This is a warning for anyone tempted by the links for clergy shirts below.

The shirt arrived today. I had accepted the initial UPS fee (State side) that doubled the price of the shirt. But on delivery they added another £20, which included VAT at almost 50% of the value of the shirt. I suspect I can get a bit of it back, but only after endless correspondence.

But all that I could live with if the shirt were OK. It’s not that it doesn’t fit (though it doesn’t). It’s not that I don’t like the cut (though I don’t). It’s that the so-called tabbed collar is nothing more than a normal fold down collar tacked down at the edges. For that I could have bought a shirt anywhere and done it myself.

This happened to me once before when ordering from the States (Womenspirit that time), but I thought it was a one off problem. Clearly not.

So clergy, be warned.

Now — does anyone know a good dressmaker??

12 thoughts on “thwarted”

  1. I tend to keep going back to J&M sewing services in Newcastle – not the cheapest, or most fashionable, but they do a decent rage of clergy shirts, for wome, made to measure if you wish (you can eitehr visit them or submit your measurements online)

  2. I agree with OC, Kimberly. Should I still be wearing them, J+M is the only place for me for clerical shirts. And the women who work there are always charming.

  3. I do but she’s busy. Personally, I’d buy a Pink’s shirt in a sober collar and attack the collar myself. I would not, were I clergy, be seen DEAD in the styles offered for female clergy shirts! And I’m 55 and inclined to be plump. If I were Kimberly’s age, I would not be seen dead with one in my wardrobe.

  4. Thanks, all, but I have tried.

    Custom shirts from J&Ms, Whippells, Shinglers of Sutton — all straight into the bin (SOS had two attempts, and got the front half right the second time, but the back was awful — they had been so nice, I dared not ask them to try again).

    Ready made shirts from WomenSpirit & Augsburg.

    Not even Pinks, I’m afraid.

    I promise I’m not being (too) fussy. It’s just that all the British shirts assume that everyone is narrow shouldered and wide hipped, while the Americans seem unable to cope with tab collars or a pattern not built on a rectangle.

    Rosemary — as for not being caught dead in one… Before ordination I had never tucked a shirt in in my life and rarely wore black. I soon learned to think of clergy dress as a modern equivalent of hair-shirts. And at first I could live with that — accepted that it was a uniform, took on the horror of always having to wear things that didn’t fit and looked awful, told myself it didn’t matter. But it gets wearing after a while. And I seem to be at the point where I need to reclaim being a thirty-something before the opportunity is gone forever.

  5. How about a Lewin classic cut or even their fitted shirts?
    Or Landsend?
    Sorry haven’t got more to offer at mo…understaffing in my unit biting into any free time.

  6. The Lewin shirts look interesting (on the theory that if I found one shirt that fit well, it could be used as a pattern) but they have carefully arranged the models so you don’t get to see the bottom of the shirt. Still, it gives me a goal for my day off…

  7. None of my daughters can ever find a shirt to fit – though Pinks seem the best. They all have large busts and small waists, and only Bravissimo do shirts which are like this. They often wear stretch to get round the problem – but it doesn’t do when you have to have a formal shirt.

    Being older and fatter, my waist is larger than it should be and I escape – I frequently wear bloke’s shirts, because I rather like that baggy unshaped look. Anything too fussy just looks terrible on me.

    I’d go for the fit, and sort out the collar some old how. And blue would be OK in my book, though black is usually a stylish option. The real solution is to, er, move upwards. I think you’d look good in a nice purple.

    I believe that nice Mr Lagerfeld makes to order 😉 Could be the way to go….

  8. The tailor just on the other side of the traffic lights from St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow is excellent.

    Good with vestments, making big clothes fit skinny provosts and all manner of things. Can do bespoke. Has shirt and suit material in window.

    Speaks Polish, through a mouthful of pins.

  9. I’m allowing that comment/ advertisement to stand simply to say this:

    The Hammond and Harper are what I wear. They are better made than many, but they do not even begin to fit women well. Perhaps Lorraine (who has also been on Kelvin’s blog) will start listening to the blog threads about horrid shirts??

    The linen shirts she mentions (and the floral for that matter) are no where in evidence on the website.

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