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Rev_Hansen

Clergy Apparel - How To Get Dressed To Worship & Minister

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Has anyone ever encountered any sort of negativity when buying clerical clothing or accessories in brick and mortar supply stores? Strange looks? Questions about the validity of your ministry status?

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I have never encountered any problems buying stuff at stores. I often shop at Family Christian and they have been more than accepting. I was told by their sales staff to sign up for the rewards card and I could save 20%. They said that if I informed them when I signed up that I was clergy they would note the account in the system to give me an even bigger discount.

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I have experienced the same with the Family Christian locatedin Flint, MI, they are always friendly and helpful. Ordered my tabbed collar shirt in store through them and even though the wrong shirt was shipped (they recieved one of the collarless shirts that you wear with the "dog collars") they had the correct shirt there the two days later on a Monday.

Same goes for the Michigan Church Supply Store here in the Flint, MI area, though was told if I was a minister for a local church then I would be eligible for the Ministers/Pastors/Fathers/Clergy discount, which is no sales tax. Michigan Church Supply is where I picked up my copy of the Star Book for Ministers. They even supplied me with a couple of their print catalogs.

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Well, as you can see by my updated profile picture, I finally ordered a tab-collared clergy shirt. I got it through Autom.com, and the experience was pretty favorable. The shirt looks and feels good, even though my collar's a bit too tight (I was told to order the next size up from my "normal" neck size for the sake of comfort, but I only went up a 1/2 size. I will probably buy a collar button extender rather than return the shirt). Unfortunately, when I opened the box containing the crucifix necklace I ordered, um, Jesus fell off the cross and I had to search my carpet and find Him before one of my kids did. I called Autom the next day, and not only did they offer to send a replacement, they credited my account. An added bonus was I was sent one of their catalogs, which my wife, a lifelong (but mostly non-practicing) Catholic, enjoyed browsing through. As a result, we will probably order other things through them.

As for a stole, I wanted something simple and neutral that wouldn't tie me to any specific faith or denomination, and every option I found through various sources had decidedly Christian decoration. I finally ordered a plain white stole off eBay. The ULC bookstore only offers three colors of plain stoles, so I figured eBay was an acceptable avenue. I will probably come up with my own decoration to have embroidered on it, and still order a purple one from ULC.

I briefly considered just buying a priest costume at the local party store around Halloween, but not only would that have been cheap, I felt like it would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

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I would say the plain stoles that are sold here would work. I eventually plan on getting around to it and ordering a Purple one and a White one. I have also been looking at possibly making my own from plans I have found available online (unfortunately the plans aren't free). If I did this I would easily have it any color/colors I would like, plus it would be custom made for me.

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Should post an update:

Ordered the Purple Silk Stole from the store here back in February. It is a nice Stole, unfortunately the Purple and the White Stoles are no longer available, though the Red and the Green ones are still available.

I did break down and order from Amazon.com a copy of "20 Simple and Elegant Vestment Patterns" by Rev. Cheryl L. Miner who also has the website www.VestmentPatterns.com where you can order individual patterns, I may order one or two of them to compliment the book. I am planning on getting together with a friend who knows her way around a sewing machine to make a Brown Hooded Alb for me to wear out to this years Michigan Renaissance Festival (the friends I go out there with like to try and wear costumes, last year they dressed themselves and their two youngest as Pirates with their oldest dressed up as a Dragon {in truth it was a Charizard {a Pokemon character} costume}, while the other two of our friends was dressed as a Gypsy and Robin Hood, though I was in regular street clothes as I there primarily as a photographer to do the one set of friends family portraits that weekend) so I can go dressed as a Monk/Friar. I am also planning on working with my friend who sews to make a couple of the Traveling/Visitation Stoles for me to keep in my car along with the emergency Clergy/Chaplaincy toolkit. Granted the book just arrived today 7JUL2015 so I haven't really went through it in detail, just skimmed through it, but so far it looks like a nice book of Vestment Patterns, and it does give you permission to reproduce the patterns for personal and church use, so if you were to order it and you have your own church you can use the patterns to make the vestments your church might want such as Choir Stoles, Deacon Stoles, Chasubles, etc... which should hopefully save you and/or your church money on the vestments, plus making your own will give them more personal value and meaning then if you were to purchase premade ones.

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