Today I am wearing a white blouse with lovely detailing (set-in waist, thin, pretty lines of embroidered thread woven througought in slimming patterns), a lavender tulip skirt that flares at the knees, and 4″ cork sandals. Also beaded earrings.
In Massachusetts this is normal girlie get-up. It may be a bit froo-froo for clergy, but I had a hot lunch date today with my staff and I wanted to be cute for them. Thank you for asking: I did have a glass of champagne with my oysters. We have long, hard winters here in New England and when we finally get to sit outside in the harbor and look at the boats, we think it’s worth a 2-martini lunch. Which both my secretary and office manager did have.
Apple-tinis, bless their hearts.
Anyway, if I was living in Portland, Oregon or Berkeley, California, I would have more likely been wearing a denim skirt and a fleece pullover and some rubbery Keene sandals. And I would have been considered appropriately dressed. Because Outdoorsy Chic is very big on the Other Coast, and you can be clad in an outfit you bought entirely at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) and be assured you’ll fit into most gatherings.
(Or is it EMI? I feel like it’s EMI. Eastern Mountain … Indoors? No, that can’t be right. I’m sorry, I try not to associate any more than is absolutely necessary with businesses that encourage people to think that sleeping outdoors is a good idea).
Darling readers, you know how PeaceBang feels about camping gear passing for professional wear, even if she did succumb to a FMBT (Fleeting Moment of Bad Taste) and feature a lumberjack shirt on a recent post of casual-wear recommendations for men.
PeaceBang feels that ministry should come with as much flair and elegance as we can individually muster. If you live in Land of the Lumberjacks and snowshoe your way to pastoral calls, perhaps flannel plaid is just what you should be wearing. There is a regional element to all of this, of course.
However, do you remember in all those dear old “Little House on the Prairie” episodes when the pioneers would spend all week in their overalls and wide-brim hats, toiling in the fields (and Laura and Mary would bring them cool ginger water) and getting grimy in a kind of sexy, manly, Michael Landon-ish way? But then when they went to Meeting on Sunday they took their weekly bath and got all combed and shined up, and put on their stiff Sunday best (which in Laura’s case, meant bright blue hair ribbons on her pigtails)? And they looked kind of shiny and special, even if they weren’t terribly comfortable and certainly not fashionable?
I think we should be shiny and special in some secular equivalent of our Sunday best every day. We should communicate shiny Sunday specialness when we dress every day, to represent the blessing of the Sabbath spirit whenever we walk into a room or into the office.
I confess, PeaceBangers, that I attended a board meeting last night in a pair of striped casual cotton pants, black flat shoes, and a black Johnny-collar t-shirt. No earrings, even. For a board meeting, acceptable enough. But last night we added a surprise dinner for two of our departing members; one of whom was a brilliant and amazing chair of our board for the past two years. The way I feel about those two people, I should have been wearing a bugle-beaded gown and a tiara. They are that special. I should have dressed up more to honor them. If either of them read this, they would roar with laughter and give me big bear hugs.
But you know, with all the joy and pride I feel in my governing board, and how much I adore them and am grateful for them, I could have, you know, represented better.
I’ve gotten off topic, but now I’m all emotional. You can’t imagine how cute these people are. And the men were all wearing beautiful, crisp summer shirts in lovely colors — some with ties! — and every single one of them was ironed perfectly.
God, I’m going to cry.