Thursday, August 03, 2006

"Closet Smarts" Is Out!!

My beautiful fashion diva friend Emily Neill has published a new book called Closet Smarts that I have yet to see, but am sure is full of terrific advice and counsel, because Emily herself is full of terrific advice and counsel. I saw her on the street a few months ago and she paid me a huge compliment about my outfit, which was simply that I know how to dress. This kind of affirmation from a pro warms the cockles of PeaceBang's little heart.

Here is a link to Emily's web site, which includes a link to her fashion blog:

Having skimmed through Emily's blog, I can tell you that she's way more sexy, fashionable and trim than the average clergy gal of MY acquaintance but it's still fun to see the looks she puts together. Lots of glamor, lots of bare arms and shiny things we wouldn't wear as clergy, but still fun. She is one of those urban chic contemporary babes you see in the window of the most tony new bar, throwing back a martini and laughing wickedly as you trudge by in your Land's End A-line skirt feeling terribly dowdy in comparison.

But don't!! We cannot have that! Emily has her master's degree from none other than Harvard Divinity School, so even though she's sleek and elegant as hell, she is a sister in faith and this is her calling.

So buy her book, read her blog, and let her inspire you out of that Land's End A-line denim skirt and into a much more flattering pencil skirt. Or if you're a chubby gal, like PeaceBang, into a knee-length tulip skirt that shows off your great legs and highlights your wonderful ankle-strap pumps.

Think you can't rock it with your lumpy physique? Sure you can. You just need to hold everything in with appropriately constraining undergarments (and I'm talking bigger guns than just control top pantyhose, girls) and top it all off with a flattering blazer and collared shirt. Trust me. Would I lie to you? And who says you can't discuss liturgy in ankle-strap pumps?

Go buy "Closet Smarts." Let me know how much you love it, and I'll let Emily know. We're due to throw back some martinis and laugh wickedly in some tony joint soon. I think I'll wear a big, long Land's End A-line denim skirt just to give her a kick.


Blogger zorra said...

I have one pencil skirt and I can't bear it. I need to WALK, not mince. I will give up my Land's End and Coldwater Creek denim skirts when the fashion police pry my cold, dead fingers off them. I think I am predestined to remain in fashion's outer darkness....
A knee length skirt? But then I'd have to wear panty hose instead of knee-highs--and in this heat, too!

2:59 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...


We're going into Extreme Prayer for you over here at PB HQ.

"Please, Lord, help Zorra to know that there is no need for her to wear knee highs or nylons when she's already covering up her entire southern hemisphere with a big, wanking A-line skirt from Land's End. Free her from the nylon, Lord. And may the Holy Spirit of Fashion come down and reveal to her a more flattering skirt -- not so slim that she has to mince instead of walk (and Dear God, if she's walking like a cowboy, help her to realize she doesn't need to cover that much ground in one stride), but not as butt-and-hips enlarging as what she's wearing. We pray this in the name of the Father and the Son and the Lord and the Tailor. Amen."

3:43 PM  
Blogger Caroline Divine said...

Zorra, I'm with you on the no-mincing. Hate pencil skirts, and I look terrible in them. I've given up on skirts for now(pants and dresses work better for lengthening the looks)except for a nice black one (six-panel sort of A-line) from Inti Imports, which with different accessories and in a different color would look hippyish, but since it's black I can accessorize it with fun stuff like the great little grey Salvatore Ferragamo jacket from Filene's basement which I have had for something like 15 years -- great short jacket with biggish shoulders, fabulously cut, tapers close to the waist,light wool with silk lining and real mother-of-pearl flat buttons. It was a blessed day at Filene's. That and the skirt, which swings a little, make for a good silhouette; needs a little height though so I have to wear heels since the skirt is long. But the matter of shoes is for another post.

Mostly I get Inti Imports' pants, though, the Comfort Pants, which on their website look shleppy but in solid black are wonderful, they have width at the hips and then taper down at the ankle, and I have dressed them up and down with various colors and shapes and accessories. They saved my butt (literally) in the wake of a big weight gain during middle-aged Ph.D. studies. Into (located in Ashland, OR but they have a website) now also has "moss green" which looks wearable also. That said, I also own a purple pair, but I lived in Berkeley for ten years and for graduate student wear, faded (by many washes, not by the store)purple in a fetching shape was just fine. In fact, for home or summer wear (or three-season wear on the West Coast) or informal small-town wear, their stuff is great. (And yes, they say yoga and massage therapists wear them and no, that's not pulpit wear, but the black pants are. If you're a big-hipped woman, have a look. They also have some men's clothes. I haven't seen any on real bodies up close so can't vouch for them.

But knee highs with a skirt?! Oh no!

5:52 PM  
Blogger zorra said...

Sisters, thank you for your exhortation. Alas, I do not repent. I confess I value comfort more than style.
Maybe I can find a nice straight skirt that isn't too tapered at the hem...

11:00 AM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Zorra, if you look harder you can absolutely find comfortable things that look good. Also, over time of looking sharp and gorgeous, you begin to actually BE comfortable in more fitted, elegant clothing.

11:02 AM  
Blogger dame olympia's page said...

Um, as a devotee of Stacy and Clinton's What Not to Wear, I notice that one of you mentioned "tapered pants", and as a fellow clergy person, I speak truth in love when I tell you they are a NO-NO according to the high priest and priestess of fashion.

Please, not the tapered pants.
Pretty please?

thanks for letting me share my 2 cents!

Dame O

5:37 PM  
Blogger Caroline Divine said...

Dear Dame Olympia,

I too watch Stacy and Clinton, though not very often, and I say, wear what looks good on you. Some of us can look elegant in tapered pants. Others can't. It's a body type and style thing and also how the whole outfit pulls together. For instance, I can't do a tulip skirt. I would look like the big sister of one of the elephants in "Fantasia." And some of the stuff they dress people in these days, on "What Not To Wear" and in the stores is, pardon me, a bunch of shmattas. So, within general guidelines, a bit of flexibility based on both the person her(him)self and the context. (Dressing sure is contextual -- I was in Portland recently and visited a UCC church there and did I ever know I was in the Pacific Northwest! To the minister's credit, she was more dressed up than her congregants, but not much. It worked for the context though -- wouldn't have in New England. Two different countries. And here in the South it's a whole other country -- actually several,since the part I'm in is not the deep deep South or Texas, so there are all kinds of regional variations. It's really interesting.

9:47 PM  

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