Going, going, Gohn

About halfway back in my life, I found myself among Plain-dressing rural Christians. Some of them were also Plain Quakers who retained the “thee” and “thou” speech of Friends’ tradition. My bff of the time was one of them.

Plain dress, should you ask, is what the Amish wear, as well as old-order Mennonites, Brethren, and some other strands, in their own subtle distinctions.

There were reasons I didn’t go all the way, but I did acquire some items, including broadfall pants that have no zipper or belt loops. They were surprisingly comfortable and very well made, in America, no less. After 35 years or so, my denim and blue corduroy pairs are finally showing some wear. I have no idea how many regular brand-name blue jeans these have outlived, but now it’s time to order more of the Plain style.

For many folks, that means Gohn Bros. in Middlebury, Indiana, whose no-nonsense, illustration-free catalog can be downloaded online or ordered by phone or mail. The owners of the store, we should note, aren’t Amish, though they’ve served that demographic for generations. I’ve heard of other faithful buyers who found the store through the Whole Earth pages of hippie lore. Maybe this post will add to it.

I am happy to see that the small-town emporium survives. A few minor changes appear in the options as enhancements rather than copouts. For instance, I can now substitute belt loops for the suspender buttons or opt for gray or black denim rather than blue. My, my.

Here I am, actively paring down my possessions, trying to use up what’s already on my hangers and in my dresser drawers, yet I’m feeling tempted to order a few new shirts, maybe a dress coat, too.

Don’t worry, it’s not Armani. Instead, these selections are much more everyday practical me. Just think, too, they’ll always be in timeless style.

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