Saturday, October 28, 2006

PeaceBang Is Called To the Ministry Of Beauty

As I was picking up some shoes at the Nine West outlet today on the way home from the Cape, I helped a woman choose a pair of boots for her high school reunion tonight. The salesgirl was trying to convince her to go with a pair of pointed toe, high-heeled ones that were absolutely huge around her tiny calf, but I gave her an "ex-nay" gesture behind the salesgirl's back. She got rid of the clerk and we picked out some boots.

And then, dear readers, I sent her next door to the Jones New York store to find a jacket. You know why? Because she was a SOUL IN NEED and PeaceBang just couldn't help it. Here was this beautiful, slim woman drowning herself in a too-long, shapeless zipped jacket with ROLLED UP SLEEVES. I could no better ignore that than the Samaritan could walk by that poor busted up dude on the Jericho road. I wanted her to just shine when she walked into that reunion. I wanted all the girls who were mean to her in high school fall down in fits of envy. I did refrain from offering to come over and do her make-up, but darlings, I was tempted. It would have been so much fun.

She said, "I don't have any sisters, so this was a god-send for me." And I hugged her and told her she was going to be smashing.

I was offered a sales position at both the Jones New York and the Nine West outlet stores. Just kidding.
Only the Nine West store. I never went to Jones New York. I hadn't eaten all day and I was faint with hunger.

The moral of the story is, I love this stuff and so do you. If you'd like to hire me as a speaker for your denominational, collegial or professional event as speaker, consultant and make-over artist, go ahead and ask. I have much of July and August available.

If I wrote a book, would you buy it?



Blogger Katherine said...


10:14 PM  
Anonymous anniesmom said...

I've learned so much reading this blog! My colleagues at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Center (NEVER call it "Headquarters") no longer see me as hopelessly fashion challenged. And it's all thanks to you. Of course I'd want your fashion book, especially if it's as entertaining as your posts.

Thank you God for calling PeaceBang, your humble and humorous servant, to a ministry of beauty.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous steven said...


12:32 AM  
Anonymous Bay Bridge Episcopal said...

I'm in. I'd be delighted to share it with my Episcopal brethren here in the Bay Area of CA, too. When, when, when will my fellow clergy learn that clogs, dark leggings, a corduroy skirt and a shapeless sweater do not cry, "friend of the poor and downtrodden" nearly as much as they bellow, "I'm not comfortable being a professional"? I'm no fashion-plate myself (thus the need for all the help I can get), but I'm willing to learn. Speak, for your servants are listening!

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

multiple copies

12:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PeaceBang, if you wrote a book, not only would I buy it, I would quickly purchase all the copies available to give to my fellow seminarians--it would have to be quick, you see, because otherwise they might beat me to it. I think we would still run the risk of all giving each other your book as a Christmas gift...

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Philocrites said...

I see that we have our work cut out for us on that train ride to NYC!

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Lorna said...

I'd buy it YES

and I need to find an equivalent of you in Finland. I'd love you to teach our youth :) (actually our whole denomination including me ... but start with the youth because they'd love and appreciate you and you'd see the results for decades!)

I already recommmend your blog.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!
And I would promote it at seminary bookstore. We need you.

5:41 PM  
Blogger slyypper said...

Yes, I would buy your book...perhaps shrink-wrapped with a nice lipstick or a moisturizer sample...? Even without, would still buy & read.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Jiff said...

( and I'd send copies to my friends....)

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of choosing jackets--I am working outside my climatic comfort zone (New England is COLD!) and I need to figure out how to stay warm. Neither my home nor my church is well heated. Are there any clothes I can't wear with long underwear? Do I have to take off my scarf indoors? What about hats? (I love my peruvian one with ear flaps--I chose the one without pictures of alpacas--but I'm guessing I can't get away with it if I'm actually supposed to look dressed up.) How do people make it through the winter up here???

7:37 PM  
Blogger Caroline Divine said...


(Write me off-blog and I'll talk agents and editors with you.)

And about the Bay Area... (where I lived for some time before moving to the South) Yo, Episco-friend out there, it's the *sistern* who need help, not just the brethren!

