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?


Eye Gel and Sheen and Shiny

Kiehl's Eye Stuff
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

A testimonial!

After a night of heavy petting with a bag of SmartFood Popcorn, I awoke this morning to horribly puffy bags under my eyes.

I wouldn't have cared, but I had a presentation later in the afternoon, so I cared.

I used my usual Kiehl's Ultra-Protection Moisturizing Eye Gel and voila! No more puff, and I had a nice healthy sheen under the eye area to distract from my sallow visage. You think this stuff is expensive at $30, but I'm telling you, it lasts for thousands of months.

I do notice as the light changes and casts more shadows that I become distinctly jowly and gray-tinged. Darlings,I RELY on my brightening powders and sheen-enhancing products!

I saw a particularly gorgeous item of the seminarian kind the other night from across the room and noticed that her lips looked small and set in a firm, stern line. How strange! She of the ebullient smile and pretty prettiness! Upon closer inspection later, I saw that she was wearing a deep berry color lipstick that was applied *not quite* all over her lip, and it had dried, giving her a much smaller lip area than she actually had.

This doesn't matter at all, except when you're speaking in public and you want to consider how well folks can see your features. Our lips do lose collagen and get thinner as we age, so heck, no use ageing yourself unnecessarily by coloring inside the lines. Just promise me you won't go puffing yourself up with collagen injections like those Hollywood starlets who look as though they've been whacked repeatedly in the mouth with a pingpong paddle.

And if you wear one of those stay-all-day lipcolors (which PeaceBang certainly does), use that moisturizing topcoat!

A special "hello" to my new friend and reader from Cambridge -- who looked so beautiful and professional today in a lovely black suit, neutral open-weave sweater and GORGEOUS gold necklace -- and to the ANTS fan known as "my cubicle-mate." Thanks for reading!

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Witchy Hair

It's getting so near Halloween. Is that why I keep seeing ministers with outrageously split ends and tattery, witchy hair out and about? Are they sporting those raggedy, hanging-in-your-face or ponytailed frazzled locks in preparation for their Halloween costume? I can only hope so, and pray that they'll get themselves to the hairdresser during the first week of November.

People, conditioner is your friend. Get your hair trimmed frequently enough to keep it healthy, and as the weather gets dryer and colder, acquire some Fructis or Tresseme or Paul Mitchell or Bumble & Bumble or Suave conditioner and USE IT!!


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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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Holiday and Preppy Sweater Watch 2006

ski sweaters
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

You are snazzy people, my readers, so I know I don't have to tell you that you aren't under any obligation to wear that reindeer-motif sweater your Aunt Mona got you last year. You just tell Aunt Mona that you gave that sweater to Someone Who Needed It More Than You, and she'll totally forgive you. You're such a giver.
Tell her that, then see that you do it. Because honey, ANYONE needs that sweater more than you do. They could live in HAWAII and need that sweater more than you do. If you wear that sweater you will just be giving your dignity right over to Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen. As I've repeated many times, there should be no holiday-themed wear in your working wardrobe.

While you're avoiding holiday motif sweaters, my little cider donuts, could you also consider steering clear of snowflake sweaters and other such Aspen vacation-evoking garments?

Here's the thing: unless you're doing ski lodge ministry, I don't really think the Suzy Chapstick look is terribly professional. It's just so bloody preppy. I know it's not fair, but I'm going to say it anyway: Whenever I see someone in one of those Fair Isle sweaters I always think to myself, "Well, there's someone who's never met a black person in her life."

I KNOW that's not fair. I SAID it wasn't fair. But I grew up in one of the towns listed in the preppy handbook, and I have a very old prejudice against Fair Isles.

Remember that Extreme Prep, although cute and sporty, is inherently about privilege and naturally evokes associations of country club elitism. Just be aware, and for god's sake, don't wear green courduroys with pink whales on them.


Trench Coat Leads

Whit, our self-described "scrumptious" seminarian in Ohio, needs a lead on finding himself a trench coat for under $100.
He would also like some thoughts about good men's fashion mags. Whit, I get "Out" magazine, but that might not be readily available in Ohio, where "Maxim" is probably more the norm. Yick!

