Types of Catholic Uniforms

Throughout its long and rich history, the Catholic church has amassed a large amount of ceremonies and traditions. One of these traditions is the outfits worn by members of the church. In fact, some of the most enduring images of the Catholic church are of vested priests, monks and nuns.

Catholic outfits are sartorial representations of faith.
Catholic outfits are sartorial representations of faith. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)
Nun Habits

Probably the most public and well-known representatives of the Catholic church are nuns. A nun is recognizable due mainly to the habit that she wears daily. The nuns habit is comprised of a coif, which covers the hair, and a wimple, which covers the cheeks and neck. Often, the coif and wimple are covered with a black veil. There is also the "Holy Habit," which is the floor-length robe and long sleeves.

An example of nuns' habits.
An example of nuns' habits. (Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)
Clericals

A clerical is the outfit a priest will wear when he is not performing Mass, and it makes a priest easily identifiable. A clerical outfit is comprised of a black shirt and black pants, with a white collar that lays under the collar of the shirt. A priest should wear this outfit when he is on duty and in public.

An example of a priest in clericals.
An example of a priest in clericals. (Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)
Mass Outfit

There are many types of garments that a priest can wear while performing mass, but one of the most common is the cassock. A cassock is a close-fitting black robe that can be either plain or fancy, depending on the occasion.

An example of a priest's outfit.
An example of a priest's outfit. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)
Cardinals

A cardinal's outfit is very similar to a priest's, composed mainly of a cassock -- although the cassock is red instead of black. Cardinals often wear a mitre, which is a folded pointed hat.

An example of a cardinal in dress.
An example of a cardinal in dress. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)
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