Thursday, September 14, 2006

Miss Matchy And One Bad Hairdo For Men

I saw an outfit today in a ministerial setting that made a nice attempt, I thought, at being attractive and professional but that undermined itself with one really unfortunate choice.

Outfit: Checked, short-sleeved, oversized boyish cotton blouse buttoned to the neck. Flirty, cute, fitted skirt with ruffle at the knee. Some kind of jet beads around the neck over the blouse. A pair of cute black flats.

The problem: The blouse. Bigger problem: The dressy beads at the neck over the blouse.

Even a nice, ironed, fitted t-shirt would have been an improvement. You just can't dress up a shapeless, cotton plaid shirt two sizes too big with a pair of beads. Sorry.

If your bottom half is dressy and flirty, the top half shouldn't be, for lack of a better word, farmeresque. The marriage between an oversized, plaid cotton shirt and a lovely skirt cannot be saved.

If the shirt is the only clean thing left in your closet, here's an idea: wear it as an overshirt over a fitted, sleeveless shell. Add some ethnic beads or a headwrap, wear a great pair of jeans and heeled boots, or get out your denim skirt. Add some glow to your face, and a nice neutral lipcolor.

If the skirt is the clean item, pair it with a cap-sleeved t-shirt and a slim, interesting belt, or a nice sweater set. Wear small hoops or bead earrings. Polish up the punim with a moisturizing lip color. A bit of blush. Make sure the flats aren't scuffed. Moisturize your legs if you're going without hose.

I cannot tell you how many colorless, washed out clergy I am seeing around these days, all of which makes me think, "DARLINGS, if we look this pallid and crusty in SEPTEMBER, we're going to be positively ATROCIOUS by Christmas!! And THEN the Baby Jesus will be AFRAID of us!"

Remember: You represent God's extravagant love for the world! Shine on!

P.S. Guys? A haircut that really, really doesn't work unless you're a totally hot Brazilian evangelical with a face like Antonio Banderas' is the whole slicked back thing. At best it looks really funeral directorish, and at worst I'm thinking maybe Dracula.

*Yiddish for face.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The other day when I was leaving church a nice new face said to me... "I am going to pray for you ministers and the Rabbi's too." I said thanks wondering why she thought I needed praying for and so I asked and she said "The devil is on the attack and he is attacking you ministers and Rabbi" I found this somehow comforting even though I am not sure where I stand on the devil thing.. and I am wondering if it might be the devil that is causing this rise in palefaced ministers. Just a thought. I personally think God invented good taste and benetint.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Berrysmom said...

I am so with you on the slicked back hair thing, PB. I think it looks sleazy, though funeraldirectorish is also a very good description.

I'm off to spend my Birthday Month 10% discount at Talbots tomorrow, hoping I will find something to wear with the shoes that you made me buy last summer. (I never buy the shoes first... except that this time I did.)

10:26 PM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

Sounds like good fun, Berrysmom. I spent some time last week on Talbot's website and saw lots of cute things I wish I could afford. But I did find a wonderful pair of shoes tonight at TJ Maxx! Round toe black loafer style with a 1/2 inch platform and about a 3 inch stacked barrel heel, Liz Claiborne, for $35. Really luscious smooth leather, nice craftsmanship. They also have some totally cute LC smooth black and suede brown slingback pumps with the same platform and heel. I will probably go back for the black pumps tomorrow, they're so classic (even though I have a decent pair of black closed-heel pumps already). I *love* finding great quality for good prices! Just so you know, PB, you inspired me to do some serious thinking about a wardrobe update strategy for this fall and winter. I'll probably never really break out of my preference for the quieter side of fashion, but it's fun to check out what's out there and you've helped me think more intelligently about my options. Oh, and I rejected every purse at TJ Maxx because none of them met the "PeaceBang Handback Method" criteria! It's still getting to about 90 each day here in Hell, North Campus (Texas), so I can carry my more summery bag another week or two until I find one for fall that I love and that loves me back. Thanks again for all your good advice.

Last thing (promise!)--I remembered to get that aloe vera gel tonight at the grocery store. Is it still working well for you, PB?

12:30 AM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

Oops...make that the "PeaceBang HandBAG Method"!

12:33 AM  
Anonymous jinnis said...

psalmist, I've lost track - where/what is the "PB Handbag Method" in the archives? I can't recall which post that was.

and I offer a shirt recommendation - Eddie Bauer has a lovely 3/4 length no-iron button down. I bought a slew of white shirts in the last few weeks because I was so frustrated by the lack of nice short sleeve/under jacket blouses in the stores this fall. The one blouse that I think will stand the test of time is the one from Eddie Bauer. I had to run out the door for a community meeting and I had not gotten around to ironing anything. So I grabbed that shirt to top off black pants with white pinstripes and was on my way. It looks better just out of the dryer than the other blouses after ironing. And that shirt was in the outlet store!

10:12 AM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

(sniffing underarm) Yep, I just did a funeral and sweated like crazy and I am not in the least bit stinky. I am DEVOTED to aloe vera gel as my deoderant!

