Friday, March 09, 2007

Holy MakeOver!

Dearest Boston-area PeaceBangers,

If you would be willing to have a brief PeaceBang clergy image consultation on March 21 from 10-11:30 at the WBZ studios for the Sundays With Liz Walker show, please respond by e-mail.

Here are some of the things we will consider together:
1. Are you in transition (from seminary to parish, from associate pastor to senior pastor, etc.), and are you trying to communicate something new in your image?
2. What are your particular challenges in putting together a look that projects your the vitality of you and your ministry more immediately and effectively to those around you?
3. What are your challenges in general around attire and image (budget, lack of knowledge or confidence, never thought about it before, time management, organization, etc.)?

This will be a serious but fun conversation (PeaceBang is all about serious and fun, and serious fun!) that will in all ways show you in a good light. You should know that PeaceBang's on-line blogging persona, flamboyant and extravagant enough to keep you reading, is quite a bit more wild than her in-person reality. Which is to say, do not fear the 'Bang. She is truly There For You.

Kiss of peace!
PB (and Liz)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

When Bloomies Blows Your Serenity

Dear ones,

PeaceBang has been fairly DELUGED with marvelous queries this week, and she promises to get to them when she has just a wee bit more energy.

Do not despair! We will address holy-holey boyfriend shoes, GA wear, candidating togs and all other manner of your fabulousness when the Holy Spirit comes and hits PeaceBang upside the head and says, "Get back to work, girl! Your faithful readers need you!"

But right now, how can PeaceBang give you advice on being your best most radiant self and emitting the thrilling energy of the contemporary church when she has four broken nails, Walter Mondale bags under her eyes, and a desire to wrap herself in this for a few days, or until we're out of this Arctic blast:


What a nice pedicure!

I had to walk through Bloomingdale's on my way to Sephora today to return a product (a fragrance by Fresh that I mistook for the delicious V-Tonic they issued last year, but which turned out to smell like Lemon Pledge) and thought, oh my heavens. Oh MY HEAVENS. Look at all the women in this place who are very seriously shopping for $600 shoes as though those shoes were really very seriously important. This is a problem. Not only is it rampant materialism at its saddest ("salvation through Salvatore Ferragamo!"), the shoes this season aren't even that great! Once you've seen the doyennes of Chestnut Hill, MA squeeze their toes into patent leather peep-toe spectator pumps, you just can't muster quite the same sense of fun about them as you did when you saw them featured in Glamour, if you know what I mean.

Those gals were shopping for shoes with the kind of earnestness most people reserve for reciting their wedding vows. You want to know where to evangelize, people? Try the shoe department at Bloomingdales. I remember once seeing an want ad for a MALL CHAPLAIN. To this day I have no idea what the job entails but I always imagined that the Mall Chaplain would be there to help you through buyer's remorse, and lead you to confront which of your soul's deepest desires those Cole-Haan loafers were supposed to fill. Does anyone out there know what a Mall Chaplain really does?

ANYhoo, duckies, the point is that PeaceBang is a bit tired and cranky and if she can't even get a kick out of Spying For the House of the LORD in the Bloomie's shoe department, what GOOD is she?

You be wonderful and vibrant, won't you, while mother has a nice little nap.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Eyebrows, Suits

Darlings, PeaceBang is suffering from a Hideous Facial Disfigurement that has her face quite swollen and her right eye very puffy. She saw the doctor yesterday and got loaded up with anti-virals, anti-biotics (which she won't take) and an immunity-enhancing supplement. This is her second HFD in two months, and that's just not a good statement about her general health and self-care. However, when she was waiting for her prescriptions at Brooks Pharmacy, she had the pleasure of meeting three very lovely women who absolutely loaded her up with samples from these new-to-American skincare lines:

