Scarf Abuse

Let us pray.

Scarf Abuse

Dear and gracious God,

Hear our prayers for the ability to accessorize well.
Lead us not into vaguely shawl-like items in bad colors,
and keep us from faces tan enough to double as Italian leather handbags.

Help us to be ever lovely presences in the world,
doing your work with love and with good hair and make-up.


P.S. Lisa Welchel looks really good, Lord. Is that because she became a totally born-again Christian?

Ponchos: A Fleeting Moment of Bad Taste

I have mixed feelings about ponchos. On one hand, they allow women of size to feel drapey and glamorous in an unstructured, won’t-cling-to-chub manner.

On the other hand, they’re shapeless and heinous and their fifteen minutes of fame is well over. I saw some at a big church event in town tonight and honey, can you hear me say “AMEN?”

PeaceBang has one beautiful silk poncho that she wears in the summer with bootcut jeans and *very* high sandals and since her arms are free she feels not as shapeless as she otherwise would have been. She slathers on silvery make-up and wears big hair and big earrings, but she’s still not sure if she can get one more season out of the thing. Plus, this poncho comes dangerously close to the batik muu-muu that she has promised a close chum she will never wear, never, ever ever, and especially not while riding around a convention center on an Extremely Fat Person scooter at GA.*

Please, ladies and gentlemen, no
ambiguous crocheted “things”
unless they’re timeless, well-made pieces (think British woman walking on the heath in her woolen shawl) or you’re tall and striking enough a character to make a statement with it. If you can work the big wrap, sweetheart, work it! By all means. But it takes effort and strategy; these things don’t just succeed on their own.

P.S. Crocheted items are almost always ugly, shapeless and inevitably cheap looking, no matter how much they cost. They are not, contrary to what the lady at Dress Barn told you, “feminine and springy.” They are very fashionable this year. Caveat emptor.

* Please don’t get your collective dander up about the Fat Person Scooters. I know full well that some people with disabilities use them to get around. I also know from first-hand knowledge that in some cases the user of the scooter’s only disability is obesity. And as a Woman of Considerable Girth, it is my personal goal never to require motorized transportation for reasons of fatness only. Time may conspire to deprive us of the ability to walk at a brisk pace no matter what we do– but one of the ways we may keep our ability to walk at a brisk pace is to walk at a brisk pace!
PeaceBang is making it one of her life goals to not have to ride a scooter around GA. She has nothing against those who do, except when they yell “beep beep” and run conferees down on the way to the Service of the Living Tradition.

The Girls Need Your Attention, Too

Ladies, it falls to me to bring up a delicate subject of what my friend Peter calls “breasteses.”

Simply this: we have two breasts, not one large shelf of Breast, a pitiable condition sometimes known as “monoboob.” There are plenty of ways to amp up your bust without going under the knife. Here is where breast enlargement creams can help you. Please guard against Monoboob. Your bra should have two clearly distinguishable cups, not one sling-type operation. The latter option is only acceptable in a sports bra, and we don’t wear our sports bra out of the gym or the hiking trail (unless it’s under a fitted blazer, in which case you can generally get away with it).

Also, ladies: we generally have two breasts, not four. Look in the mirror. Are there two small puppies straining over the cups of your bra to get out? If so, you need a new bra. Don’t be afraid to get fitted for one. I had it done last week and found out I’d been wearing a size too large. Quelle horror!

(Please do not laugh at the irony that all my work-outs are actually reducing the one part of my body I don’t mind being voluptuous.)

On a more serious note, do check to see that your blouse doesn’t gap in the front, thus distracting your congregants to existential ponderings about the exact nature of Victoria’s Secret. Just because it’s unconsciously inappropriate behavior doesn’t make it acceptable inappropriate behavior. Try not to commit this indiscretion, especially not during pastoral counseling.

On a truly serious note, don’t forget to do your breast self-checks on a regular basis and to schedule your annual mammogram. I know it pinches, darling, and I hate that sourpuss woman who refuses to laugh at any of my jokes just as much as you do. Just go.

It’s Springtime: Lighten Up

I know it sounds silly but do consider your make-up and hair in the light of the new season, and I mean that literally.

As the sun gets stronger, those of you wearing dark lipsticks. eyeliners and heavy matte foundations with powder should be trading in for dewy skin, creme blushes, and sheerer lipcolor.

