So I went to a really great conference last week (Next Church, a Presbyterian-originated thing) in one of my most favorite cities on the planet (Chicago) and saw some of my favorite people ever. So it was good. I learned a lot, I was discomfited a little, I left with much to think about.
But I will admit I was completely distracted by two fashion trends.
Trend Number One: Men in Gingham Shirts
It’s high time someone other than Dorothy Gale claimed gingham! And let me tell you, dozens of men were rocking this trend. Big check, little checks, two-colored and multi-colored. Spring sprung in Chicago! A secondary fashion trend: cool pastors in untucked t-shirts – the bigger the church served, the more awesome the funky old t-shirt. Some played it safe with the classic (but always appreciated) button down shirt, jeans, sportscoat. Well done, men!
Trend Number Two: Women in Chunky Necklaces
The ladies were rockin’ it, too – big ol’ necklaces that said, “I don’t feel one bit bad about my neck, and I will wear this costume jewelry to prove it. (Because I’m a pastor and wearing real jade or turquoise is beyond my pay grade.”) I was noticing who was wearing these gorgeous things – gorgeous women, of course! I did wonder if there was a secret club of The Chunky Necklace Clergywomen. If there is, I think I would have to pass because I’ve got enough chunk going on without any extra jewelry and I might be getting a little concerned about my neck.
But I will say that the Chunky Necklace Trend is so preferable to the jumper/Dankso/cardigan with birdhouses trend. I know we want to be comfortable. I know there is nothing worse than ill-fitting, ill-constructed shoes. I know that cardigan cost a pretty penny once upon a time. But all at once? Too much. If you must wear the jumper, hip it up with some cowboy boots (and a chunky necklace!) If you just can’t let go of that cardigan investment, wear it with a white t-shirt, skinny jeans, and some Converse All Stars. And if those Danskos are the only thing that keep your feet happy, try the Pacific Northwest Look: Dansko clogs, black tights, black pencil skirt, and a badass sweater. Top it all off with a jaunty cap, and you’d fit right in in Portland.
Me? I played it safe, though the unseasonably warm weather on Monday threw me off. Sunday was a travel day with jeans, slip on shoes, and my black damask Cut Loose top. Monday that jean jacket came in handy, with the white T and black skirt (and my sadly unfashionable but really good for my bad hip shoes.) I could’ve used a chunky necklace with that one. Tuesday I can’t even remember. It was St. Patrick’s Day and I might have worn green. Wednesday was another travel day, so those jeans again and my favorite, black non-damask Cut Loose top. The earrings might have saved me.
I did tell my friend, who won the Best Dressed Contest, that her sartorial choices were much appreciated, despite the lack of Chunky Necklaces.
And now if only someone would start making gingham stoles. For now, we’ll have to settle for this: