Sunday, August 27, 2006


I see with great horror that In Style magazine is showing jumpers as a new, cute professional look for autumn.

I'm not horrified by the magazine spread, which features really attractive 20-somethings clad in adorable, high couture jumpers paired with great shoes or boots, textured hose and fantastic accessories. These gals mostly look wonderful, creative, hot -- in short, just right for traipsing gaily into Manhattan to their jobs as advertising mavens or copy editors of fashion magazines or muppeteers or whatever it is they're doing.

My horror only comes when I imagine one of my clergy readers getting wind of this and thinking, "Oh good, jumpers are back in style! PeaceBang was so wrong about them! I can't wait to take out my denim jumper with the buttons on the shoulder and wear it to church!"

Oh, oh, oh. Please don't do that. Please realize that there's very little sartorial connection at all between what the fashion magazines are showing and your denim or linen or corduroy jumpers, purchased at J. Jill or Coldwater Creek. They may all be called "jumpers," but what they communicate are completely different messages. One is fresh, insouciant, even a bit ironic, and absolutely youthful. The other carries an unmistakable whiff of Romper Room or the Harmonic Convergence ("My Best Friend Went To the Harmonic Convergence And All I Got Were These Lousy Crystals").

If you're clever, you can indeed add some pizzazz and shape to your old jumpers by adding a belt, or putting a fitted, nifty-looking shirt or lacy bloue underneath it, adding some terrific jewelry, or adding a pair of knock-out boots. Do something with it to lift it from Frumpy to sort of Professional Creative look. Wrap your hair in striped cotton from Marrakesh. Wear six interesting, multi-leveled chains around your neck. Bad news, bubelahs: If it's denim and v-necked with buttons down the front, trust me: it cannot be saved. It epitomizes frump. Donate it. Use it as a baking or painting smock. It should not adorn your ministerial body in public.

When the vast majority of the world sees a woman in a jumper, they are led to expect not leadership, but Nilla wafers and juice boxes for snack time. If that's your model of ministry, by all means ignore everything I've said and rock your jumpers for all their worth. But don't break your heart reading this blog, 'cause PeaceBang is not writing for you. Case in point? When I googled "denim jumpers," I found a web site for homeschooling moms, written from the Christian perspective.

'Nuff said!

denim jumper


Blogger Fashionjunkie693 said...

I so agree with you. Check out my blog.

5:07 PM  
Blogger net said...

Phew! I'm glad I saved mine!

5:19 PM  
Blogger mibi52 said...

I get hives every time I think of my elementary school jumpers (convent school). Can't imagine revisiting that territory, especially as a midlife woman with a bosom.

Curious: I can understand your feelings about JJill and coldwater Creek - no real person every looks as lithe as their models, and thus their clothes are dreadful for the short and curvy. I'm dying to hear what your unvarnished opinion is of Chico's (they of the elastic waist)?

5:31 PM  
Blogger Lizard Eater said...

So, what about my denim jumper from the Disney store with Pooh and friends playing tug-of-war across the empire waist?

Tee-hee. Paired with my long hair, french braided down my back, I am the epitome of ... Big Love.

5:39 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

The only reason I don't like Chico's is that every time I walk into one, the saleswoman treat me like I'm a smelly homeless person who's wandering in asking for free food and clothing. It's BIZARRE. It's like, "Ladies, this is CHICO's, not Tiffany's on Fifth Avenue. There should be no snot factor at Chico's!"

Chico's stuff tends to be way too B'Nai B'rith Long Island for me, with all those appliques and braided fabrics and shiny things. They have some excellent packable garments in nice cuts, though, and some nice jewelry.

Lizard, do you mean "Big Love" like the HBO special about the polygamous family starring Bill Pullman? Those women always seem to be dressed pretty sharp to me (and of course, they're not clergy so they can be saccharine kindergarten teacherly w/ no negative consequences to our collective image).

5:55 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Fashionjunkie, you're in 8th grade! You should just focus on your grades and become a big smartypants! Honey! We're old, accomplished guys and gals on here with graduate degrees and mortgages and kids and pension plans. Go! Live! Wear whatever you want! Don't worry what the other kids are wearing! Blaze a trail! But above all, DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND GET GOOD GRADES!

6:00 PM  
Blogger Lizard Eater said...

Yup, that's the Big Love. All of the conservative wives from "The Compound" wear jumpers with peter pan collars and their hair in french braids with curled up bangs.

It has been very good for me. I have four children, so before going out in public, I look in the mirror and say, okay, with my child-accessories, will I look like I belong in a religious compound of any persuasion?

And your advice is good for those within or without the clergy, dahhhling. Just because one is a mother, gracious!, there's no need to advertise. Advice that I must give myself quite often.

Mwah, mwah. (air kiss)

7:58 PM  
Blogger LaReinaCobre said...

I have a jumper or two from my old days of being Muslim. They need to go. I actually wore one of them a month ago because the rest of my clothes were dirty. It's a green sage and never wrinkles and is an absolutely beautiful fabric. Thus, the danger in keeping it. Or maybe I'll just have it hemmed and then I can wear it with funky boots?

Hmmmm .... Thinking aloud in a blog response post has paid off!

8:27 PM  
Blogger Quotidian Grace said...

You're so right about jumpers.
And here's something even worse: coveralls with shorts instead of long pants, worn like a jumper by a fiftyish woman. Yes. I promise I am not making this up.

Chico's and Coldwater Creek garments too often are shapeless and too boxy to be flattering to most of us.

8:36 PM  
Blogger jledmiston said...

Dear Peacebang,
As I sit here watching the Emmys, I wish you had a live Awards show right now. A couple of these outfits are deserving of solid color commentary.

10:14 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Hafhida, if you love the fabric and it's beautiful, why don't you have it hemmed? Layer it with a fun, belted jacket and some big hoop earrings and boots and just change the look! You're also young and cute enough that you could totally rock the leggings thing that's back in style now. Hem the jumper, make sure it fits you without too much floppiness, add a tight long-sleeved t-shirt under it (something rock n' roll), wear some leggings and some round toe flats or some fun shoes like silly sneakers.

10:35 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home