Friday, December 08, 2006

What To Wear For a Bitter Theological Controversy

Fausto bids me remind you that if you're going to an ecclesiastical council of some kind and you want to argue about the divinity of Christ, don't wear a polka-dot muu-muu and a Zippy The Pinhead conehead chapeau. It just doesn't command respect.

Nicholas At Nicea

(That's Nicholas on the left, busting Arius' chops on homoousias or homoiousias, I can never keep them straight)


Yes, Virginia, There Is Such a Thing As Nice Jeans

Having seen a frightening preponderance of Mom Jeans* on women of late, PeaceBang feels it worthy to return to the topic of JEANS on professional and snazzy human beings... even clergy human beings.

About a year ago, PeaceBang was at a collegial gathering wearing dark denim jeans, high-heeled boots, a fun striped blouse and a designer blazer with pockets and a belt. She had hair, nails and make-up done, and was wearing hoop earrings. In short, she was dressed entirely appropriately for a day meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.

A seminarian approached her to say hello and said to her, "I LOVE it that you wear jeans."

PeaceBang was a bit flummoxed. Such admiration for the apparently rebellious Wearing Of Jeans suggested that PeaceBang had tottered in from the fields clad in dirty dungarees, and wasn't that a thumb on the nose to conventional professional standards?

PeaceBang didn't know what to say, and ended the conversation fast. Could it really be that this seminarian was totally out of touch with the fact that, all over the fashion world, nice jeans and other well-made, well-cut denim garments were considered entirely appropriate for casual meetings in the business world? Had she never been to New York City or any other more fashionable urban center than Boston and seen thousands of professional men and women clad in nice denim garments pair with elegant blazers or shirts, and even dressed up for evening with heels and silk or cashmere?

Where the heck had she BEEN?

Every well-dressed American -- including clergy -- should have a nice pair of jeans in their closet. Those nice jeans should NOT BE faded, should not show ankle or most of shoe (in fact, they should be long enough to allow for the wearing of heels for women), should not make the derriere look like two large country biscuits stuffed in a basket, and should be kept folded or hung neatly, and even pressed when necessary.

Denim is IN, my darlings. It has been IN for years. Denim, when paired with other structured garments, is a perfectly acceptable fabric for all but formal occasions. The trick is to wear your nice jeans with a look that has some detail, some structure, some shape and some elegance. You wouldn't want to wear nice jeans with an ordinary sweater and no accessories. That doesn't cut it. Jeans are cool, and they require a bit of thought and effort to fulfill their potential.

Nice jeans, btw, are not appropriate for church on Sunday mornings. No way, no how. You can change into them for your meetings later in the day, but they do not belong in the Lord's temple on the Sabbath.

* How do you know Mom Jeans when you see them?

1. They are a faded, light denim, or splotchily faded from many washings.

2. They sit high on the waist, creating a pear-shaped body.

3. They are too short. You can see two or three inches of ankle.

4. They make the derriere look like enormous marshmallows because they have no stiffness left and they don't fit.

(Sweetheart People, one of the reasons denim has such perrennial appeal is that it MOLDS AND HOLDS JIGGLY BODY PARTS. When you gad about in floppy denim that doesn't hold anything in, you're defeating the purpose!)

5. The jeans in the photo are by True Religion. They cost $240 and they are most definitely NOT Mom Jeans. They're beautiful, in fact, but the front patch pockets render them a bit too casual for your line of business.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Gifts

If you have a favorite hair stylist or colorist, masseuse or manicurist, please remember them at the holidays.
They are part of your self-care team, and you should give them a gift. It's also entirely appropriate to tip 100% of the cost of service in lieu of a gift, or however much you can afford.

Think about it: you give money to all kinds of good causes, you pledge or tithe to your church. This is part of the same deal. These are not the most well-paid people in our economy. They mostly work without benefits, and they put up with a lot of crap. If you have a good and steady relationship with them, don't forget them at the holidays.

I am getting my manicurist, hairstylist and hair colorist these Le Sport Sac cosmetic cases. I think they're going to love them! I love them! I was tempted to get one for myself! They're a bit expensive, but this is my fifth year with all these gals and that's special.


Maybelline Superstay Lipcolor

Having heard your cries that CoverGirl Outlast All Day Lipcolor tasted nasty, PeaceBang has been trying other brands in an effort to find something that works and that lasts.

She is very happy to report that Maybelline Superstay Lipcolor glides on in a lightweight, blendable way, that it has good coverage, and that it comes with a very nice glossy topcoat.

It does not have the staying power of CoverGirl Outlast All Day, but it tastes just fine. Just reapply after meals, because one turkey sam'wich will do it in.

