“What Not To Wear” Follow Up With Emily

Emily. You’ve been reported to PeaceBang for the sparkly sequined tank top under your clericals.*

I really don’t know what to say. Perhaps your sisters and brothers in the priesthood can help me find the words. I’m not the only one who would find it really intimidating to be on national television and who applauds your courage. I just can’t get down with that top. If you’re out there, we’d love to hear from you.

Kiss of peace, PB

*Readers, scroll down the page to find the little thumbnail of Emily and then click.

22 Replies to ““What Not To Wear” Follow Up With Emily”

  1. When I saw that sequin top my jaw dropped. What were the hosts thinking to let her get away with that? That goes double for her congregation and her bishop!

  2. The trouble is that it wasn’t an attractive sequined top either. (lol, okay, not “the” trouble…just one).
    Ultimately I was more distracted by the fact that she wouldn’t hold her head up while talking. I hope we all see ourselves on tape and notice when we’re doing the girlish tilt while we talk, and think about whether that’s the message we want to send.

  3. I saw it. Was SUPER caught off guard. Felt it was too showy to wear with a clerical collar. What the what? Distracting.

  4. Agreed that the “accessorizing” of the clericals is inappropriate and the sequins particularly egregious. My guess, though, is that it is more a symptom of Stacey & Clinton not getting it (and Emily’s own choice regarding when to stand up to them and when not) about what “clericals” mean. They are about fashion. Clericals, as PB has discussed previously, are not “fashion.” Based on her own reflections in the segment, it seems that Emily herself is in a growing period around her own ability to use her voice and claim her authority, which makes it unsurprising to me that she would not say to S&C that this is not how we “do” clericals.

  5. You know there is a really simple test to avoid this kind of thing:

    If it would be appropriate in a night club it is NOT appropriate for professional wear! Gah! I don’t care what job she’s doing (ok, except maybe exotic dancer or cocktail waitress) that wouldn’t be OK in the office. The jacket looked like it fit and was classic, why ruin it with the sparkly top? Just find a GREAT necklace or a fun scarf to drape for some color and GO.

  6. I’m not so unsympathetic. I didn’t like the look. I don’t like sequins in the first, second or last place, but it is my guess that she was trying for her most “glam” look for the update. She’s just trying to show that she hasn’t fallen off the wagon. The collar is not “fashion,” but neither are they an entire outfit. They are one item of clothing and they need to be styled with other items. I think the team and Emily are going for a look as if the top were a vest over the clericals. I don’t think “night club” is the only reference point for sequins in today’s fashion. I accept the wisdom that sequins are not for generally for clergy setting, but I don’t think it is immediately hoochie-gear.

  7. I agree with melissa. A black shirt does not an outfit make, and no matter what you’re wearing with it, the shirt is being accessorized somehow. I don’t know if silver sparkly is the way to do it though… I do wear blouses and vests over my blacks, with colors and prints.

    However, I have been known, gasp, to wear a basic black cardigan, with some black sequins stitched on over a black clergy shirt. There, I said it.

    She looked pretty, and I’m just sayin’ I’d be petrified to be on TV. Let alone on What Not To Wear. Thanks Emily :o)

  8. I would love to hear from Emily. It is almost like she did something so egregious that she or the producers wanted some type of reaction. Nothing wrong with a collar and a pretty skirt or jacket but not sequins unless she is ministering on the strip in Las Vegas.
    I hope she is not personly hurt by some of my comments.

  9. I don’t think it’s a good look, but I have a lot of sympathy for Emily. It’s not clear to me that was her choice. Weird things happen in the world of mass media.

  10. Emily is very pretty. She has a lovely natural beauty. I am not crazy about the shiny sequins with clericals, but I admire her willingness to be on the show.

  11. I wouldn’t be surprised if her ensemble was the handiwork of a stylist from the show. I didn’t get the impression that sequins were in Emily’s comfort zone initially.

  12. Wil, you’ll need to press play and then scroll down and click on “Emily” again – I think there is a glitch, although Beryl is lovely 🙂

    I take issue with the sparkly top because it is distracting, in a way that sparkles on a black cardi are not. It also confuses the nature of the collar. She could take the collar off and wear the sparkly top…but the two don’t go together. I think there are lots of examples of beautiful ensembles with a collar that allow the ministerial yoke to tell its own story without diminishing the story of the clergywoman.

    I also take issue with the disconnect between her verbal disdain of her “shampoo commercial” moment (which I loved! who hasn’t wanted Finesse hair??) and the glittery shirt. I get that she might have been styled, but if she has that much discomfort about her private moment and her hair, then she certainly has discomfort about the shirt…

    Emily, you are a brave and beautiful woman. You have always been beautiful, even when your jeans were baggy. I am grateful that you put yourself out there. Women + ministry + beauty is always a complicated equation, thank you for beginning to engage a larger audience.

  13. Y’all have covered my thoughts on the sparkly top. ‘Cept that if I saw a priest in person wearing that, it would just cross my mind that it was…odd.

    I loved seeing and hearing Emily, particularly the way that her appearance on the show has led to conversations she would not otherwise have had. Maybe the fact that she was on the show makes her seem more approachable. Awesome!

    She seems like an interesting, intelligent person, who is concerned about her image as a female clergyperson, and having said that, it makes me happy to see her on tv. I’m off-and-on on the forefront of the fight for the recognition that yes, God calls women to serve in a pastoral capacity, and down here in the South….anyway. I didn’t see the original show, just the follow-up.

  14. I just have basic cable at my parsonage so I can’t watch this show. Does anyone know if complete episodes are available online?

  15. Oh NO, dear Emily! NO!!! Horrifying! You have entirely missed the point of WNTW. We need to get your bishop to appoint you a subdeacon of style. Godde bless you, our beloved and holy sister. We’re here for you.

  16. Emily appears to have excellent judgement and my hunch is she would not wear sequins on Sunday morning or to the soup kitchen…..I think we should cut her some slack here. I think she is modeling “in the world but not of the world” quite nicely with this whole endeavor.

  17. It’s very simple. If you are called to a hospital emergency or deathbed when wearing sequins, then pop on a rabbat over them. NOT UNDER THEM. :~)

    [Smiled big here. – PB]

  18. Wow. What kind of place IS this, that an individual is picked out unwillingly and made to stand trial for sequins?! PB and commenters, I’m disappointed.

    Emily is not showing up at a hospital bed wearing sequins, and I imagine she probably has mental stamina to determine when sequins are or are not appropriate for her job. For everyday ministerial wear, I see nothing wrong with sequins. Especially if they can be discarded in a pinch (which hers seemed to be).

    In fact, it baffles how church people will, on the one hand, bemoan the lack of young people in ministry or in the church in the first place, and on the other, criticize a young minister for bending the rules a bit in a way that might attract more young people to her church. I think we’re moving away from the traditional construct of who a minister is, how she acts, and how she dresses! And guess what–the next generation (hell, THIS generation) of ministers just might wear sequins! As long as it’s not inappropriate timing (at a hospital bed, for example), I think that is just fine.

    I like the sequins. Stand strong, Emily!

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