Be Pure Of Sole

Hello honey heads, how have you been?

There you are at the thing: the meeting, the service, the protest, the potluck. You have washed up and shined up and showed up. You are engaged. You are grateful and gracious.

You have put together an outfit that you feel respects the occasion. You have ironed your shirt. You have chosen outerwear that reflects your leadership role and is a a few steps above a squall parka. You have brushed the dandruff and animal fur off of your shoulders.

When you did your head-to-toe prayerful preparation for where you needed to be, did you get all the way down to your feet?

I have almost forgotten to review my feet a few times recently and came close to attending an important occasions with mud on my boot heels. I really would have been mortified if someone had noticed the dirt, and I know someone would have. That is not okay. Even in this cursed generation of leggings worn as pants, dirty shoes at solemn occasions is not acceptable unto the Lord.

Microfiber cloths are a fantastic way to clean up your shoes and boots. I have a stack of white ones in my bathroom for make-up removal (they’re miraculous at getting rid of everything, even mascara, with just warm water!) and they work great with a little water or micellar water on dirty or dusty shoes. The micellar water is also a gentle make-up remover but works as a nice face freshener (I like to wipe it under my eyes after a nap or long day) or on any leather products.

Now, if you’re wearing lug soles, please do not come into any building tracking dirt. If muddy hiking boots are your usual workaday wear because you’re doing ministry in a rural environment (and if you’re not, you have no excuse for wearing muddy hiking boots!), take them off in church and have shoes to change into. That also goes for social events in people’s homes, restaurants, community centers, houses of worship and Knights of Columbus halls. Unless you’re doing a part-time ministry with a side gig as a lumberjack, don’t wear muddy hiking boots while pastoring. You ain’t that rugged.

Annie Spratt from Unsplash

Evoking Clericals But Not Actually Wearing Them: In Praise Of The Mock Neck

Some of us wear the dog collar on the daily, some of us don’t. For those who don’t but who want to evoke the sense of a collar (with the associated historical resonance, evocation of religious authority), the mock-neck is a great option.

I have been looking for a decent mockneck (nice fabric, tunic length, sleeveless) for ages and found one yesterday on WAY sale at JJill and ordered one in black:

It’s a rayon woven fabric so has a more of a formal drape than a cotton blend, which is important. FAWTY PERSENT OFF, KIDS!

Also a perfect neckline if you want to wear a religious symbol (flaming chalice pendant, for example).
A lovely person just bequeathed unto me an amazing hamsa necklace from Morocco. It’s about 6″ long and this neckline will be a wonderful backdrop for it.

Men can do the same thing: a mockneck is less sporty than a turtleneck and is a nice, tailored option for a sports jacket if you don’t want to wear a tie.

Darker colors are always more elegant. Fabric blends are important, too — look for something with some richness to it and dry clean rather than throw in the wash.

Waistcoat and Clericals: WERK IT

Hello, lovelies! I am BACK! I was in Israel and Palestine and then Paris for eighteen days, and as you can imagine the pre- and post- trip busyness was REAL.

I did find time to attend an ordination last weekend which provided me fodder for a few posts, and I know I owe many of you responses to great e-mail queries. Mea culpa! I’m still here for you!

Now, let’s talk about how I got the Rev. Isaac Everett to pose like a male model for me. I didn’t! He just naturally knew how to strike a pose. He is fab.

The thing to note here is the vest, or waistcoat, as the Brits call it (pronounced “westcut” if you’re fancy).


I think it adds a really nice touch because it fits and matches. This isn’t just about throwing on a vest. It is about putting together a polished, monochromatic, grown-up look. The blacks match. The vest fits around waist and chest. The details are attended to. His hair is done in a current style. The good reverend is groomed and impressive. I think Isaac could dress up the shoe a bit with this ensemble but his are fine.

Here he is with the ordinand, the newly-minted Rev. Sam Teitel laying on some mutual blessing. Sam is also really beautifully dressed. I think that his stole is gorgeous, and lately I feel an extra pull to more monochromatic looks. One of the participants in the service, an extremely tall man, was wearing a hugely voluminous robe that was literally a coat of many colors — blazing, actually — and it struck me as upstaging, domineering and actually garish. That’s a personal opinion. Ordinations are celebratory and it’s appropriate to wear colors, of course (I just learned myself that red is the traditional color for ordinations in my tradition, which I had not previously had any idea about. How’d I miss that?). However, the year 2017 does not feel to me like a time for the sporting of borderline wackadoodle frippery. His robe felt Carnivalesque to me, and Lord knows we’re not in any Carnivale right now. In fact, we’re in Lent, liturgically and nationally.
HOWEVAH, I’m sure there were many who thought the vestment was wonderful, happy and fun and entirely suiting the occasion.

I am not going to say “here’s some hot man-on-man blessing action” because that really would be too irreverent even for PeaceBang, even though that’s exactly what I said to Sam and Isaac on Sunday.
Warmest wishes to the new minister and to all of you.



(Nice hem job on Sam below)




Men’s Clothes: Best Deals For Basics?

Gents of the cloth, Emily is asking for her reverend husband: what are you best go-to’s for wardrobe staples? They need to be decently made, of course. And I always like to put in a pitch for American-manufactured.

Best sales? Best stores, on-line or otherwise? Enlighten us, please!

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