Distinctive dress of religious orders. The practice of wearing a special habit goes back to the earliest days of monasticism in Egypt, possibly having its origin in the rough clothes of the anchorites, or even in the rough cloaks of the wandering Cynics (first century). It normally consists of tunic, belt or girdle, scapular, hood (men) or veil (women), and a mantle for use in choir or outdoors. Colors are usually white, brown, or black. Worn by all the old orders (monks, friars, nuns), it is dispensed with by some modern orders.