[quote="ByzCath, post:12, topic:212430"]
No problem, after I posted it I figured it might be read in the manner you did.
If I had to pick I would say Carmelite (O.Carm.) is the best looking, especially when we wear our white mantles, but then you could argue that I am biased.
Yes I would. Our simple grey tunic is rather good looking and austere too. Noooooooooooot :D
It's drab and sloppy looking. But that's the way that it was supposed to look. :shrug:
To be honest, as far as aesthetics are concerned. I have nerver seen a single male habit that I would say, "Now that's a nice looking habit."
Some look cumbersome and too bulky, such as the Carmelite and Dominican habits, which are really the same, but in different colors. Others are very sloppy looking, such as the Franciscan habits; but they're supposed to look sloppy. Habits like the MOP look like nighgowns with a sash. And other habits are not habits at all, but variations on the secular cassock, such as the Passionist's and the Redemptorists habit.
As a religioius myself, I must say that men's habits are generally not very aesthetic and they were not meant to be. They each had a reason for their style.
I know that in the Franciscan tradition there is no prescribed habit. There is a prescribed form. The rule only says: "a tunic with a cowl, a chord and trausers". You should know that trausers are not the same as pants. Trausers just barely cover the knees, much like the shorts worn by kids today. If you see a Franciscan with pants on, they don't belong under the habit. Francis knew the difference between pants and trausers. They had both in his day. But pants were worn only by certain people in certain situations.
Oh, by the way, the reason why there are so many variations on the Franciscan habit was because the original habit changed from week to week. The custom was very interesting. The brothers wore what was worn by the farmers of the time. The way they went about getting clothes was to beg for hand-me-downs from the peasants. The only thing that Francis added was the chord. The tunic with cowl was common. To this day the tunics range from full-length tot he floor to knee-length. None of them are very aesthetic.
As one who wears it, I have to admit that it's very practical. I get up and throw it over my head without having to think about it. I rarely wear a Roman collar because I hate those things. It's as bad as wearing a necktie, which I also hate. I am convinced that Roman collars and neckties were designed by some woman who wanted to see all men hang. :D
Br. JR, OSF :)