Stoles That Fit

I know there’s no official width for stoles (is there?) but I’m seeing photos out there on social networking sites that concern me: mostly of petite female clergy wearing stoles that are WAY too wide for them that look ill-fitting and worse, makes these gals look as though they’re playing dress-up in Rev. Mommy’s vestments.

Please, reverend sisters and brothers, even if someone makes a gift of a stole for you, have it fitted to your proportions. Your stole should fit your frame — remember that the stole represents the yoke of ministry and not the goal posts on a football field.

Your stole should not obliterate your shoulders and most of your chest. Get that sucker tailored. Shape it around your neck, have it trimmed, do what you need to do. Please. And pass this advice along. PeaceBang is Concerned.

12 Replies to “Stoles That Fit”

  1. You should talk to my mother… she has a side business of vestment design and one of her pitches is that she tailors for individuals. I’ve actually tried on a stole made for another *woman* and it didn’t fit. (The other lady is tall and curvy and I’m average and sort of flat). She shapes stoles for women (and men) so they lie nice and flat and curve around the neck just so.

    So yes, a hearty endorsement in favor of custom vestments!

  2. Twice I’ve been in a congregation when a set of paraments plus a stole has been given as a gift to the church. Both times I asked them to make the stole more narrow to fit my shoulders. I figured they already had plenty of stoles to fit big men 🙂

    When I was starting out and bought my own – I bought most of mine from Gail Bird –she designs mostly with women in mind. She’s kind of a big operation now but when I remember when her brochure was a small black and white folder!

  3. Thank you for this blog, I have been reading for a couple months now. This is my first comment. I love your insight and love the comments by others. I have recently been called to my first church as Lead Pastor and am always on the look out for tips and tricks of the trade. I am not very formal, I am one of those clerical shirt with my blue jean shorts (I know-go ahead and scream at me when you wake up from your faint) kind of guys, and my congregation wants it that way, but, I do love formal clericals and wear them on “official” business. What I am looking for if anyone has any tips is, Where can I get stoles for a pittance? I am not gifted in the are of creation, I have one stole and it I have to say has seen its better days and I would really like to find a good one that fits me right and that I dont have to sacrifice a whole 2 months worth of bills to afford, if you have advice please let me know. Thanks

  4. Speaking of stoles,
    a couple of years ago, I met a colleague at the State House when we were rallying for marriage equality. She had the coolest. stole. ever. It was a woven blue/white with names of biblical women on it.
    I have scoured the internet for one like it (of course, I lost her email address so that I could find out where the people who gifted her with it got it).
    Any clues? Any thoughts?

    Tommy, Joelle suggests Gail Bird. Those are very reasonable. Or, you could check out Ten Thousand Villages or Self Help Crafts for fair trade guatemalen stoles.

  5. I just sent a stole to a friend to tailor. It was handmade by the congregation that raised me for my ordination. However, it was WAY too long. So long I tripped on it, even when I was wearing 2-3 inch heels. Also, there was no shape around the neck and I felt like a football player when wearing it. Drew a nice tailored neckline for my friend to trim up also.

  6. If you are a petit gal, beware of Almy’s “Coronation” brocade stoles- I was given one as an ordination gift-lovely, but clearly sized for someone a good foot taller. Thankfully we have talented seamstresses in our congregation who skillfully altered it to fit properly.

  7. Have you checked out the robes and vestments at Everything is designed for the female figure and some items can be ordered to custom dimensions. She has beautiful and elegant wares with lots of options. And sometimes has stuff of sale. I even know that she often uses real clergywomen to model!

  8. Hi, IHappily, I stumbled upon this blog. I’d like to share my brand new website with anyone interested in unique stoles for ministers, both men and women, at affordable prices. I DO ask for the proper length before I make my stoles.

    Joanne Osburn
    Soul Stoles Creator

  9. I made one for a minister friend of mine a few years ago. She is petite and I made it 60″ long so it hung from mid neck at 30″ each side. I made it reversible with green vine print and purple on the other side with lace crosses I made with lace I cut and on the purple side I ironed butterflys and greenside a sequined fish. I agree if they are too long they look hideous because a few years earlier one was made for another petite minister and I thought it was too long too.

  10. I’d like to bring your attention to my 8 year ministry creating fabric art stoles for female & male clergy. Each stole is made to suit the recipient’s height. If a woman orders a stole and she wants it slimmer than usual she can mention it on the Order Form under ‘Special Notes’.

    On the Testimonial page you will find photos of many recipients of my stoles so you can see how they look on people of varying stature.

    Blessings surround you on your journey.

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