headcoverings, parenting, marriage, and more.)

    http://happyhomestead.etsy.com (My and my mom’s Happy Homestead store where we sell plain or fancy headcoverings, headbands, and more.)

  14. 17 Kat March 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    When I cover, I do so in many different styles. I used to wear a snood sometimes when my hair was shorter, but now it’s way too long for that and gets way too tangled in there.

    I like scarves; I have several from Tznius.com….I usually wear them “kerchief” style, tied at the back of my neck, and sometimes I’ll wrap the triangle part around my braid and clip underneath (it ends up looking similar to the pictures in the “Scarf of Hidden Power” article). I’ve worn smaller kerchiefs as well. And the long “bunchy headband” types spread out (Garlands of Grace has similar styles). And I also have a long sash/scarf-like covering–I spread out the width across my head and tie behind my head, with the long tails hanging down (it looks especially nifty because with my hair at its current length, the tassled ends fall at about the same length as the end of my braid).

  15. 18 mafalda May 21, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Hi dear sisters!!
    I am glad to find this awesome blog! I am portuguese and God as working in my heart about this big blessing that is modesty!!
    Well i ve met many muslim girls, and also i was catholic in the past, now i am protestant. So, head covering always atracted me too much.. in my home i already covered myself with with scrafs, like hijab style.. and i love it, i feel soo nice!! :D I love to be a christian, and i would love to be a christian that covers, like the saint women of the Bible! But if i did that people would think i am crazy or muslim. I wouldnt care if people thought i was muslim, because then i would should them that christian covered themselves first, the first christians used to cover and Islam appeard years later.. so in the end, who is copying who? So that religious conotations dont affect me.. anyway people would think i am mad or something.. but modesty is something we should all try to see how good it is in our lifes :D
    My life has been changed, i dont wear make-up anymore, i just wear the skirts (i prefer the long ones), i dont wear hearings,etc.. all this has been a blessing for me, now i feel free and pretty for what i am, a daughter of God :D

    So sisters what advices you would give me about covering?
    God bless all of you.. with love sister Mafalda :)

  16. 19 Heather August 29, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Hello sisters!

    I had never known the bible so clearly delinteates how women should appear until 2 weeks ago. I was searching for scripture for my kids to memorize (I home-school) and it was like the words from this chapter leapt off the page! I haven’t been the same since.

    I just started using head coverings a few days ago and will visit a Mennonite church tomorrow. It is so comforting to know there are others that share my conviction to cover my head. What is most exasperating isn’t the looks I know I will get. It is my short hair! There is almost nothing to cover! I suppose the apostle, Paul, would say I had an even more compelling reason to cover because I have no natural covering:)

    Still, I wish we lived in a world where it was not such a bold statement to cover one’s head and modesty was more routinely practiced.

    Nevertheless, it is a small and easy thing I can do for Him.

    Blessings to you all.

    Heather

  17. 20 Sarah August 30, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Heather,

    If you’re wondering what to wear with short hair, try the ‘Catherine’ at http://www.garlandsofgrace.com either the lace or the ‘Catherine’s casual band’. Also take a look at their ‘one of a kind’ coverings.

    Ladies new to covering and modesty, We’re out there, all over the world, from across the denominational spectrum. In the face to face world it would be a blessing above blessings to come into contact with one another, but for now, we have the internet. its a dream of mine that we could all attend a ‘covering convention’ where, creed, nationality and denomination aside, we could be united as one in Christ through covering and modest dress in its infinite variety.

    Blessings to all!

    Sarah,
    Australia – who prayes for the covering modesty revolution to take hold of this land with fervant strength! I pray covering and modesty sweeps like a bushfire across Australia, God touching the lives of all manner of Christian women from all denominational backgrounds, From Theraise Rayne outwards, young and old, indigenous, Anglo, Asian, African, Middle Eastern, european, islander…at home, work or study, that the Holy Spirit would work this mighty work for God’s glory – a true woman’s revolution!!!!! (Now I’m ranbling!)

