Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Trinny and Susannah meet their match

Trinny and Susannah encounter clerical shirts!

It made for fascinating TV. Trinny and Susannah met a group of women, including a couple of women clergy, and selected a group of them for a make-over.

What made this programme different was that rather than just the usual make-over, first of all, some of the women 'met their match' in that they had to dress in the women's usual attire - clerical shirt and all!

I wonder what you made of it all? I'm one of those who before I was ordained vowed that I would not be seen dead wearing a clerical collar. But when I found myself in a context where that badge was really useful, I had to eat my words. Then the challenge was to find shirts which were decent and even remotely feminine.

The choice in 1994 was much more limited than it is now. I was disappointed that the looks Trinny and Susannah went for were not a great improvement on what the two women were wearing before. I was fascinated that one of the parishioners made the point that to wear a clerical shirt was important for many clergy women - a symbol of equality with men. Not to wear one was something of a cop out - and I think I would agree.

On the positive side, I felt that on this occasion the church came out well - Trinny and Susannah were clearly trying to understand what the women's lives were like, and it was a sympathetic picture of some aspects of parish life. But the fashion - for me, the challenge is still on.

I wonder what you think clergy women should wear?


Kate Wharton said...

I watched this programme & was fascinated by it. I thought it was done well & Trinny & Susannah were sympathetic & helpful. But I was a bit disappointed with the end result! As someone who was ordained at 27 (I'm now 30) I am a bit frustrated at the lack of choice for women's clergy shirts - I want to look trendy, young & even 'normal'! - but I also want, much of the time, to wear a dog collar! I wear lots of different coloured shirts, have found 'bibstocks' useful (T&S seemed to think they'd invented them!), & have recently discovered some rather good t-shirts with integral collar. But yes I agree - the challenge is still on!

Crunch said...

'Cross Designs' of Derby do some lovely fashionable designs in clerical shirts and also some casual ones too e.g. a clerical hoodie!!! They are also the ones responsible for Joanna Jepson's (the Chaplain to The London School of Fashion), famous dog collar choker...definitely not staid and untrendy!