Question: Why do choirs wear robes?
I will first borrow from the faithful who have sung in choirs as to their responses.
Choirs wear robes to represent that we are a unified group.
To keep from being a distraction for the worshipers hearing the message of the anthem
To keep people with hypothyroidism like me warm.
'cause their so purty (sic)
Then some of the understandings I have gained.
It provides a common clothing for the group, and makes it as though the group is one, as the choir should sound like a single unit.
-To provide "appropriate" dress for all.
Not everyone has nice clothes for church. In some cases it is to keep the choir from "competing" with their clothing. In other cases it is to keep everyone with the same "amount" of clothing...wouldn't want the men wearing the boxers and short shorts, or the women in the Jennifer Lopez green dresses now would we?
-To stand out from the congregation.
The choir wants to make a statement that they are different from the rest of the congregation, and have a different role to play in the service. A similar dress code makes that apparent.
And some actual historical answers.