PeaceBangers, please recommend away!!

Whit, we love you!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Photo Angles

Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Mon chi-chis, don't ever have your photo taken from this angle. Not for the New York Post, not for any reason. If anyone with a camera crouches beneath you like that, you just kick them in the neck with your boot and knock them right down.

And happy 60th birthday this week, Senator.

You've earned every one of those frown lines.


This Isn't "Fresh Faced:" It's Unpolished

Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
So, my pigeons. Here is actress Sharon Stone out and about shopping for furniture of a Saturday afternoon (or something, but the reports did say "shopping for furniture").

What do you think when you look at this image? "Gee, it's nice to see her natural beauty?" or rather, "Holy cow, Sharon, not only is that blouse an offense against nature and your skin tone, you MUST have realized you'd be caught on camera looking so blotchy and raggedy-headed."

Miss Stone is really pretty. So are you., and she's had a lot more professional help in getting that way than you've ever had.

But with just three minutes of time, Sharon could have achieved a quick evening-out of her skin tone with a creme compact (like the one by Lancome I used to use years ago when I was very into being super pale), a brightening of her lips, and some eyelashes. A brush of blush, a twist of the hair into an upknot, and she would have been camera-ready.

Now, our job in life isn't to be camera-ready at ALL times (but much of the time, yes). It is to realize that we are public people, that it doesn't take much effort at all to be presentable and polished, and that NO ONE LOOKS GOOD IN THAT BLOUSE.


Cheap Knock-Offs

PeaceBang is always on the prowl to look for the latest style trends that might just be possible for a clergyperson to adapt for their own use. She believes that while we shan't be slaves to fashion, it's important not to look like we just stepped out of a Time Machine set to 1991.

There are three trends happening right now that cause PeaceBang some concern, and for this specific reason: while some trends look glamorous and fantabulous in expensive form, they translate as horrid and tacky by the time they get to us working clergypersons in the form known as "affordable retail."

Three cases in point: the color gold, the military look, and the animal-print trend.

Let's take them one at a time.

1. The color gold is just gorgeous when it appears in, say, a drapey, Grecian goddess dress by Galliano worn on the red carpet by Keira Knightly (who seriously needs to eat a cheeseburger). The color gold looks smashing on toffee-skinned Hollywood beauties who have professional make-up stylists to create just the right smoky, bronzey eyeshadow and blush for them so that they're not washed out by the color.

By the time gold garments get to you and me, it's cheap, thready stuff that has far more yellow in it than deep, rich metallic depth. Wearing gold retail is just like sending out an invitation that says, "Welcome to My Sallow Skin!"
If you can afford Chanel gold, by all means rock it. If not, DO NOT TRUST THE GOLD. Leave it for the perma-tan starlets. Even if you have chocolatey or caffe latte skin, gold fabrics at the retail level have a well-earned rep for looking cheap. Be careful, be choosy!

2. Military fashion is very big right now: big brass buttons on everything, epaulettes on the shoulder (and I refuse to look up the spelling of that word -- I'm a minister, not a general), short, structured jackets ("Doctor, I've been having terrible flashbacks to the "Thriller" era! Is there something I could be taking?"), combat boots.

Not only is this look super tackeroo by the time it makes it to the retail racks, what is a messenger of God's peace doing in a military jacket? Again, be careful what you're projecting in your attire, darlings! A little sailor pea coat is one thing. A full length front-button, high-collared trench that makes you look like you're on your way out to inspect the troops ain't no way for a peace-monger to look. Avoid the military trend.

3. Animal prints are luxe and fun when they're done well. And I said animal PRINTS, not actual animal FUR (unless it's lying in bed with your cat wrapped around your neck).
Animal prints on the level of a Macy's or a Target MIGHT be fun and kicky, but you have to be judicious. A touch at the neck or cuffs can be lovely. A wonderful animal print blouse peeking out from under a suit jacket is a bold, fashionable statement but not if the blouse is garish and the print competes with unpolished, untouched hair and face. If you're doing animal print, at LEAST wear lipstick so we don't lose your features in all the zebra or tiger stripes.