The habit is a plain woollen overtunic based on an ancient item of dress, the dalmatica. The design described in the 'Rule of St Benedict' essentially remains unchanged to the present day.
The habit should be ankle length when worn ‘pouched’ with a belt or girdle, and should be reasonably loose fitting. It must be fully skirted, but should not have side or front splits.
The sleeves should be loose fitting at the cuff (up to 12” wide at the wrist) and be wrist length. It should have a wide hole for the neck but no vertical slit. The habit should have an attached hood made from the same fabric, with a point extending at least 6”.
The habit should be made from plain wool. This may be natural off-white, brown, dark grey or 'black' (though not a chemically-dyed black). Black wool habits are particularly encouraged for the reformed Benedictine monks in tenth- and eleventh-century England.