Monday, June 05, 2006

Guest Blogging By Petite Mrs. Philocrites

Ladies and gentlemen, at my invitation, the tiny, darling and fierce Mrs. Philocrites has agreed to speak on the subject of the Petite Religious Fashionista:

Hi PeaceBang!

First of all, a disclaimer: my wardrobe is not remotely as fabulous as Peace Bang's. [Mrs. P, where are you getting the idea that my wardrobe is actually fabulous? I would characterize it more as "Hey, Not Bad For a Fat Chick."
-- P.B.] But I am honored to have been asked to share my petite shopping secrets for those other tiny ministers out there.

In terms of vestments: the great thing about albs and cassocks is that they come in children's sizes. I think mine is a size 11 (as in age 11). Cinctures in the right length are very hard to find, for some strange reason. However, they really don't make children's stoles, chausables or clergy shirts (we've got more duds in Episcopalia than in UU World). One petite priest I know loves those dickie collars since then you don't have to buy an expensive clergy shirt and they go with any outfit. Another friend of mine makes her own stoles, since the standard sizes are both too long and too wide.

While we're on the vestments topic, I should mention that I always travel with a "preaching stool" from Ikea. I guest-preach a lot and you never know the height of the pulpit. Just be sure to put your preaching stool in the pulpit well before the service begins. Then your illusion of height will be complete!

Petite sections in stores have come a long way in recent years, but still generally stink. Clothing manufacturers don't seem to get that there are young petite women as well as older petite women. Philocrites and I went shopping the other day, and he got to experience the Petite Ghetto. There we are in Filenes, with many nice skirts and tops in the Misses section. Are any of these in petite sizes? No- the petite section, right next to Misses, has none of the same outfits and has skipped forward thirty years in terms of style. Sigh. And the Juniors clothes, which would fit, are way too Hoochie Mama. Halter tops and jeans with holes in the butt do not exactly say Ministerial Presence. Thus the Goldilocks predicament of the petite young adult- we can either wear dowdy turquoise suits or baby tees with "I heart my boyfriend" in pink glitter.

Don't get me started on so-called "Petite Sophisticate." I think they are the high-powered syndicate behind the Dowdy Petite Conspiracy.The only store where I consistently find things that fit me and are suitable for church is Anne Taylor Loft. They have a really good petite section that looks young but still professional. And they have great party dresses too.My other favorite store is Second Time Around in Harvard Square, a consignment shop of designer clothes. People give away things that are too small, so they have a good selection for petites. And I've ended up with some items by makers I'd never have been able to afford otherwise. JCrew is great for petite coats. Many petites swear by Banana Republic, but I haven't found too much there, and it's so expensive.I also get a lot of shirts from children's stores. A great one, especially for sweaters, is Land's End Kids. Gap Kids and Talbots Kids are a good bet, because they're clothes for yuppie children and so don't often have cartoons and things on them. I get plain T shirts from the children's section at Macy's. And I have a close personal relationship with my tailor at the dry cleaner's down the street.

Thanks for the invite, PeaceBang! You know I'm not usually one for blogging but your site is indeed a service to humanity.

~Mrs. P.

Thank you, Mrs. Philocrites. I feel your pain, as one who is actually a PLUS-SIZE PETITE. Talk about maddening!! May the Spirit of fabulousness be upon all of us in our efforts to de-frumpify the American Religious Leader. Amen.


Blogger Princess Pinky said...

I have found that in larger Macy's stores they have an okay petites section. They include RL (great pants and decent length skirts that aren't made for great-grandma), Liz,and Alfani for petites. As for more casual and fun days Style and Co, INC, select peices of a house brand name Charter Club are good options. It is all in how you mix and match.

It seems that all I do is plug for Macy's but it is really the only store near me that is worth my time and money. My only beef is they are always bugging you to get a store card. (DON'T... short billing cycle and HIGH interest.)

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Chris T. said...

The only store where I consistently find things that fit me and are suitable for church is Anne Taylor Loft.

My wife is petite, mid-twenties, and a law student—she's found this to be true as well. I'm grateful they exist for how happy it makes Sue to shop there. :-)

9:56 AM  
Blogger St. Casserole said...

P.B.! You really really are there for us! These two postings about petite petite and petite plus should be required reading at all seminaries.

Many thanks, petite in height, large in spirit,

3:06 PM  
Blogger Aola said...

"are way too Hoochie Mama"

that is really funny!!

great post Mrs. P.

10:37 PM  
Blogger UU-Mom said...

No good consignment shops or Macy's around me. The shops I go to call most sizes that fit me "large" which makes me an oxymoron at "large petite". :-)

1:54 AM  
Blogger Lyss said...

I'm also a devotee of Ann Taylor and Ann Taylor Loft for their petite sizing, especially for pants and skirts. It is tough to find stuff that is professional, yet not dowdy. My goal for work clothes is that I not look slutty, but also not like anyone's mom (I'm 27).
BR barely caries petities in any of their stores. I've sort of been having luck with H&M for tops (any bottoms there fit me oddly, as Europeans are apparently much taller and skinnier than I am).

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Kim Hampton said...

I don't know if you have one anywhere near you, but a few of my slim Petite friends go to Coldwater Creek. You might want to check there. of my aunts swears by Saks Fifth Avenue's petite section. You just have to make friends with in clearance section.

1:50 PM  

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