Flip Flops and Other Footwear Wrongnesses

Well darlings, you KNOW that someone sent this Boston Globe article to PeaceBang knowing that she would crow in solidarity and total agreement!

HELL, YEA. Flip flops do not belong on adult feet unless those feet are headed to the beach, into a shower, or into the backyard. This is PeaceBang’s attempt to speak for Beauty. Beauty does not shuffle along on dirty soles that skid along the pavement and give dignified persons the gait of a drunken cow. Flip flops are ugliness incarnate, unsafe and unsanitary.

But I also wanted to mention a much less objectionable choice of footwear, which are the new woven elasticized shoes that Bernie Mev has made so popular.

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Cute, right?
Comfy, right?
A little frumpy, sure, but not so bad, right?

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Nothing wrong with that, right?

Two things:

1. Be careful in these. Your foot is not stable in that material, so unless you have strong ankles and feet, avoid them for anything that requires your being on your feet or walking much.

2. These shoes are cute. They’re fine for most things a minister would do in the course of the day but they are not appropriate for formal rites of passage or your most serious professional appearances. They are also not safe for wear in situations that require you to wear close-toed shoes, such as serving in a soup kitchen and possibly working in a hospital, but I would check on the latter.

Don’t let me catch any of y’all burying someone in any open-toed or cloth shoes. You know better than that, right?

NO ESPADRILLES. Too casual. Too summery.

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NOT EVEN LEATHER ESPADRILLES.
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NO TOM’S.

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NO DADDY BOAT SHOES.
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THESE SPERRY TOPSIDERS ARE FINE.

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I’m still thinking about the funeral that minister did in madras shorts and I think, Yea, better say it just in case.

Owning The Dandified Details: A PeaceBang Halo Of Praise

I met this stunning gent, Quardricos Bernard Driskell, at a recent swanky event at Harvard Divinity School, the Peter J. Gomes Memorial Honors. His total commitment to detail and old-school elegance was absolutely perfect in the setting, and we chatted a bit during the reception.

Now, that is a LOOK. That is a lot of accessorizing: pocket square, bow tie, cuff links, belt buckle, floral pin. You have to be SHARP AS HELL to pull this off, my people. Quardricos is turned out from head to toe and owning this rather than being overwhelmed by all the dandified details. And that’s important, so listen up: this outfit could turn into a hipster kind of ironic costume if the fit was a little off, or his edges were a little less perfect, or he had an ironic, scraggly beard, or if the bow tie was a little bit of a wilder print.

Please take a moment to fully appreciate the eye for pattern and color and proportion here. This man rocketh mightily. I must confess that, although we talked about ministry and the church and he gave me two of his business cards, I don’t remember if Quardricos is ordained (I think so) or where he is serving in a ministerial capacity. Quardricos, please comment and enlighten us!

Click to enlarge images:

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Shirt Sleeves

Dear wearer of men’s dress shirts,

And that should be ALL of you gentlemen out there…

Please attend to the fit of your shirts. Here, I found you this helpful infographic.

Yes, it is definitely a step up from a Henley or (shudder) a Tshirt to don an actual, grown-up button-down shirt. ‘Grats on that.

However, as in all things sharp and polished, FIT matters. I know that you know enough to iron the thing, and if you don’t, FIE ON THEE! Really, there is no reason for you to not own and regularly operate the humble domestic appliance known as the iron. Take the time. Iron it properly. If you don’t know how, have your dad or your grandma or the friendly local dry cleaner show you.

What really gets PeaceBang is that, not that long ago sartorially speaking, it was considered going about somewhat undressed to be seen only in one’s “shirtsleeves;” that is, without your waistcoat (vest) and jacket over that. Men used to ASK PERMISSION to remove their coats in respectful company. So let us not hear any whining about how hot or uncomfortable it is to wear a sports jacket or blazer.

But let’s get back to the FIT of the thing — that thing being a dress shirt. It saddens PeaceBang no end when she sees men in a dress shirt and tie, or just a dress shirt, trying to look a step up for work or an event and looking like a rumpled mess because they did not pay attention to the details of fit.

The collar is so loose you could fit a whole ‘nuther neck in there. Or it’s so tight it’s squeezing the neck up into a second or third chin.

The shoulder seams are way down on the top of the bicep, floppy and sloppy.

The buttons are too tight and the gaping holes between them reveal either a bit of white undershirt or (and this is truly the worst) a big glimpse of hairy stomach.

YES, I SAID HAIRY STOMACH!! Get me my smelling salts!

