The Pope who wears a plastic watch and simple loafers

When Pope Francis unveiled his face for his first congregation address from St Peter’s Basilica balcony at the Vatican, something was different about him. His dressing style was humbler and pared-down.

His predecessor Benedict XVI had a bold touch of colour. He wore a white cassock (papal robe) with a wide, red, short elbow-length cape worn over the robe, and a brown stole— the wide piece of cloth draped across the shoulders—with gold embossments.

He also donned a short white cape, a gold chain and a golden ring on his right ring finger, as a symbol of his authority.

The pope’s clothes are embedded with rich history and symbolism and each new pope puts his own spin. Before he resigned, Benedict XVI donned an assortment of hats with abstract designs, including the camauro, a Santa Claus-like red wool cap with an ermine trim that dated back to the 12th century to a precious towering folded cap studded with jewels.

But when Pope Francis first stepped out to meet and greet the crowd of faithfuls gathered to receive him, he sported an austere papal cassock white in colour with no elaborate detail.

In place of the papal traditional gold cross, he wore an iron cross he had been wearing since he was anointed the assisting bishop of Buenos Aires in 1992. His long chain depicts Jesus holding a lamb.

Simplicity and humility is now the style at the Vatican Palace, where he only visits on special occasion as he does not live there.

The pope’s wardrobe portrays the 13th century St Francis of Assisi, who shunned his family’s riches to live a simple life, according to Vatican history.

When he was still Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he expressed discontent over vanity in the church to an Italian reporter, saying “look at the peacock it’s beautiful if you look at it from the front. But if you look at it from behind, you discover the truth.

Whoever gives in to such self-absorbed vanity has huge misery hiding inside them.”

Here is a dress-down of Pope Francis and some garments that you will find in his closet.