This is giving me LIFE!
This is Kim, a fairly freshly-minted Unitarian Universalist parish minister who currently serves as an Associate Minister in New Jersey, and who is seen here preaching in one of our historic New England pulpits. Please click on the images to enlarge them.
Here’s what I see, and what I read, about Kimberly’s presence and personal style.
First of all, I see authority. And I love it. You can’t buy authority and you can’t fake it. It comes from authentic bearing, subtle resonances in stance, facial expression and gaze. I have never seen Kim preach but I can tell from looking at these photos that this is a minister I’d like to hear from.
Now, a more specific visual analysis: I LOVE that Kimberly’s look features strong, bold lines. Since so many women — so many ministers, period — favor soft, fuzzy hair-dos, round glasses and stoles with busy patters, the geometric lines in Kimberly’s presentation are a breath of fresh air. Look at the strong vertical of her red stole. There is a slightly a busier design south of her torso, but what we see is one strong red and white contrasting line. It looks amazing against the black robe and the ornately carved wood. Striking.
Note the strong horizontal line of Kimberly’s hair as a compliment to the strong vertical line of the stole. Kim has very pretty long blonde hair, and she has chosen to wear it down. But it isn’t lying limply on her shoulder or breast or girlishly curled, it is immaculately cut and styled. That takes time and attention.
While matching one’s lipstick to one’s stole would generally be a no-no, this works perfectly well because of two things: Kim is wearing red lipstick, it’s not wearing her. The bright color looks like her look (bold lip to balance the bold color of her frames), not like an unsure-of-herself woman who tried to match her make-up to her vestments.
Kim’s specs are great. They suit her perfectly, they are perfectly proportioned and they’re not upstaging her facial features. I absolutely love the color; it is truly unexpected.
And look who’s even wearing a deep red nail polish. She absolutely carries it off. The clean, simple, tailored lines of her stole, her hair, and her geometric spectacles help make it possible to wear so much bold color and still look sharp and mature.
Here’s your little PeaceBang Tippy of the day: do one bold thing with your look, not three. If you have a big mop of curly hair, that’s your bold thing. You need to choose judiciously when adding any other big, bold components. If you’re wearing a frilly turquoise blouse, great. Don’t pair it with a pink suit and carnation pink lipstick. That’s too much noise. If you’re wearing a plaid hipster suit, fine. Trim your beard and hair, and don’t add a fedora. You just tipped from “cool guy with a fun sense of fashion” into being mistaken for Rooster Hannigan in a community theatre production of “Annie.” Too many big bold visuals tips you right into costume territory.
When I saw these photos they communicated this to me about the woman in them:
“I know who I am and I take care of myself. I am a totally cool young woman but not trying desperately to be hip. I am plugged into the world of 2014, and I have something worthy to say about it. I am interesting to listen to, and I have prepared very carefully to be here.”
Kimberly, my dear pigeon, you have given this old lady a ray of sunshine on a crappy freezing day. A big halo of praise from your proud colleague and Auntie PeaceBang. xxoxo MWAH!