Puddings, don’t miss this, ’cause it doesn’t happen too often!
I am SORT OF changing my mind about open-toed shoes and sandals in the pulpit, with reservations and with caveats.
The reason is this: dressy sandals are definitely considered professional wear now, and have been for several years. It looks like a trend that’s here to stay. Given the covered-upness of our vestments, I just think an open-toed shoe can be okay. I’ve been testing it out in church and it’s been working fine.
I have a pair of Aerosoles that sort of resemble these, but in brown, with thicker straps. They looked fine with a robe in church and then later with a skirt and sweater set.
So far, I don’t feel like the Whore of Babylon preaching in this kind of shoe, and no one is looking at me like I’m a brazen heathenish kind of gal for doing so. My toenails on one occasion were even painted OPI Dutch Tulip, a bright pinky-red color. Gasp!
Some suggestions, pussycats.
- If we’re going to do sandals in the pulpit, the feets have GOT to be pedicured.
- Sandals should be neutral colors: black, brown, tan. You don’t want a shock of color to draw everyone’s eye down past your ankles.
- No thong styles! PeaceBang draws the line there! Eternal NON to the flippy-floppies, which have definitely become everyday wear in this country, but I’ll never wear them to church on Sunday. NEVAH.
- Straps should be wide enough that you don’t look like the Mother of the Bride or the Prom Queen.
- No wobbly heels, except for that one fabulous pastor in DC who preaches in stilletos.
On Sunday morning, M. wrote in to say,
Hello to my fashion savior. Your blog is the first one I check each day. Thank you for helping me in the process of “defrumpification.” My question pertains to the
open toe sandals in the pulpit. Nylons: yes or no?
Good question, hon! Thanks for writing in!
There are two schools of thought on this. One, and this is my own, is that nylons almost never work with sandals.
The second school is of the thought that nylons are better than bare legs that may be (1) inappropriate in a more conservative setting and/or (2) just look kind of awful without nylons.
PeaceBang prefers to use fake-tan on her legs and to go without nylons, and in very dressy situations she avoids the conundrum by wearing pumps or some other shoe (not sandal) and nylons.
I don’t think that nylons would look right with the sandals I have pictured above (actually, they’d be fine with the top t-strap pair, which are more of a real shoe). They might not look heinous, but I do think they’d look weird.
Nylons look okay with a very dressy strappy sandal for weddings (I’ve seen it done well with a very silky sheer hose), but not with the sporty-dressy sandals I’ve showed. If your skirt is well below your knee, heavens, why bother with nylons? If your skirt is more like knee length, I can see how you’d consider it.
Of course there’s the school of clergygals who wear flat sandals and pantyhose with a reinforced toe, and… well… um, that’s why I have the mission to de-frumpify us!! I understand the need for support hose, and I understand the desire to wear comfy flat sandals. That particular combo, however, communicates one thing and one thing only: dear old granny. If that’s your pastoral calling, I say rock it. If it’s not, adjustments must be made.
So darling, it’s up to you. But if you wear nylons, make sure to get an absolutely sheer brand and keep the seam tucked under as best you can so it doesn’t show.