Eau Thermale Avene
La Roche-Posay Laboratoire Pharmaceutique
Lierac Paris

Doesn't this all just make you want to stand up and sing "Le Marseille?" How kind of the French to flood the American market with products that may help us be more moist, dewy, exfoliated and generally fresh-faced!! As soon as PeaceBang's Hideous Facial Disfigurement calms down, she can't wait to start testing away, especially since she has heard from two cosmetic professionals in the past week that she has LARGE PORES. Mon Dieu!! Large PORES! This in addition to having bad roots, a desperate need for a manicure, and not having made it to the gym in two weeks. PeaceBang might have to take to her bed today with a box of Girl Scout cookies, her computer, and her spring preaching schedule. It's all too much, and the Easter service is already becoming overly-complicated and PeaceBang is all stressed out about it.

But now, for your questions!

Sez one lovely lass,

"I just discovered your blog, and I have a question about eyebrows.
I know I should pluck my eyebrows, but they're a) light; b)sparse; c) the hairs are long.
So if I eliminated the hairs that shouldn't be there, there'd only be a few left and they wouldn't necessarily look tidy. And what do you do with eyebrow pencils?
I've never figured out how they work. The color certainly doesn't rub off on the hairs, and I don't think you're supposed to just draw your own on your skin even though lots of elderly ladies do. Thanks.
Your colleague in the Midwest"

My dear Midwestern lamb,
There is no rule that says Thou Shalt Pluck. Are the brows messy and scraggly? Do they distract from your eyes and travel over onto the bridge of your nose?
If so, they should be shaped.
Are your brows well-nigh invisible, failing to provide a beautiful, expressive frame for your face? If so, you should find a nice eyebrow pencil that is as close to your natural brow color as you can get it (Lancome Le Crayon Poudre is by far my favorite), keep it nice and sharp, and fill in your brow with light, feathery strokes. You're not drawing on the brows, you're filling them in.
The thing you want to avoid is using a harsh, hard pencil that requires you to use a heavy hand that will result in that permanently-startled Eccentric Retired Drama Teacher look.
Remember, as with all make-up, you want to look like yourself --only better.
Visit a cosmetics counter for a free lesson; it's a perfectlyl legit investment of your time and energy. You will be seen far more effectively from the back pew with good, defined brows.
Good luck! PB


"Preppy Pastor" has been flooding PeaceBang's in-box with anxious inquiries about appropriate attire for funerals and visitations following the service. Should he buy a black suit? Can he wear a black sports jacket with checked pants? Seriously, should he buy a suit, and does it have to be black?

Preppy Pastor has won PeaceBang's heart because he has bothered to seek out her church website and read her sermons, which he appreciates well enough to quote in his own sermons -- and that's always a thrill, especially since we're from very different religious traditions-- so PeaceBang will happily indulge his many inquiries and try to set him on the right path here:

Preppy Pastor, darling, if you don't think you'd use a black suit very often, it's perfectly fine to wear a dark suit to a funeral and to visitations afterwards (heavens, what else would you wear to a visitation afterwards but what you wore to officiate in?). A beautiful, elegant navy should work fine. Elegant charcoal gray. What really matters is the cut and the fit, of course. A black suit doesn't look profesionally appropriate if it sags or bunches, is covered with dandruff or lint, and worn with dull, beat-up shoes (and whoever it was that pointed out that rubber-soled shoes have no place in the sanctuary, BLESS YOU. PeaceBang couldn't agree with you more, but she is trying to take baby steps with her defiantly casual male colleagues who are still showing up in black Nikes, but she digresses).

PeaceBang doesn't know what kind of CHECKED PANTS you have in mind, Preppy, but she is certain they shouldn't be worn to a funeral. Pinstripes may be fine, but checks are not. And yes, buy a suit if you can. It will serve you well in a variety of settings and is really far more appropriate for a funeral than a sports coat and slacks.

