Fluffy Cassock People: A Cry For Help

Dear busy Advent bees!

I got this request lo awhile back and wondered if you all had advice, as I do not, although I have SO MUCH SYMPATHY. There is nothing that shocks a meatball-shaped person who wishes to serve the Lord in a formal churchy way more than the sight of ourselves in body-swallowing vestments that make our fluffy figures look Extra Super Fluffy.

I feel your pain, sister.

I am a lay adult woman who serves as an acolyte, eucharistic minister, lector, and occasional preacher in an Episcopal church.

My rector has decided that I should be vested in a cassock and surplice (not cotta, which is shorter). I ordered a surplice from Almy, using my actual chest measurement and pretending I am still 5 feet tall. I ordered the American style surplice.

I am appalled. There is so much fabric that if I hold my arms straight out I look like Sponge Bob, or perhaps a Christmas pageant angel in a robe that is too large. (Sponge Bob may be an exaggeration, but I am still in shock.) The arm holes are so large I’m pretty sure I could tuck my elbows in without wiggling. I am hesitant to attempt any tailoring. The deacon told me that is just how surplices are built.

I am wondering if anyone has any experience with the Roman style surplices (square collar, pleats). In particular, are they a better fit for someone whose body can charitably described not as a pear or an apple but an ice cream cone? I am hoping for less billowing fabric and perhaps a more flattering fit (cue the hysterical laughter). Also arm holes that my cat could not stroll through.

I plan to visit a local church supply company and see if they have any suggestions. But I trust the BTFM community, so I value any suggestions.

I know, I know. It is not about me. It is about serving. I get that. But I’d appreciate your input.

Darling, have you considered stilts?

UPDATE: Allison reports that she ordered the Roman style cassock and that it is a huge improvement over the American style! Sound of angel choir.

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