If you have colored hair, make sure the highlights are blended: the dramatic streak thing is okay for the winter (even though chunky highlights are OUT) but not appropriate for the brighter lights of spring and summer. Soften it and you’ll look rosier, I promise.

It’s a great time of year for a facial, and it’s a great idea to do your face and then take a mirror outside into direct sunlight. Like what you see? If not, adjust as necessary.

And don’t forget to throw out all of last year’s SPF products and start using protective moisturizer every day RELIGIOUSLY, which you should be doing all the time anyway. Use a dollop the size of a quarter since the manufacturers tell us constantly that we’re NOT USING ENOUGH for the product to work effectively. Give it time to set before using make-up, and as I said in an earlier post, do not depend on SPF in your make-up to provide adequate protection from the rays.

And get yourself a cheap pair of those fabulous big movie star sunglasses. They’ll add some pizzazz to your navy suit. You might tie a fun scarf around that bag of yours, too, and NO KNAPSACKS unless you’re in high school. Le Sport Sac products are distinctively frumpy, too. They have no shape, sweetheart, and shapeless bags don’t do anything for your own shape.

PeaceBang recommends: Last season’s Nine West bags, always on sale at TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Liz Claiborne makes a nice smart bag, too. And just LOOK at all these darling handbags on sale for under $10 at Target!!

Vests, Men’s Shoes, Dressy Shorts

I went to Target today to buy some mundane household items and spent about half an hour trying on chunky necklaces (very au courant). Good therapy for the Easter-addled soul. Then I decided to swing by the clothing section — you know, just to look, on the way to the bleach and garbage bags. I had already purchased a swoon-worthy pair of Steve Madden corky platform strappy sandals at Famous Footwear and was feeling so ecstatic about them, and a pair of flattering jeans, that I figured it would be too much to ask the shopping gods for more good luck.

But when I saw the vests, I stopped short and almost wept with joy. The gods had blessed me again.
Not just vests. Fitted, gorgeous vests with LAPELS, people. Vests that flatter the curvaceous figure and also look professional with a touch of sex appeal. Vests that you can wear with a crisp white shirt and big chunky beads and a pair of black trousers and ankle-strap platforms and look just totally fabulous. I bought a black one and a grey pin-striped one. I love vests. I am so happy that I will willingly stay up all night tonight to finish my doctoral proposal that’s due in the morning.

Now let me clarify. When I say vests I am not talking about some crocheted, shapeless thing that just hangs on the body (which admittedly looks great if you’re willowy and small-bosomed and are wearing an otherwise body-conscious outfit). Not a leather vest left over from your biker days that cuts you in half and makes every body part below the vest bulge unattractively. Not one of those vaguely ethnic vests that could be cute if it wasn’t worn with a corduroy A-line skirt the size of Kentucky, or with a pair of Mom jeans and frumpy shoes. (If you’ve got one of those ethnic vests, it would be cute with a pair of fashionable cropped pants, with a nice sandal. If you have a good figure, you could wear it with a very fitted crew-neck t-shirt and a pair of dressy shorts or gauchos, with a pair of woven sandals. Very chic.)

Speaking of dressy shorts, ladies,
I went into some stores and looked at the new dressy shorts for you, and I can report that they’re not bad. PeaceBang almost bought a pair of below-the-knee lined white ones, which looked smashing when she was standing up but then didn’t look elegant enough when sitting down. If I lose another ten lbs. soon maybe I’ll go back and get them. Do check the view while seated, since this is how people see you at meetings and in counseling. And don’t go with anything above the knee if you’re considering shorts. Yes, they’re very stylish. No, they shouldn’t be above the knee. Period. Non-negotiable.

Men, I don’t think you can wear shorts for church meetings or events. I know everyone else does. I just don’t think you should. Maybe during the most sweltering days of summer you can wear a pair of Bermudas of modest length, but PeaceBang is of the opinion that it is hard to take a man seriously when he’s in shorts. Besides, khakis are handsome and linen trousers absolutely smart with a clean and pressed polo in a bright color. Don’t you want to look smart? Why, you might even find some lovely soft leather shoes that aren’t sneakers to go with your summer wear! And won’t you be smashing?

Look at these! They also come in orange and turquoise! How whimsical!
Or these, very smart:

Note to You-Know-Who: yes, I’m coming over and going through your closet and throwing out all those disgusting, pitted-out golf shirts you insist on wearing. And not only will you not fight me about it, you’ll thank me and take me out to dinner afterwards.