PeaceBang recommends:

Maybelline Superstay Lipcolor

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Higher The Hair, The Closer To God

I'm just kidding about the hair, of course. That is some SCARY, SCARY hair on Miss Denise Richards. PeaceBang is definitely not advising you to try that hair-do unless you're auditioning for the role of Miss Mona in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," which you shouldn't do if you're ordained clergy. It could bring shame on your church, ya'll. PeaceBang is a musical theater gal herself and tries not to take roles that require her to be raunchy in any way, except that time she played a drunk child abuser and wore thigh-highs and a garter belt as she staggered around on stage throwing doll's heads at little orphan children.

ANYWAY, I digress!

My point here was to show you how cute and fashionable it is to wear tights with dresses this season. Get yourself a nice fitted skirt, throw on some tights, and wear heels. Add a girly blouse or a sweater with some shape to it and you're all set for winter office days and nights.

Tights with clogs or other orthopedic shoes, while comfy indeed, are not so much fashionable as just warm and opaque. And that's fine too.

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Not By the Hairs On My Chinny-Chin-Chin!

I dressed carefully for the day today, knowing that I would be going straight from class to a friend's funeral.

Dear readers, I did my best. Slacks, boots, nice shirt, cardigan, make-up, hair and jewelry. Manicure. Even fresh polish on the toesies.

When I went to powder my nose during a break in class, I saw a huge blonde whisker coming out of my chin. 'Bout one centimeter just shining in the light.

As you already know, PeaceBang has a tweezer in her car. She now vows to carry one in her make-up bag.

There is truly no rest for the weary.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Controlling Your Image

Say there's a photo of you on your church's web site that you secretly think is just awful, dowdy, unattractive, triple-chinned.

Say that there's a photo of you on your denominational web site that makes you look like Jo Jo the Dog-Faced Minister.

Say a reporter comes to do a story on your congregation, and schedules a photographer to come along.

Is it diva-esque and difficult in any of these cases to get a better photo, contact someone in the denominational office and ask that the Rev. Jo-Jo photo be removed, or ask the photographer to get your from a certain angle, or in flattering light?

Not necessarily. It's all in how you ask.

Your public image is your responsibility, sweet peas. Without making a vain pest of yourself, it is perfectly reasonable to be mindful of your image, to do everything you can to assure that attractive photographs of yourself are included in your church's brochures or electronic media, and to respectfully request that a photographer work with you to get a good image.

It is not stupid to practice your smile in the mirror, to know your good angles, and to do a practice session of polaroids with a friend so you can learn how you photograph.

Don't be afraid to stop an interview before a photo to check your teeth, powder your nose and forehead, and fix your hair. Thousands and thousands of people may see this photograph: why not spend a moment to make sure you don't have spinach stuck in your teeth? The photographer's not going to tell you.

If you are being photographed as you preach or speak, or if you're photographed as one of a group, there's not much you can do to better the results. However, you can nicely inquire as to whether there will be any opportunity to view proofs, as in "I'd love to see the proofs when they come back and help you choose what image will go in the catalog."

The worst you can get is a "no," right?

A picture's worth a thousand words, and let me tell you, my kitty cats, one bad picture's worth a thousand bad words!! PeaceBang knows.

As for photos that might be out there of you in compromising situations, well, PeaceBang can't help you with those. Just hope that you never make enemies with old friends or lovers who are hoarders of humiliating New Year's Eve photos. And for the love of Thor, don't -- no matter what -- do NOT consent to any requests, from spouses or otherwise, to appear before the lense in any state of undress. If your consort begs and pleads for such likenesses, do like Kate Winslet in "Titanic:" drop your robe and insist on a watercolor portrait. Anything else would just be tacky, darlings, and may come back to haunt you.

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Why We Must Not Avoid Mirrors

PeaceBang discovered to her horror last night that the nice v-necked shell she was wearing under a cardigan was actually an invitation to a Festival of Inappropriate Sharing. She discovered this while seated in front of a mirror long after the day was done and the harm had been caused. Quelle horror! Sacre bleu! Why did she not check the view from here before leaving the house?

"Thank God I didn't wear this to church," quoth she to her FMPT.*
"Yes, you did," he responded.

PeaceBang felt the hot flush of realization creep across her face.

"But I didn't wear it to MY church," she said, and she is leaving it at THAT, with the hopes that the lovely Christians with whom she shared an Advent worship service and fellowship hour last night will be good enough to forgive her sartorial indiscretions.

Darlings! Do not make my mistake! Check all angles before gadding about to your next event. Check the rear, check the front, and for heaven's sake, if you'll be seated at any point during the event, check the view from a seated position!
Adjust as necessary, using either a discreet safety pin or a big, beautiful holiday brooch. Bling can hide a multitude of over-sharing situations.

* = Favorite Male Product Tester

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Hilarious New Blog

Dearest ones, you will undoubtedly get a chuckle out of this blog written by "Disgruntled Employee."

I know this gal, and she's the manager of an upscale cosmetics boutique.

Read and laugh at :

Now PeaceBang is going to get back to that 20 page paper she's hacking away at, and looking sadly at her nails which are in truly frightening condition.

Ta -ta!