Please do study the handy picto-tutorial link I have so helpfully provided, darlings. Start shopping for the right size shirt, have the helpful sales clerk aid you in determining the correct size and do not fret if it has gone up or down (size is not a determiner of your moral status, guys. We must all dress for the size we are now, today, not the size we think we might be after six weeks at Planet Fitness). Since none of us are likely to be able to afford custom made shirts, get to a local tailor to have the sleeves shortened. Cuffs that sag over the hand or need to be rolled to the appropriate length are not cuffs that fit.

Do not render the whole point of a “dress” shirt moot by wearing versions that don’t fit well.

Oh, and speaking of rolling cuffs: I don’t know who you were, minister last week I saw wearing ROLLED CUFF JEANS with dirty Topsiders with a stole over your sloppy outfit at a protest. Would it have killed you to actually wear a pair of pants that fit? Even if they had to be jeans?

NYC, Textured Textiles And Charcoal So Chic

Darlings,
I hopped down to NYC for a quick soul stop last week. Over the summer I did a thorough review of the previous program year and realized that I had taken very few days off, although I had faithfully taken every day of vacation and study leave granted by my letter of agreement, so yay for me!
What I realized is that if I don’t actually get out of the house and even out of town, I do not get my head out of the game for an entire 24 hours or even really close to it. And as you know, kids, we have to get our heads out of the game on a regular basis so that our hearts and souls can be IN the game, in the work.

So I determined that I would take two days off in a row at least once every few months and go away.

I saw the opera “Lulu” at the Met, which was amazing, shattering, disturbing, brilliant and unforgettable.

I walked around and people watched. I enjoyed the parade of humanity outfitted in every which way.
And I found this window display that illustrates why texture is such a wonderful and woefully under-utilized aspect of personal style.

Charcoal grey is eminently chic and so elegant and easy to work with. You don’t have to go head-to-toe like this display of course. Think charcoal and amethyst purple. Think charcoal and a touch of fuschia. Think charcoal and creamy ivory. All winter and holiday appropriate combos that are so much more handsome and mature than the usual garish reds and greens.

Click to enlarge the image.
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God forbid you should yank your sweater up over your belly and stand like a little penguin, but what a nice and attainable combo. The trousers are so rich looking. And remember, they should hit the tops of your shoes. Of course, I am likely to sigh with joy over any fabric draped over the leg that isn’t a skimpy, cheap-looking, ugly legging. My hatred for them only grows.

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A close-up on the coat and scarf, and I hope you got a gander of that ruana on the third mannequin. Again, a very easy to adapt look on a budget:

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Charcoal also looks fabulous with pearls, ladylike pastors. So much more intersting than blasic black, too.

My friend Lily came to visit last night dressed in a wonderful, nubby wool sweater and other neutrals in gorgeous, interesting textures. She communicated warmth itself and looked like a Bohemian wisdom goddess/queen from actual Bohemia. You just cannot fake beautiful textiles, folks. Texture is life. It suggests handiwork, craft, tradition, cultural pride, care, and durability, plus it’s stunningly beautiful.
Collect as many good pieces as you can. Wear them forever and ever – they don’t go out of style.

The garments in this window are well-lit and overpriced, I’m sure. Keep an eye out. They’re nothing terribly special in the textile department but remember that rich, neutral colors will make any fabric look higher quality than it may actually be.

Rev. Man Bun

Oh dear Lord on high, PeaceBang had hoped she could get away without saying anything about this but now that the New York Times has made a pronouncement that man buns are here to stay, I feel I must ISSUE A STATEMENT.
I can’t seem to find the article but I’m almost certain I saw the headline on Twitter. Could I be hallucinating? Possibly. Yet, for those who doubt, here is proof that the Times actually marked this hairstyle as a Brooklyn hipster trend in 2012.

Look, I’m TRYING to take this seriously as a grooming option! I even follow Man Buns of Disneyland on Instagram because some of those dudes are fearfully and wonderfully made, if you know what I’m saying.

I think the idea of hipsters in Seattle wearing tiny fedoras atop their man buns is a laff riot! My cousin lives there and I hope he’ll not only snap some photos for me, but get his own tiny fedora.

But here, my pets, here we talk about clergy image and our responsibility to represent the church as religious leaders. And in that work, a man bun is not a good choice.

It’s pretty simple. If you’re not an ordained samurai, you probably shouldn’t wear a man bun.

Why? Because they’re the opposite of dignified. Because they’re usually a mess. Because they immediately identify you as a hipster and are therefore a distraction. Because you’re not at yoga class or on retreat. Because they’re not cross-generational-friendly (a term I believe I just coined! It’s when someone from one generation takes one look at a another and says, “That kid looks like an idiot” — even when that “kid” is 35 years old). Because you’re not Jared Leto.

Let’s have some debate here! Man bun-rocking pastors, send us your photos! Convince me!

Until then, put away the Goody elastics and scrub under your nails for tomorrow morning. It couldn’t hurt.