So Many Ways to be a Pastor: Day 21

So Many Ways to be a Pastor: Day 21 June 30, 2010

As previously established practically every single time I blog about my job, there are a few things that I did not learn in seminary.  Among the many, one is the skills I need for various alternative ministry situations, including but not limited to the delivery room, for example. 

One of those ministry situations which has arisen repeatedly in my work and which has become a lively avocation of mine is the fashion overhaul situation

I will admit right here and now that I know others who are much more fashion savvy than I, but I take very, very seriously the call we all have (from God) to look like we have it together.  For clarification: you don’t have to have it all together . . . you just have to sort of look like it. 

In other words, you may not (under any circumstances) wear Little House on the Prairie dresses, repair your shoes with duct tape, or consider items that you have personally crocheted viable accessory options.  Any or all of these plus more come under the category of, as my daughter Hannah and I like to say, A FASHION EMERGENCY.

In the course of my ministry I have had the opportunity to help people adjust their fashion expressions to hopefully assist in their overall spiritual health and well-being.  From time to time one brave soul submits him/herself to my complete overhaul efforts.  I love this process—it never fails to open up so many possibilities for people when they start to think of themselves differently than they did before. 

The way this process begins is with a stern talk and a required survey.  I’ve found that’s the best way to do the foundational work BEFORE we actually start pulling things out of the closet.  Recently a new brave soul has agreed to participate in a total fashion overhaul (“ministry,” remember?).  She mocked the survey I sent her, so I thought I would share it here.

Please, don’t all rush to access my fashion help; I do have a sermon to write, after all, so I have to be selective about what projects I take on.  Instead, I recommend that everyone become a dedicated reader of this blog, which will answer many thorny fashion questions.  Enjoy!

Fashion Overhaul Ministry Survey

General Background:

How would you describe your current style of dress?  How would you like to be described?
Do you have an outfit that people always compliment?  If so, describe it. 

Dressing For Your Body:

What do you consider your best physical feature?
What about your body are you most self concious/want to play down?
What have you learned over the years about what looks good on your body and what doesn’t?

Looking Good Means Feeling Great:

What kind of clothing (style, fabric, etc.) do you feel most comfortable wearing?
What kind of garment would you never, ever, under any circumstances wear because it makes you feel so uncomfortable (sleeveless, dress, shorts, etc.)?  Why?
At least once in your life you owned an outfit in which you felt stunning.  Describe it.
What are your favorite colors?  What colors do you HATE or would never be caught dead wearing?

It All Starts Underneath:

When is the last time you bought new underwear?  What brand/style/fabric underwear do you prefer?
Do you own a slip?  How many/length?
Do you own a neutral colored camisole or stretchy tank top?  How many?
What size bra do you wear?  ARE YOU SURE?
How many bras to you own, and when is the last time you purchased a bra?
If you were going to buy a bra today, where would you go?

Taking Stock of the Situation:

With what genre of clothing is your closet most populated at the moment?
Where would you consider the major holes in your wardobe (professional, casual, work out, etc.)?
What kind of shoes to you own?  List them here:


Last time you checked, what sizes do you wear (numeric, SML, etc.)?
Do you have any personal rules about where you will and will not shop?
What is your total budget for this overhaul?


  • No whining.
  • No being ridiculous about not being seen in the dressing room–we’re all grown ups here so get over it.
  • You must try on what I tell you to try on.  You must.
  • This will be hard work and will take many hours.  Again, no whining.
  • Organizing your closet and acquiring accessories so you know how to dress once you have your new clothes is an important part of this process; don’t give me a hard time when I make you do it.
  • Your power of veto is very limited; use it wisely.

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