It’s Advent. Who’s got time to think? WE don’t! We are ministers! On the go! Go, go, go! Events, worship services, charitable organization luncheons and meetings, visits, parties, zip zip zip for Jesus!
I have a little secret for this time of year. I call it “black and bling.” It’s my go-to wardrobe for everything festive. The components are this:
1. Black jacket or sweater with girly detail (a ruffle, a subdued floral print, a fitted waist with a flair — something that moves out of Totally Dull Office Wear). Maybe some color in the form of a silk blouse. Or some touches of white.
2. Black pants.
3. Shoes with snazz factor.
4. Black shell with ZERO cleavage factor (unless you were invited to a Festival Of Inappropriate Sharing, which – ahem — you were NOT).
5. A touch of bling.
A black and white sweater with a ruffle at the neck. Black shell. Bling at the neck (nail polish in “We’ll Always Have Paris” by OPI in case you were wondering). Black pants, pointy black boots with silver filigree.
Sweater: Lane Bryant (old)
Shell: cjbanks Find Your Fit Classic Fit (so old!)
boots: John Fluevog, ebay purchase ($24)
bling: CZ piece from Sears (reminds me of the Star of Bethlehem)
hammered silver hoops: craft fair (old)
lippy: CoverGirl Outlast All Day in a plum shade
eyeliner by Urban Decay (Rehab)
The point is, you don’t have to think. You have the basics always ready, you have your few blingy details (a beautiful pin, a gorgeous barrette, a silver scarf — as high quality as you can afford — these should look like classics), you wear this to everything holiday-oriented. This keeps you from having to fuss about which reds go with what greens (HORRORS, haven’t you been reading PeaceBang for long enough to know better than to inflict such visual crimes onto your Beloved Community?), or from standing in front of the closet despairing that you have nothing to wear to the ladies tea or the holiday concert.
Burn that moss green dress with the big black buttons and the black lace cuffs and collar. You know who you are. I love you too much to let you walk around like that.
Black is always appropriate for clergy and I am relying on it more and more. I use Woolite’s Dark Colors Formula for most of my laundry and the time I spend figuring out what to wear is almost non-existent. It’s not that I don’t choose my garments carefully before purchase — I am stupidly obsessive about tracking down the right kind of pants, for instance. But having far fewer things in my closet and relying on cherished accessories that have personal meaning for me, as well as make-up, manicures and jewelry to help me feel put together – has been a good way for me to go.
Fellers, you can do this look, too. Clericals, black suit, and a beautiful tiara. Try it! You’ll certainly get the parish talking!