Thursday, October 26, 2006

How To Dress For An EVENT

Darling and faithful ones!

I attended an EVENT yesterday at Andover-Newton Theological School, and was very happy to see that some religious people understand what it means to dress for an Event.

How can you tell when something is an Event, and not merely, say, A Meeting, a Gathering, or a Shindig?

Here's one easy hint: if there is a keynote speaker who is the president of an entire denomination and you had to R.S.V.P. for dinner, it's an EVENT. If there are two speakers who are presidents of entire denominations, did you even have to ask if this is an EVENT? Seminarians, if there are people in attendance who might have the slightest influence on your ability to get a job in ministry, consider it an EVENT even if it just feels like a confab.

An EVENT requires structured clothing.

This means that there should be no sweatshirts, no polar fleeces, no elastic waistbands in the pants, no all-cotton ensembles suitable for the gym. This is not a weekend spiritual retreat, you will not be walking the labyrinth later.


This is so wrong. Even if you have weak ankles, you can buy black sneakers or some other foot-friendly shoes. PeaceBang just about had to be held back from ripping those glaring white gym shoes off those pantyhosed feet.

You know, I don't think I was able to feel until just now how upsetting that vision was. Thank you for being there so I could fully experience the pain.

Ladies, please do check for cleavage issues when you're dressing up. One earnest person of the larger-breasted species was wearing an outfit that clearly had a lot of effort behind it but when she sat down, one could see her entire mammary situation. This is not good; especially not when paired with a skirt that's just a bit too short. The moral of this story is, sit down and lean forward in the mirror before you leave the house. PeaceBang, who is of abundant bazoomage herself, has many a time learned too late that the shirt that worked so appropriately while standing up becomes a festival of inappropriate sharing when seated. Take care, lovelies. This can be a problem for smaller-chested gals, too. Take the time to check it out.

If you're confused about how to dress for an Event, a few guidelines:

1. Men and male-identified: nice pants of whatever level dressiness you like and a sports coat. The tie is up to you. If you want to look like a contender, a tie is a necessity. Look around you: are the speakers wearing ties? Would you like to be invited to be a speaker someday? If the answer is yes, put the noose on, baby. If you're sitting in the back row and are just there for fun and you're settled with a good job and you're known to be an affable, cool dude, wear whatever you bloody please. People will be glad to see you. If you're a new papa, you can even wear spittle-encrusted garments. It will just look charming.

2. Ladies and female-identified: The creative options are endless! Nubby sweaters and longish skirts, nice trousers and blouses, skirt and blazer. A bit of make-up and put-together hair. PeaceBang saw so many wild split ends last night she's going to have to post separately on that issue. Some jewelry that wasn't made by your kindergartner (that's fine for everyday, but not for an evening EVENT). Spruce up. Make an impression.

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Blogger Elizabeth said...

I have to say that I plan to use the fabulous phrase "festival of inappropriate sharing" in conversation soon.

That tip is as important for your own comfort as it is for appearances - I went to an EVENT recently where one of the important people I was conversing with wore a top that, while lovely, had an unfortunate tendency to shift, revealing the edge of her brassiere - it was obviously making her uncomfortable to have to adjust constantly.

12:58 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

That is SUCH a bummer when that happens! You choose a lovely top and think it's fine and has passed the cleavage test, only to find that the bloody thing likes to move around all over the place! Curses!

7:13 PM  
Blogger Mrs. M said...

I just wish my sisters in bustyhood would think about how much we chalicers can see when they kneel at the alter rail. Heavens, ladies!

8:38 PM  
Anonymous jinnis said...

Just about all I can say is "Amen!"

A key phrase of note - "Would you like to be invited to be a speaker someday? "

This is a blog entry worthy of a permanent link. PB - I wonder if someone in the UUA Ministry and Professional Leadership might find use for this topic as a guest column for the next Religious Leader?

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Endowed Episcopal said...

So, how much cleavage is acceptable? Is a hint of the twins acceptable, or should the blouse deny all knowledge that there is something to lift and separate? Clearly, the Janet Jackson version of nipple display is just out, out, out, but what middle ground might there be?

4:01 PM  
Blogger Caroline Divine said...

No cleavage in church. Period. And trust me, I'm no prude.

That said, should we have a church dress code? Hell no. People should come to church as they are. No barriers, all welcome. But those of us who are in leadership in the church, especially liturgical leadership, need to exercise a touch of restraint. Yes, I have seen bazooms on the other side of the altar rail: i.e., sometimes it's a chalicer who is showing a little too much skin. Keep it under wraps. But yeah, flaunt those girls on that hot date or at the beach. Context, context, it's all about context.

4:12 PM  
Blogger The Eclectic Cleric said...

Lord only knows what I'm doing reading THIS blog (not that I don't need it), but the Whitney Houston crack reference lured me in, and now I've read all the way down to here.

Like to think you were thinking of me when you described the affable, cool dude settled with a good job sitting in the back row just for fun, but I was still smugly pleased that apparently my attire did indeed meet the minimal event standards (including necktie). I might not ever have been a contender. But at least I'm not a bum....

A little disappointed that you didn't invite ME to the "festival of inappropriate sharing." I might have wanted to meet her. Then again, you probably know what's best for me in that arena too....

Pantyhose with my Nikes? God forbid! Although nowadays it seems like I have to wear so much lycra, neoprene and spandex just to step out on the court, pantyhose might seem like a vacation.

Finally, a personal testimonial. PeaceBang dressed me for my last excursion into the pre-Candidating meatmarket, and I certainly can't complain about the results. I'd buy your book in a heatbeat (even if I can't really promise to live BY the book once I've bought it). You can be my fashion consultant any time.

7:25 AM  

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