I sort of interrupted myself here, but what I meant to say was, “I don’t want to be overly formal (or die of heatstroke) in a suit, and I want to communicate clergy but respectful, and I don’t want to be cutesy.”
A sleeveless floral sundress not only looks ridiculous with clericals (a totally bizarre clash of formality and professionalism and extreme informality), but it is never, ever acceptable to attend a remembrance of the dead with bare arms.
It doesn’t matter if you think it’s fine, or it’s so hot, bla bla excuses. As always, this isn’t about you and your sense of what is okay. It’s about tradition and decorum and how you represent the office of minister among those who turn to the Church for solace, solidarity and meaning in all life’s travails.
It is also extremely problematic for a white woman to show up at a Black church dressed so improperly. Good intentions are not enough. Check your privilege.
Also: close-toed shoes for funerals and vigils. Always. Always, always.
Thus spaketh PeaceBang. She will stand firm with this one, or sit firmly, gently swatting at herself with a funeral parlor fan and tranquilly sweating through her cotton bike shorts and layers of cornstarch powder.
I wore all black to the vigil. This less austere outfit was for yesterday’s Implicit Bias workshop with our local police department.