Asked by Eileen from OH

Q: Why do the women use straight pins to keep their dresses on instead of buttons or snaps?

A: Hi Eileen–Why do some sects use straight pins and not snaps or buttons? I have no idea. I’ve tried to find out. I’ve asked some Amish women, but the answer so far has been “that’s just the way it’s always been.” I suppose extra fancy buttons could conceivably be considered decorative, but I’ve never figured out why they have to use straight pins instead of safety pins! I did get one answer from an Amish friend that I’ve chuckled over. She likes to tease me about the Englisch habit of hugging–how we sometimes hug people we don’t even know all that well. Hugging is uncommon to the Amish culture. When I asked her why they used straight pins, she grinned and said the pins were to keep their Englisch friends from hugging them! 

Thanks for the question Eileen!