  18. 21 Io Birch October 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Some day we shall all be one in the Heavenlies, with he that is called the-Eternal Phosphorescence….Sisters, keep your eyes out for us!

  19. 22 Vicky July 30, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Hi :)
    I’m from England. I have been exploring the Jewish roots of our faith for the past year, and only realised the wonder and reality of headcovering for us Christian women in the last 24 hours.
    I have the blessing (and funny circumstance) to be living in an area with many Muslim and Indian people, so head covering is very very common….just not if you are ‘white’! So the funny part is this – I can wear any kind of head covering to the dr or shops and no-one will bat an eyelid. But if…no, when I wear one to church…..now, that will cause a stir!!!

    It’s so wonderful to know I’m not alone. I took a great leap of faith 7 years ago and started to wear a head covering to the church I was attending then – even when my mom was in town. And my pastor strongly disapproved, and told me so in such a way that I felt he was voicing the opinion of God. I was heartbroken. I felt God was making fun of me and humiliating me. I cried for days :(
    Isn’t it crazy in this upsidedown world that when we try to show our devotion, respect and submission by simply covering part of our God given beauty, the ones to question us and disapprove are the church and our nearest and dearest?

    Thank you all so much for sharing – you give me hope :)

  20. 23 Wendy October 23, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Some of the websites you mentioned in this blog are no longer shipping, or are out of stock of the items you mentioned. I wanted to pass along another source for low cost snoods, veils and scarves: The Pillaged Village. They are a medieval costume shop, so their emphasis is in costuming; although their owner is definitely a Christian albeit with a wacky sense of humor. They also have low priced hair clips and veil pins for holding the veils in place.

  21. 24 Princess Godly May 30, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Praise God, it is truly a blessing to read about all the faithful women who obey the Holy Spirit that teaches the wisdom of Holiness and honor of Gods will, way and creation as women, I would love to meet you all, maybe have a conference or something to encourage each other in the faith even the more and invite other women to inspire the idea of modesty and respect of the Word of God, but anyway, I have 6 children, i am 30 yrs old, 4 of them are girls the oldest being 12, 10, 8, and 2, i have a lot of training to do and I really would love support for them, i give it of course, but it is different if there were some girls their ages or a church assembly (family) that embraced the sane practices, and beliefs. We live in Fayetteville Ga. close to the Atlanta area and if there is any family, sister etc. that could help in this area of concern please let me know, we are homeschooling as well and in need of fellowship.

  22. 25 Karen October 30, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Hello,

    Not sure where this question fits in, but I was looking around for my sister who wants to know the ins and outs of wearing a head covering since she is a divorced woman with 2 children. She never wore one before and wanted to know. I wasn’t sure how to respond since she is not under a husband or father’s authority to help her make that decision. Are they held to their own decisions (widowed and divorced) like a vow in the book of Numbers? Any help would be greatly appreciated. God Bless!

  23. 26 Cynthia Webb August 13, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Hi, I’m a 17 year old Anglican woman who has just decided to cover. No one in my family does, but they I don’t mind that I do. I’ve been covering my hair in church lately, but I feel called to cover it almost all the time.
    Some concerns:
    I still want to/feel fine with wearing pants. Can this go hand in hand?
    I have extremely short hair. Probably about two inches long all around. I’ve had it even shorter. I’ve been considering growing out my hair (both because I miss my curls, and wondering about it religiously…) is it okay to keep my hair short and cover my hair? Or is this a no-no? Lol…please answer soon! :)

  24. 29 Yvonna October 1, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Cynthia, I have covered for years and I have begun to have horrible migraines. The this past Saturday, I went and had my hair cut and will donate it to ‘Locks of Love.’ Though my hair is now short I still cover. May God continue to guide you as He may have you wear a covering that is different than what I wear.

  25. 30 Emma October 21, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Just read your second quote on your description. It’s from Atticus Finch from the book To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. It’s an amazing book, well worth a read


  1. 1 Veiled Glory: Head Covering 101 « Offbeat Modest Dress Trackback on March 28, 2008 at 5:05 pm

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