I found your blog not too long ago while I was looking for some vestments tailored for women…a difficult search as we both know.
I’m in my first call as a Lutheran pastor in the Washington, D.C. area – brand new to the area – and I’ve found reading your blog is like having a friend who knows my pain! 🙂
Anyway, to my dilemma…
I’m under 30, single, short (5’2) and plus sized (18). I have found that one of the most flattering looks for me really is a suit jacket…tailored, emphasizes that I do indeed have a waist, covers up really ugly clergy shirts, helps people older than me take me seriously, etc.
BUT…it is now approaching the humid summer months of swampy D.C. and I can’t go on wearing things over my clergy shirts just to “create smooth and clean lines”. Any thoughts on summer looks for clergy in more formal offices who already have challenges finding clothes that fit their petite and wide frame?
Oh honey, I so feel your pain!!
MAN, do you I feel your pain. We’re the same approximate size! We can swap clothes! But first, your dilemma.
I think the Belt is going to have to be your good friend. A belt, you see, will give you that waist that you want, and will neaten up the icky blouse. Also, finding excellent skirts and trousers will really keep you sane — and I’m taking skirts that don’t drown your bottom half in tons of fabrics (try the Style, Inc. line or “inc.” — they make nice professional skirts for chunky short chicks like us), but are have clean lines and to which you can add a smart belt and great shoes.
Definitely show some leg. I wear Spanx-like tummy-thigh trimmer shorts under skirts so I am free of pantyhose. I fake-tan my legs and it all looks fine.
As far as trousers go, make sure they FIT AT THE WAIST AND BUTT and THIGHS and have a nice gentle flare at the bottom. You’ll (we) need that balance. I don’t know if you have the dreaded tummy bulge that I have (my torso is basically a set of tires balanced on top of each other), but get a good slimmer, tuck that bloody shirt in, and add a nice belt. Don’t wear a big pendant and a belt — you’ll cut yourself all up. Either pendant or belt, not both. Wear nice earrings, do up your face, keep your hair looking shiny and great, carry fresh white hankies to dab at your face in that humid heat, and you’ll be great.
I give myself dispensation to wear an open-toed shoe when I have to wear a collar in the summer. I wear 3″ platform sandals, tuck my shirt into black flared trousers, wear biggish earrings and decide just to funk it up. Also, a nice thick wristwatch provides some balance, too.
Sorry to be so rambly!
Let me know how it goes!
Readers of all shapes and sizes,
Belts are very fashionable right now, and they really can add a nice, polished dimension to a simple outfit. Gals, got a clean, unwrinkled nice tee-shirt and a terrific pair of trousers? Add a lovely belt, some nice earrings, a chunky bracelet and voila, you got yourself an outfit.
Guys, got some pressed khakis and an Oxford? Add a belt and you’ll look even more ready for your day!
Tip for full-figured gals: a belted, fitted shell looks very nice under a blazer or cardigan. It adds a waist, but only if the belt isn’t too wide (super wide belts are in right now, but don’t be fooled — you’ll just look dissected).
P.S. Dears, I’m having a hard time finding elegant, well-fitting shells lately — everything’s either the tacky, ribbed “wife-beater” style (I’m sorry, I know it’s an offensive name) or a camisole with spaghetti straps and a too-low neckline. Any tips?