Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lipstick On The Communion Chalice

A lovely and cosmetically-conscientious reader says,

"Hello Peacebang!

Big problem for a chalice bearer and future Episcopal deacon. Lipstick on the chalice at communion is a nasty thing, and shouldn't be put there by someone who has to wipe it off! What's a good lipstick that will adhere to the lips and not come off on the chalice? I've been doing without on Sunday but now that I'm fiftysomething and rather white-haired, I could use a little more color.
Thanks from a fan.

Dear M,

Oh, ewww! I hadn't thought about the problem of lipstick residue on the Communion chalice, but you're good to bring it to my attention.

PeaceBang is a huge fan of CoverGirl Outlast All Day Lip Color in Blush Pearl and wears it every Sunday to church. Any of the CoverGirl Outlast All Day colors are good, since the moisturizing topcoat is no very emollient but not gooey.

I often wear it with another lipcolor on top, but it works great on its own.

Let us know how it works!
Kiss of peace to you!


Rather Handsome, Wouldn't You Say?

Nautica Sale
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

Gentlemen, there seems to be a sale on Nautica garments here,

PeaceBang thinks that these are good-looking clothes and quite affordable. Go check them out. And while you're looking at the sweaters, consider not drowning yourself in enormous knits or upstaging your face with loud, busy knitted patterns. It's you we want to hear speaking, not your big ole Dr. Huxtable sweater.

(Yes, you can wear white pants. You have to be in good shape, and you have to keep them clean, but they can look crisp and really nice in the warmer months. Consider pairing with a navy single-breasted blazer and handsome floral tie for meetings.)


No-Iron Shirts, And A Land's End Catalog Review

Look, fellas!
I found you some nice no-iron shirts from Land's End!

While the boys are off shopping, can we gals tawk?

PeaceBang was perusing the new Plus Size Collection of the Land's End catalog, which she generally finds to be a source of affordable and well-made clothing. Land's End seems to be deluging her mailbox lately, in fact.

But she was very unhappy with this latest offering and if there are any plus size designers out there, PeaceBang would like to HAVE A WORD WITH YOU. Through a MEGAPHONE, darling.


Now, PeaceBang has not noticed this problem on the on-line catalog -- which has no models -- but she notices it when looking at how the clothes fit one real-life women (if catalog models could be considered "real life," and for the sake of argument we'll say that they can).

These clothes, when worn by women, seem to PeaceBang to be mostly shapeless and on the edge of frumpy. Oh sure, the models look cute. That's because they had their hair and make-up professionally done and they're in fabulous lighting and smiling huge, well-rested smiles and standing around on beaches and porches without a care in the world. Wouldn't you look adorable under similar circumstances? But PeaceBang is a shrewd little vixen and she is not fooled. Outside the magical Land Of Catalog, those clothes are mostly just not designed very well, especially the skirts which are really just a Long Column Of Fabric. We are not fooled, Land's End! Your Long Print Bias Skirt on page 31 is just a sheet with a zipper and button closure, isn't it? Isn't it?
Thank you for not making your blazers similarly shapeless. You can fire your skirt and shirt designer and keep the blazer and pants designer.

This catalog also highlights the difficulty we have determining genres of clothing and whether or not they will work for us. In this particular case, PeaceBang is typically confused. Is this Land's End clothing meant to be casual clothing women could ostensibly wear to work, or is it meant to be casual sportswear that would be especially nice for gardening in?

Hence, methinks, the crisis in dressing for many of us. There's too much gray area out there. And that's where YOU have to be discerning and wise, powder pigeons. Land's End or Macy's or Target or Kohl's or Dayton's are not going to make it clear to you in what context their offerings are acceptable or appropriate. YOU have to do the work of finding your own look and determining what's appropriate for your work and your message.

While we're on the subject, PeaceBang happens to think that the colors of many of Land's End garments are puerile -- too reminiscent of the nursery to adorn her 41-year old person. In fact, PeaceBang finds this problem with many manufacturers of sportswear for plus-sized women. All those complexion-killing greens and cheap saccharine pinks and horrible powdery blues.... eesh. PeaceBang likes colors with a bit more complexity and sophistication when she can find them, and by that she doesn't mean "island turquoise" or "deep coral." She does not work as a luau hostess, Land's End. And I love pink -- but that raspberry pink they're calling "French pink," well, non. That's not French pink. PeaceBang has been to France and she can tell you that that's not French pink. It's more like Akron, Ohio Pink.