As for layers in New England, here are a few stray thoughts (I lived there too, in slightly younger but already professional days): 1) Long underwear comes in not too thick but warm versions -- try either silk underwear or Damart underwear, which is made of a thin but toasty synthetic; neither of these will bulk up your clothes but they will warm you nicely. 2) Gloves, gloves, gloves. I used to wear two pairs when I lived in Beantown: gloves under mittens, or silk gloves under wool gloves. 3) Two pairs of socks, or socks over warm tights. 4) Yes, hats. I'll let PeaceBang determine whether the cute Peruvian hat is okay, she is more recently a Bostonian than I. 5) Scarves. If they are nice and drape gracefully around your neck and shoulders, there is nothing wrong with wearing them indoors (you can also use a shawl, fabulously draped) as long as they match what you are wearing and are not ragged and misshapen. Collecting colorful scarves and shawls can be helpful, especially if your budget is low: you can wear neutrals for your slacks and skirts and jackets and sweaters, and bright colors or prints (not cute little holiday ones though, see below PeaceBang's good rant on snowflakes and reindeer) in the scarf and hat and glove department. No hot pink at funerals, though. (I take that back -- in the 1980s and early 1990s when we had too many funerals of fabulous people who had died of AIDS-related diseases, sartorial fabulosity at funerals and memorial services was often the way we grieved and celebrated. Clergy and lay leaders too. So, attention to context is always good. But in general, I'd say don't get too wild-toned at funerals unless you know it's expected or healing.)

I stress the gloves, hat, socks thing because we humans lose much heat from our heads (any physiologists out there who can help me? I think it's something huge like 50% or 70%)and also extremities get cold, especially in that chilly damp New England weather, which I found more bone-chilling than Midwestern dry cold that was 10 or 20 degrees colder. So don't let your feet get cold. And everyone wears boots in the winter, so don't worry too much about elegant footgear in that season; stay warm. (PeaceBang may urge you to keep nice-looking shoes at the office. Either way, wear something both waterproof AND warm on your feet out of doors. The Lands' End catalogue is your friend.)

Warm tights (wool tights from the Vermont Country Store catalogue are great, but there are others, in fact I have always found good tights at Filene's Basement, so if you are in Boston, take advantage of that) are also good. They do well under skirts if you are going to show some leg. (It will be wool-clad leg, but in a dark color and with some kind of vertical stripe or weave to offset the extra thickness, it's just fine.)

The REAL problem I always found in Boston was the glasses-fogging-up thing when you walk into a building -- or just into the T - from the outdoors. I always thought someone should invent a little automatic windshield wiper for spectables. 'Cause taking off your glasses to wipe them when you just stepped onto the escalator at the Porter Square or Back Bay T stop with a briefcase in one hand and mittens on both your hands and suddenly you're all fogged up can get really problematic...

10:46 PM  
Blogger Caroline Divine said...

Oops that's spectacles not spectables. Sorry.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Peregrinato said...

Of course I would.

12:46 AM  
Blogger John Plummer said...

yes, yes, yes, for god's sake, yes. get busy writing!

8:00 AM  
Blogger Quotidian Grace said...

I'd buy it and I'm not a clergyperson.
I think your observations are spot on for other professional women who struggle with achieving a balance between dressing to inspire authority and confidence in their professional skills and not looking totally dowdy.

Your unique writing style is so entertaining as well as instructive that I think you'd have a "crossover'" hit on your hands.

8:44 AM  
Blogger jean said...

Probably not buy the book. I love reading your blog. It is always a bright spot on my Internet day. I too hope all the girls who were mean to her in HS are knocked flat.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Theresa said...

God knows the clergy of the world would greatly benefit from a book by PeaceBang! [though I'm not sure you could get the catholics on board ;)]. But seriously, start writing!!

9:46 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Sign me up.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't worry about the catholics. i've recommended this blog to priests, nuns, and lay ministers alike. i have to say, though, that the jesuits i know tend to be better-appointed than most.

9:23 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home