I think I'm going to go for some retail therapy at TJ Maxx today. Thanks for the inspiration, Psalimst. The woman I buried LOVED shopping so I'll do it in her honor, bless her heart. But now, a nap.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Philocrites said...

Speaking of bad hair, check out this profile of the worst hair in Congress! Capitol Domes.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

Well, shoot...I'm not finding that handbag post at the moment, Jinnis. She didn't call it a "method," but it works as such. She gave some guidelines about material, craftsmanship, shape, style, and such, then advised that one take the time to stride around the store carring the bag as it should be carried, looking in mirrors and if possible, doing all this with a friend. (At least, that's what I recall of it.)

Alas, I have no shopping buddies! (sniff) But by the time I'd snapped up those LC shoes at TJ Maxx, it was near closing time and there wasn't time to dig deeper past the unsuitable bags for any that might have been hidden but perfect for me.

Say, PB, you remember those gorgeous Taryn Rose spectator pumps you made us all drool over? (Silly question--I know you do!) Well, in hunting for the handbag entry, I saw the picture again and did a double take. The shape of my black LC shoes was exactly the same! There is no mistaking that "line."

Jinnis, thank you SO much for the white shirt tip! That was one of the things I was hunting for last night. NO success. I'm going to check online as we have no outlets very close by.

Thanks re: aloe vera, PB. Day .5 for me; so far, so good.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

So sorry about the death in your congregation, PB. May you find a special treasure later today when you shop in tribute to her!

2:30 PM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

All righty! Found "the bag" post:
What Not to Carry

3:38 PM  
Anonymous jinnis said...

Thanks for looking for the bag reference, psalmist, and for the summary. I remember that entry - just not the location.

I'm lacking a shopping buddy too, given my recent move and as my spouse tends to approach shopping from the "get in, find the target, get out" method and I am a grazer who enjoys the retail therapy. But, I do have more fun when I am on my own AND looking for his church clothes. I make the initial trip and later bring him with me for a final run.

philocrites - Thanks for the Capitol Domes link. Most amusing - and disturbing . . .

3:40 PM  
Anonymous jinnis said...

Thanks, psalmist!

3:41 PM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

Oh, dear! I haven't stopped laughing yet. PB, in a few years you're going to have some serious competition. Please follow this link for a priceless "out of the mouths of babes" comment: Beauty Tips for Ministers, The Third Grader Version, from Rebel Without a Pew.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

OK, PB, time for you to switch to your analyst's hat for a moment:

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??? I bought the LC platform sling pumps I loved for a wonderful price. So what to do about a handbag for the fall? I could not find a to-die-for black bag I could afford but I had it narrowed down to an Aigner black fabric bag in a wonderful roundish shape, or a rich deep red bag that, beautifully trimmed in silver, that had it been black, I would have walked out with happy. The red was only $5 more and would have been daring, for me. So what did boring Ps. do??? I chose the Aigner. Safe, tasteful...BORING! AAAARRRRRGH! I may just take it back tomorrow.

Seriously, why can I not seem to take significant fashion chances? I told myself those unadorned black leather platform slings were daring a round toe, a 3" heel, and a 1/2" platform keep them from being PLAIN BLACK SHOES! Even the dearest, mousy little lady in my choir carried a luscious green purse all summer and everybody loved it. I need help, dear PB! Why am I content to take risks only as a spectator (and I don't mean the shoe variety)??? :(

10:23 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Darling, don't despair! At least you're WILLING to do something unusal for you, and rocking your LC slingbacks will make you feel so swellegant, you're bound to want to continue in that vein.

Here's what I think, though. I think you should return the careful little Aigner bag and just get the red silver-trimmed one. (You do wear silver, right?)
You'll enjoy it when you're in jeans and a sweater, it will encourage you to have more fun on dreary days, and for a very small financial investment, you'll have broken your own spell of being overly cautious in fashion choices.
Do it!
I almost bought a fabulous red bag the other day but it didn't meet the criteria for long enough straps to throw over my shoulder and run for the train. Also, I have a cordovan colored one very like it. Still, a red bag is SO fab!

11:01 AM  
Blogger Psalmist said...

Thanks a million, PB! I will take your advice. Yes, I wear silver (almost exclusively). Maybe having a red bag will encourage me to do more "switching" (I tend to just stuff everything into one bag and carry only that bag for half a year).

You might be amused at what a fellow bag shopper said the third time we "excused me" past each other. "There's not a thing here I can use. Maybe that's God's way of telling me I have enough purses already." That was after I complained that my excellent taste meant that every bag I really super-liked was WAY over $100 ($50 at TJ Maxx was my upper limit).

2:48 PM  
Blogger Ginger Root said...

I don't know what the fall is like for your Parish minister types, but for the Religious Education ministers, the fall is one giant blur from mid July to mid October. I haven't caught a fall shopping season since I accepted this call. How I hate working over my spring things into a semblance of fall, but really by the time I had five minutes to shop in the fall it's already winter. I promise to be fabulous by Christmas.

4:12 PM  

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