That said, the neutrals are quite nice. And you thought I never had anything nice to say.

My point is, darlings, that not only have I not finished my first coffee of the morning, but is to say that the clothier's job is to sell you clothing, not to define your image for you or to work with your figure or your coloring. That's up to you.

It's hard work, but someone's gotta do it, and you're the best one for the job. In fact, when it comes right down to it, you're the only one for the job.


Friday, February 23, 2007

She Gave Her Ordination The Boot

ordination boot
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
Remember when D. wrote in and told us about how she broke her ankle right before her ordination and was so upset that she wouldn't be able to wear fabulous shoes? And then she decorated her little ankle boot with rhinestones?

Well, here's the photo. And it's just a wonderful shot.

Blessings to the Rev. D. and her intrepid sense of humor and flair!


Please Pray For Orlando

Originally uploaded by Peacebang.

My living God, is that a MULLET on Orlando Bloom?

And why is his skin so gray?
And his eyes so baggy?

PeaceBang is so deeply dismayed that she might have to go have some chocolate. Now is not the time to return to sermon-writing.

Healing prayers to the previously-dishy and elegant Mr. Bloom.
Lord have mercy.

(thanks to for the photo)

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Matte Jersey Dress

Now, I'm not crazy about this drab color, but I'm just pointing out that you can get a perfectly nice, professionally-appropriate dress for $55:


Thursday, February 22, 2007

To My Andover Newton Classmate

Hi, colleague and classmate!

You came into class today and commented on my "fame" and said that your wife thinks you have no fashion sense and maybe we should talk.

You can tell your wife that PeaceBang thinks you look just nifty.

You were wearing a big blue sweater over your clerical collar today. The sweater was a pretty shade of blue and was all nubby and textured and nice. You looked warm. You were wearing some kind of perfectly fine pants and I didn't notice your shoes, but I noticed your very au courant eyeglasses that look great on you, and I think your beard and hair are great -- kind of shaggy and friendly but well-groomed. You've got energy and presence and you just get yourself all snazzed up and out of that collar and take that wife of yours out dancing.

Tell her that if she's worried about "no fashion sense," she's got the wrong guy.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fashion Emergency: Ash Wednesday Edition


I pause in the middle of the day to post this burning questions about vestments because I am
aware that some of you have evening services and this might help you, too:

Dear PeaceBang,

I just finished an Ash Wednesday service and had an unexpected problem with my vestments.

I know you tend to focus on what we wear under our vestments, but I imagine you or one of your readers might be able to help me out.I have one of those gorgie Guatemalan woven stoles in purple which I love to break out for Advent and Lent.

The problem is that its one long piece of tapestry, about 6" wide, with no stitching or darts or anything to help it lay neatly around my shoulders and behind my neck.

I've tried folding the middle part a bit so it could sit flat against the back of my neck, but it looks a little silly. I've also tried the trick of letting it go really loose, not letting the center touch the back of my neck, making it look like a hood back there. I hate being preoccupied with these things during church and Lord knows I can't go about fussing with it once I'm up there.

Any suggestions on how to wear it or how to fix it so it looks neater?Thanks, and keep up the good work, Chick Pea.


Dear Mamacita,

Did you just call me "Chick Pea?" How cute are you?

Well, about one thing you are certainly correct: you cannot go fussing around with your stole once you're up there.

As for the rest, this is a tough question, and I would think that a good seamstress might be consulted before you wear this stole again.

Readers, what say you?


The Trouser Situation Room

PeaceBang is really very tired right now, but she's a little bit wired and suspects that laying her head on the pillow would yield no sleep until she's unwound a bit.
And how better to unwind than to cozy up to you, my dear ones, with a cup of chamomile tea and a couple of observations about


PeaceBang is taking deep, cleansing breaths.

She is going to try to stay calm as she says this.

Clergy should not wear sweat pants for their daily work of ministry. Sweat pants are pants that are black stretchy cotton and that taper at the ankle. Perhaps you didn't know that those are sweat pants. PeaceBang assures you that they are, and that they are not appropriate for public appearances of any kind except the gym.

