What Religion Wears Brown Robes?

There is obviously no color of garment that is not by different religions and perhaps the basic use of it is to identify the wearer of it and the same applies to religious groups. These robes make it very easy to recognize them as it says a lot about what they do.

They are not just regular robes that people began to wear recently, they were founded ages ago by an individual or a group of persons.

You must’ve already known of black robes and even white robes but have you ever heard or seen a group of persons wearing a brown robe and if you have what does it mean and why do they wear them? That is what I’m going to review in this article. Keep reading

The brown robe is worn by the Christian religion but to be more specific, they are worn by the Franciscan catholic monks. Yes, you heard that right, they are worn by them.

They follow the St Francis establishments set out for them which include the wearing of the brown robe.

The Franciscan monk monastery embraced the historical color austerity that differentiates them from society. This robe proclaims the vows made by the monks to visibly detach themselves from the distractions of the world.

The brown robe went in and out of fashion in the culture of the Franciscan catholic monks who are actually known as the friars to embrace the life of poverty.

Their robes are old clothing donated by most peasants who wore undyed brown. This robe symbolizes the friar’s commitment to protecting the nature of the earth and to contributing to society.

This religion lives mostly in convents inside the limit of most cities and they survive mainly on donations with their pledge to live in poverty.

Their robe was grey initially but as time went by, they started wearing the brown robe with a belt made of robe with three knots which signifies their pledge to chastity, obedience, and poverty. 

Why do they wear the brown robes?

The brown robe is one of the oldest, most iconic, and historical robes that has its origination far back in history. The robe of a Franciscan monk is brown, it is a simple robe with a cincture. There are various reasons why the Franciscans wear the brown robe instead of the regular black or brown robe. 

  • They follow the tradition of their founder.
  • They wear the robe because it explains a life of a simple human with poverty attached to it.
  • This robe reflects the devoid of the peasants the founder (Francis) served.
  • It is the least expensive material worn
  • It is the most comfortable clothing as it can be worn without stress.
  • Most friars live and sleep in the dirt but the brown robe helps them to still look clean relatively.
  • It helps them look recognizable all around the world.
  • It helps them live their lives in pure solidarity.
  • It was the very first outfit they had.

The brown robe was all they had in the beginning as they served peasants. Initially, it was worn because it was the cheapest available and they were not even concerned by the color but now, it is worn as a utilitarian and long-lasting robe by all friars all over the world.

What does the brown robe worn signify?

The brown robe follows a historical pattern of their founder Francis and it starkly differentiates them from the regular persons in the society.

The robe signifies the Franciscan catholic monk’s proclamation of their vows to poverty and detachment from the things of the world. The robe advertises their philosophies and missions as monks. 

It signifies the evolution of their monastery style

In the early days, the robe was given to them by peasants not really brown but other colors of poor garments that were given them. The robes were usually brown, gray, undyed wool, and a mix of deem colors. It symbolizes their little beginnings as monks and as a result, the robe has become a distinctive garment.

It signifies poverty

The brown color naturally looks frail and old but for the monks, it signifies their lives in poverty as the promise they’ve made to their monastery style. Since it looks like frails, it signifies their life in poverty. 

The brown robe also signifies the friar’s commitment to protect the earth and to also contribute to society by giving out all their possessions.

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What other religions wear brown robes and what does it signify?

Apart from the friars, other religions and denominations wear the brown robe and each of them serves their various purposes, and they each symbolize or signify something rather.

The Buddhist monk

You must’ve heard of these ones already. The wearing of a brown robe by the Buddhist monk takes their origination back to the 18the century and just like the friars, their robe signifies their devoted faith in their religion as they feel closer to Buddha through it.

The Buddhist nuns

These nuns are similar to the Buddhist monk as they also wear brown robes. Their robes are usually patched with scraps of other clothes to signify and reflect the simple life they are expected to live.

The Sikh pilgrim (traditional religion)

The Sikh garment is spiritual clothing that includes other attires like a turban and lose undergarments. They wear different colors of attires not necessarily robes but they still wear the brown robe as it is part of their religious outfit.

The Carmelites

This denomination also wears the brown robe as it is also part of their monastic culture. To them, it signifies the reminder of the cross Christ was crucified and it also symbolizes the soil of the earth for its humility. 

What kind of brown robe do most religions wear?

There’s a very big difference between the regular brown robes and the ones worn by most religions and it is very easy to identify and distinguish them.

The brown robes worn are part of the tradition that takes its origin back to 20 centuries. The first religions were taught to make pure cloth which meant clothes that no one wanted.

The robes were usually unusable and trimmed away and most of them wore brown clothes that no one wore or donated clothes. The kind of brown robe worn by most religions is usually frail and old with a white rope as a belt. 

What type of brown robe should I buy?

Initially, there were no brown robes available for sale because no company wanted to produce something old and frail, but with the increase in demand for it, it was made available for sale. So if you need a brown robe to enable you to carry out your religious activities, you can pick one of the robes that will be recommended below.

KATUO wool meditation brown robe for monk and Buddhist

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This robe is the most versatile robe that has ever been made. It has its own unique design of a slight slit that makes it easier to kneel and move faster. It comes in different sizes and it can offer you the support you need while carrying out your activities. It can be worn by all religious groups. 


  • Fabric: this robe was made with frail wool and polyester.
  • Size: It comes in different sizes ranging from big to small. The available sizes are; S, M, L, XL, XXL, and XXXL.
  • Versatile: This robe is the most versatile robe anyone can get as it is capable of carrying out basic functions like a multipurpose robe. It can be worn by the friars, the monks, the Buddhists, and other religions that wear the brown robes. 


  • Durable
  • Versatile
  • Ideal for different activities
  • True to size
  • Frail and old just like the robes of the old


  • No warranty

The ZooBoo Buddhist Shaolin monk cotton long robe

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This robe is a bit similar to the first one I recommended but the only difference is that this one is basically from the Shaolin temple so if you order this robe, you’re getting the same Shaolin robe like the ones the monks used. They are just what you need to carry out your religious activities.


  • Fabric type: This robe was made with a frail and old material gotten from cotton and polyester with additional breathability and comfort. 
  • Style: They are loosed, comfortable, and have long brown robes with good flexibility that poses no threat to the movement.
  • Multipurpose: This robe is a versatile multipurpose robe and just like the first one, it can be worn by different persons of different religions.


  • Great flexibility
  •  Comfortable
  •  Breathable
  • Suitable for any activity
  • Durable


  • They are uncomfortable on the shoulders

Conclusion – What Religion Wears Brown Robes

The robes were worn by the Franciscan monks back in the days as they reflected the lives of the peasants they served and to date, it is believed that most friars still serve peasants, they still embrace the life of poverty and they travel from one place to another. Have you ever seen a friar? What did they look like?

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