Powder Pigeons,
If this blog is helping you, if you read it with as much pleasure and appreciation as you do a magazine or journal you would pay for, feel free to drop a tip in the tip-jar to the right, otherwise known as the Make a Donation button. This is a labor of love, but buying new television-appropriate clothes for her next media outing has made PeaceBang aware that it's expensive being America's Best-Known Clergy Image Consultant.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Clean Lines, Nice Fabric

clean lines nice fabric
Originally uploaded by Peacebang.
What I like about this Jessica London Moleskin dress/jacket combo is this:

1. Moleskin settles nicely on the body. It has more heft than cotton or poly and therefore holds it shape more effectively, making you look neater and more polished.

2. Moleskin has some texture to it, without being softy-nubby-quilty looking.

3. Collars are great against your face. They frame the place you want the attention to be so that people are looking at YOU and hearing YOU, not hearing the loud scarf or skirt below the neck that's upstaging you.

4. This skirt seems long to me, but you can always hem. The buttons on the jacket give the outfit a casual approachability factor but retains the clean lines of a suit.

5. It's less than $50!

6. It looks like you could run around all day in something like this and not look like a wrinkled mess by 5 pm.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Black Sneakers With Suits: Non, Non, Mon Freres

A newly-ordained colleague writes,

"Here is my pet peeve: ministers wearing black sneakers as though they substitute for black dress shoes. They don't. Just because they are black does not make them an appropriate counterpart to a suit. (Okay, this mostly applies to men because I rarely see a woman doing this.)"

First of all, our blessings go to this newly-minted Rev., and we wish her every happiness and the deepest fulfillment of her calling!

Second of all, we thank her for making this important point. Guys, you're not kidding anyone with those black Reeboks. Unless you have some kind of serious orthopedic issue -- in which case you should just wear orthopedic shoes, there's no shame in it! -- don't pair sneakers with a suit.

Did the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King walk all over Alabama witnessing for justice wearing sneakers with his suit? No, he did not. And PeaceBang feels certain that he would not have even if they had made black Reeboks back then. Some days, personal comfort is a fine consideration. When that is the case, you can wear something like this:
Clarks Neutron

When the situation calls for the most dignified presence you can muster, however, it's time for shiny man shoes and nothing else.
Ecco Shoe
(These are by Ecco, so they're actually not pinchy and stiff!)

Philocrites was wearing these the other day, and they're really terrific for an everyday shoe:
(Clark's Oxfords)

Here's a tip, darling gents: Dr. Scholl's makes terrific squishy gel inserts, and if you do as PeaceBang and buy your shoes a half-size bigger, you can show up in a real shoe and still be comfortable on your feet all day.

But seriously, PeaceBang just cruised to look at men's shoes and found oodles of great options on there that look nice and are extremely comfortable. Now she's wondering why in the world so many men are walking around in hiking boots and galoshes when there are so many more elegant and equally practical options out there.

Is this a little bit of a Rev. Peter Pan situation, boys? Is this just about wanting to keep that youthful, I Might Just Go Hike Up a Mountain After This Board Meeting, Because I've Got Some GORP In My Pocket And I'm A Free And Wild Spirit, Baby edge? Because, sweeties, here's how it reads to everyone else: "My Son Left His Black Sneakers In The Mud Room And I Couldn't Find My Own Shoes Before Tonight's Service So I Wore His."

Remember what PeaceBang always says, "Well-shodliness is next to godliness."

Wink, wink, kiss of peace!

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When You Write To Me

My darling readers,

I love that you read this blog, I love that you comment on this blog, I love that you write to me off-line and ask wonderful questions or make wonderful suggestions about this topic.
I don't love the fact that I lose some of your e-mails or accidentally delete them, or just plain miss them, or just plain don't get back to you.

If you write to me off-line and don't hear back from me, please don't take it personally, and please submit your inquiry again if it's a pressing matter. This isn't so much a time management issue as it is a "bumbling with technology" issue. It takes very little time to respond, so don't hesitate to write in!

UU Momma, you are one example of someone whose e-mail I lost and I wanted to say "hi" and "How nice to know who you are, and love your blog!"

Kiss of peace and blessed Sabbath to you all,