Women clergy should not go about pastoral business in Levi 501 jeans. Sorry, gals. Men can get away with it. We cannot, unless they are paired with structured, dressier tops. Please, we love denim. But Levis 501s and ancient, faded Lee jeans are not appropriate denim garments for anyone in a public leadership role. They are what your grandmother used to refer to as "dungarees." Save them for gardening, or grocery shopping, or a day when you won't be in church.

Dear ones. It's not complicated. Your pants should fit. They should not be pegged at the ankle unless you're such a fashion maven that you actually went out and bought yourself a new pair of the "skinny jeans" that were all the rage among extremely slim and fit 20-somethings this past year. Trousers should not end at the top of your ankle. If they have shrunk over the years, for heaven's sake thank them for their loyal service and retire them!

PeaceBang understands that it's hard toiling in the vineyards of the LORD and that we all want to be comfy. But please, for the love of Merv Griffin, be better prepared to represent religious leadership than sweat pants and dungarees.

Regardez, my doves:
nice denim
If you're wearing denim pants -- PeaceBang is this close to not calling them jeans anymore -- aim for denim that is dark and long enough. (No need to get these particular jeans with the snazzy pocket that draws attention to the posterior, but the length and wash are great here).
bad denim This little gal whose image I randomly nabbed off Google Image Search is friendly and actually more polished than several clergypeople I saw at a meeting the other day (!), but those jeans are too faded and inappropriate for work. Save them for private life.

Okay, honeybuns? Can we work on this PANTS SITUATION so that I can stop feeling the need to call Wolf Blitzer?


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

PeaceBanging Poppa T

PeaceBang is still fanning her face after this media blitz, and is looking forward to bringing the Ministry of Clergy Beautification to a wider audience in days to come. We may even be making prime time, cupcakes! Won't that be fun?

For now, though, we cannot just flop around on our laurels, can we? We have serious work to do. Like responding to this e-mail from our friend, the Revd. Timothy Holder, Founding Priest and Pastor of the HipHopEMass USA!
(I didn't add that exclamation point, it's on his signature) who wrote to say, and I quote: "PeaceBang me, Sista!"

Being the pastor of a small town New England Unitarian church doesn't exactly qualify me to be a "SISTA," but Tim, my little magnolia blossom, I shall happily comment on this photo:

Poppa T

Well, this is easy schmeezy!

Timotei is known professionally as "Poppa T," and he has a very special urban ministry with the hip hop community. Therefore, he has a very special look.
Tim writes that his "Justice Now + I Have A Dream" jacket was a gift from the rappers of Boston.* Isn't that nice? It's quite a smashing garment, actually. It's just not something you or I could wear.

Tim can wear it because it's a gift from people with whom he is in actual ministerial relationship. It is not some uber-chic thing that he picked up during Fashion Week so he could look the part of a hip hop pastor. He is a hip-hop pastor. He actually invented the HipHopE Mass, so he has serious street cred.

How a gay man from Alabama got to be an ordained Episcopalian priest and go on to found a hugely popular hip hop worship tradition is another story for another blog, but PeaceBang is just here to say that Timmy, you look wonderful, you're adorable, and big kiss of peace to you. Can't wait to see you in April.

*Where they will celebrate HipHopEMass April 18 at St. Paul's Cathedral. See you there!


Would You Like a PeaceBang Consultation?

Darling ones,

"Nightline" would like to do a little story on Yours Truly, and I have agreed to let them film me on Monday, my day off. I will be doing normal pastoral things and then we'd LOVE to get some footage of me consulting with YOU about your image, persona, and clothing.

If you'd be willing to drive down to Norwell and endure the glaring lights of brief prime time fame, please let me know.

The segment would air as part of the "Sign of the Times" segment, and we all know that "Nightline" does good work. I promise you that it will be lovely, fun, and dignified.

Kiss of peace,


For New Readers

Hello, dear new friends! You may have figured out that you can do a keyword search on this blog for those subjects that especially interest you, but I'd also like to direct you to some of the more popular posts on basic subjects of interest.

Here's where I talk about make-up tips:
And basic ministerial attire:

Here's where I get on my soapbox about clergy drabness :

Here's where I explain that I do this because I'm the biggest stage mother of all clergy, and I want all my babies to be stars!!

Here's where I keep looking in vain for a pair of nice black flats:

And here's where I remind us that we're vessels of God:

Kiss of peace!!
xxoxo PB