History of the Daughters of Charity
The Daughters of Charity wore the cornette – white starched head piece – from 1685 until 1964. It was considered the recognizable mark of a Daughter of Charity. In its origin, it actually reflected the peasant dress of 17th century France. Over time and added starch, the cornette went from being more of a veiled piece of fabric to what was often referred to as “wings.”
The cornette has been the focus of many artists over time. As the reality of the sisters’ lives changed, so did the habit. Sisters began driving more regularly, they were working as surgical nurses, and there was a desire to simplify the dress of the sisters.
Today, Daughters of Charity wear a simply blue dress or blue skirt and blouse, and they have the option to choose to wear a coiffe (veil) or not.