What Did Jesus Wear? (How the Bible Describes His Clothes)


What did Jesus look like? A lot of people ask this question because they want to know about his skin, hair, eyes, height, weight, and even the clothes he wore. While the four Gospels in the New Testament don’t describe Jesus’ skin, hair, or other physical features, they do refer to his clothes on multiple occasions.

Jesus wore a tunic that covered his body and sandals that protected his feet. These two items were likely regular parts of his everyday attire. The Gospels mention other clothing that Jesus wore temporarily for reasons like his age or preparation for burial. His enemies also dressed him to mock him.

Where does the Bible say that Jesus wore a tunic, sandals, and other pieces of clothing? Why did people place a purple robe on Jesus? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and others.

Also see Did Jesus Have A Tattoo? to learn more.

Jesus swaddling clothes
Did Jesus wear sandals? See below

Did Jesus wear a tunic?

A tunic was a piece of clothing that a person wore next to their skin. Tunics had arm-length sleeves and extended down to the knees or even lower to the ankles and feet. In his telling of the crucifixion, John mentions that Jesus had a tunic.

TranslationJohn 19:23
ESV“When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.”
KJV“Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.”
NASB“Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His outer garments and made four parts, a part to every soldier and also the tunic; now the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece.”
NIV“When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.”
NLT“When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.”

Jesus instructed his disciples to not have two tunics:

  • Matthew 10:10, “no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.” (cf. Luke 9:3)
  • Mark 6:9, “but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics.”
  • Luke 3:11, “And he answered them, ‘Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.'”

Other Bible verses that mention a tunic:

  • Matthew 5:40, “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.”
  • Luke 6:29, “To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.”
  • Acts 9:39, “So Peter rose and went with them. And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them.”

Also see What Personality Type Was Jesus? to learn more.

crown of thorns
When did Jesus wear a purple robe? See below

Did Jesus wear sandals?

Sandals in the first century were often made of wood or leather. Straps fastened a sandal to a person’s foot. John the Baptist mentions that Jesus had sandals when he declared his unworthiness in relation to him (Mark 1:7; cf. Luke 3:16).

TranslationMark 1:7
ESV“And he preached, saying, After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.”
KJV“And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.”
NASB“And he was preaching, and saying, After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals.”
NIV“And this was his message: After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie.”
NLT“John announced: Someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals.”

Other Bible verses that mention sandals include:

  • Exodus 3:5, “Then he said, Do not come near; take your sandals off your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
  • Luke 15:22, “But the father said to his servants, Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.”

Baby Jesus in swaddling clothes

The Gospels describe that Jesus wore certain clothes at different times in his life. In his telling of Jesus’ birth, Luke mentions that as a baby Mary and Joseph wrapped him in swaddling clothes. Swaddling clothes were wrapped around newborns like a bandage.

TranslationLuke 2:12
ESV“And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
KJV“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
NASB“This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
NIV“This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
NLT“And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

The Bible also mentions swaddling clothes in other verses.

  • Job 38:9, “when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band”
  • Lamentations 2:22, “Thou hast called as in a solemn day my terrors round about, so that in the day of the Lord’s anger none escaped nor remained: those that I have swaddled and brought up hath mine enemy consumed.” (KJV)
  • Ezekiel 16:4, “And as for your birth, on the day you were born your cord was not cut, nor were you washed with water to cleanse you, nor rubbed with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths.”

Also see How Old Was Mary When She Gave Birth To Jesus? to learn more.

Jesus sandals
John the Baptist said he was unworthy to untie Jesus’ sandals

Jesus mocked in a purple robe

After Jesus was arrested and before he was crucified, soldiers put a purple robe on him and mocked him for calling himself a king: “Hail Jesus, king of the Jews!” they said (Mark 15:18).

TranslationMark 15:17
ESV“And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him.”
KJV“And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head”
NASB“They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him”
NIV“They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.”
NLT“They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head.”

Jesus wrapped in linen cloths

After the crucifixion, Joseph of Arimathea received permission from Pilate to oversee Jesus’ burial (Luke 23:50-52). When Joseph took Jesus’ body down from the cross, he wrapped it in a linen cloth.

TranslationLuke 23:53
ESV“Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid.”
KJV“And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.”
NASB“And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain.”
NIV“Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.”
NLT“Then he took the body down from the cross and wrapped it in a long sheet of linen cloth and laid it in a new tomb that had been carved out of rock.”

Also see Did Jesus Christ Smoke Marijuana? to learn more.

Daniel Isaiah Joseph

Daniel's seminary degree is in Exegetical Theology. He was a pastor for 10 years. As a professor, he has taught Bible and theology courses at two Christian universities. Please see the About page for details.

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