This is probably not something about which priests should be concerned but over and above being men of God we are also just men and, you know, we don't mind looking passingly good. But what is an obstacle to that? Clery shirts! The enemy within the walls! Black is supposed to be slimming. Right? But what about when you are wearing three extra yards of it?
Go on to ANY clergy shirt website and look at the pictures. The priests all look thin in their well tailored shirts:
It is a lie worthy of the confessional! A guy may look like a clerical fashionista in a catalogue but something happens in the mail - the shirt turns into a circus tent.
At least some of the them are honest. Nest to the sports model in the picture they will say something like, "generous cut for comfort." How having tons of extra material tucked into your pants is supposed to be comforting I don't know.
It reminds of when I used to shop for regular clothing and would see how good it looked on the manikin and think that I too would like to look like that. So I put it one and - well - it did not look the same on me and eventually I realized it was because of THIS:
You know, if your shirts sell better because you make them look like another shirt that people really want . . . then why not just make them like that in the first place? GRRRR!
But, then again, it is partially my fault - or maybe the fault of my parents. I have an odd body. Tall, somewhat not fat, and monkey arms.
And unfortunately WHEREVER YOU GO TO THE TALL SECTION IT IS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE BIG AND TALL. Apparently the United States does not have people who are tall and not so big. It just now occurs to me maybe I am deformed.
Of course there are places and tailors that will make a shirt for people with alien bodies like mine.
And maybe that much money for a shirt isn't bad for a lot of our Protestant brothers and sisters - or even those who use such shirts as dress shirts. But THESE ARE CATHOLIC PRIESTS EVERY DAY SHIRTS! I might be hearing confessions one moment and folding up chairs in the hall the next - meeting with a couple to be married one minute, running with the kids on the playground the next. An expensive shirt might be nice for visiting the Bishop or Sunday Mass, but I selfishly want to be comfortable ALL THE TIME and it is not affordable.
When priests get together and someone has on a half way decent shirt - this happens:
This took place at the Jazz and Wine Festival here at St. Sebastian on Thursday. My shirt a priest sent me from Korea and there is no way to find them on line. One has to go to the monastery where they are made. Fr. Mertzwieler's shirt was from Poland and despite both of searching we cannot find it online. Favorite shirts bound to disappear from wear.
. . . because, of course, God will only let us in to heaven if we look good.