Oh, PeaceBang just leeeerves a great, clean stripe. Never you mind all the nonsense about how they’re not flattering to fat people, they are FAB. They’re classic and snappy if you pair them with the right clothes. Like, please don’t throw on a striped boatneck T-shirt that’s sort of sloppy and too-big with a plain pair of chinos and sneakers and tell me you’re dressed for work. You ain’t. HOWever, pair that shirt with a pencil skirt and a pair of cute espadrilles and now we’re talking.

Stripes can be fun and funky and classic. Here are some of my recent spottings:

(Cute in skirt form, too!)

The Sartorialist: Inspirations

I guess I am fascinated by street photographers who catch everyday people in the act of being works of art. This is new for me, so if it bores you, sorry.

These are just a few images of women that made me all swoony. LOVE the colors, the textures, the orginality, the beautiful styling. I am starting to feel that the sloppiness, ugliness and generic quality of what America considers “getting dressed” is a spiritual issue for me. It isn’t about money. It’s about self-respect, a sense of beauty, and a sense of CULTURE. We have become a people who get dressed with no sense of culture or dignity. I don’t see this anywhere else in the world to the extent that I see it in the American suburbs. I think it part of the degradation of our culture in general.

Anyway, let’s enjoy the artistry on display here. Look and learn:

LOVE the rolled pants, the brogues, the earth colors, the sassy hair. Delicious.

Continue reading “The Sartorialist: Inspirations”

Don’t Make It A Costume

Styling Tip To Take To Heart:


Say you want to do an original, creative look. You have a bright color you love and you decide to match your outfit. You put together a neutral skirt, an orange shirt, an big orange bead necklace, a big orange bead bracelet, and a big orange flower in your hair. You’ve been reading BTFM and you feel like “This sends a message! I am in charge of my image. I am communicating vibrancy, creativity, and a sense of fun and joy.”

All of that is wonderful, but you’ve gone overboard if you’re piling on that much detail.

Remember Coco Chanel’s rule? Get dressed and then before you walk out the door, take off one thing? Yea, I never do that, either. But it’s great advice. In general, because I find that clergy are so bloody drab and horrible at styling their outfits, I ignore Coco. Most of us need to PUT ON something, not take it off. However, for those who are working the accessories thing and taking risks, her admonition may be quite wise.

Too many matching accessories is a bad idea. Matching your shirt to your bracelet to your necklace to the flower in your hair or on your blazer is the sartorial equivalent of yelling, and although some women (and men) can carry off an outfit that blares, most of us will simply wind up upstaging ourselves and veering dangerously close to costume territory.

A bright colored necklace, sure. A bright colored necklace with a contrasting top in another color? Sure. A bright top AND a bright flower in the hair AND a big belt or shoe buckles AND a bracelet AND a big pair of earrings AND … no. Pare it down. Edit.

The best way to dress creatively is to make one piece a stand-out piece, not all the pieces. Start with one stand-out piece, say, a great jacket. Wear it with neutral pants and a cute but classic shirt. Wear a slim belt. Do a dramatic eye or lip, not both. Wear fabulous shoes OR big earrings — not both. Go for balance. Watch proportions. As always, comb the style blogs and magazines for ideas. Take one small risk. Or if you’ve already been taking risks, take a critical look. Are you overwhelming yourself with too much blaring color or accessorizing? What do we notice first when you walk in the room? A screaming vision in purple? A huge green hat AND a bright green skirt? A bright yellow sports jacket AND crazy pants?

Too much.

Because although it’s great to make a statement, you don’t want the statement to overwhelm and upstage you. If it takes a parishioner a close-up and personal conversation to notice that you have beautiful, soft eyes, your clothes are taking too much attention away from YOU.

It’s hard, I know, but keep at it. And ask Auntie PeaceBang when you’re not sure. She has an eye for these things.

Flimsy Fabrics

Well, we here at PeaceBang HQ wish Miss Kate Middleton a very happy wedding day tomorrow. We will not be watching, ourselves, and can’t figure out how to program our DVR to catch the nuptials (what channel), but we feel certain that the mainstream media and the Lifetime Channel will make it possible for us to watch copious footage of the Big Day for the rest of our lives.

The cat is waiting with her tiara and the dog is writing an application letter to become the “royul BeeGul.” I’ll miss him terribly if he gets the job but it’s time someone challenged the Corgi for beloved breed of the royal family, and who better but my Maxfield?

ANYhoo, here is Kate M.’s last outfit as a mere mortal before being ensconced in a hotel room to emerge as the Princess Bride:

(click on image to enlarge)

I’m so sorry she lightened her hair, which was so lustrous and beautiful!
Why must women ruin their brown hair that way?

But the thing I think is instructive for us about Kate’s outfit is that it’s a perfect example of the “flimsily dressed” problem that I’ve been seeing on younger professional women lately. It’s not that the skirt is too short, exactly, it’s just that everything seems not quite all there. The twee little polka dots are very cute on Kate but would be all wrong on a religious leader, so don’t mind that. Notice that while it’s not a mini-skirt, there’s just too much bare skin showing and while it’s not overtly sexy,to the point of being inappropriate, it just looks cheap and insubstantial. Keep an eye on this, gals of all ages. Make sure that your shorter dresses and skirts have some presence and some heft to them when you’re on the job.

Wal-Mart Chic

Alert pigeon Pastor HH wrote to me awhile back about this new blog, which takes Wal-Mart “couture” and styles it into cute outfits. Or, well, sometimes cute outfits.
Get a gander:

What I like about Pennychic is that (1) the gals don’t take money from Wal-Mart, so they keep their opinions untainted by corporate sponsorship and (2) they have fun with affordable clothes. These are mostly styles I wouldn’t wear, but that doesn’t matter. As PeaceBang is ALWAYS SAYING, we look at different outfits to get ideas, to get inspiration, not to “dress the runway” (copy an entire look from off a model in a magazine or runway).

These gals have spirit! Good on them!