I am being inducted into the Jonathan Edwards Society at Andover-Newton Theological School this evening, a lovely honor for which I want to dress appropriately. My general rule is that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, so I’ll probably wear a skirt with a blazer and heels. I’m thinking that I’ll carry a small bag but not a clutch (too dressy), and I’ll wear Sunday morning jewelry.
I’m sure I’ll see slacks and sweaters and comfortable shoes on some of the women, which is fine but given that I don’t know the size of the gathering (20 people? 5?), I don’t know what the “stand-out” factor might be. If I’m more formally dressed than most of the women in a gathering of fifty, no prob. If I’m overdressed in a gathering of six or seven, I begin the evening a bit self-conscious.
I’m so rarely underdressed that I don’t remember what that feels like. The invitation said nothing about attire. I’m guessing that SweetieBang will wear a tweedy sports jacket, a black T-shirt, and dark-washed jeans — his idea of dressing up. It suits him, and he owns no ties, so what can you do?
Given that Jonathan Edwards is likely already rolling in his grave at the idea of a UNITARIAN being inducted into an honor society that bears his name, I think I’ll dress for him AND for myself. Which may mean black slacks, a black jacket (him) and a polka-dot blouse with a frilled front and peep toe T-strap wedges (for me).
[Update: The event was absolutely LOVELY and I feel truly honored. I wore a skirt and blazer and boots with a heel. People were dressed very nicely, and SweetieBang looked fine -- somewhere between the guys in ties and jackets and the guy in the Hawaiian shirt. But it was truly a night of rejoicing in the good company of talented ministers and I sat next to Professor MARK HEIM AT DINNER! Theological Rock Star! -- PB]