Clergy Haberdashery

almyI got another Almy catalog in the mail today and, as always, I’m fascinated by the models they use. On the male side, there are two type casts: the buff young curate and the smooth silver-haired rector. The young “priests” look like guys you’d want to go have a drink with at McSorley’s Pub but spiritual counseling? Not so much.

The women “clergy” either need an extreme makeover or are, well, hot. Which is kind of odd. It makes you wonder what other magazines and catalogs they model for? “Let’s see on Monday it’s the Almy shoot then Tuesday and Wednesday I’ll be doing Frederick’s of Hollywood.”

Facial expressions consist of either the cheesy coffee hour fake grin or a pseudo-pious, heavenward glance. And if you ever lay your hands on one of these (ask your priest — we get about one a week), check out the way both the men and women hold their hands — it’s hilarious. The overly pious hand clasp is a hoot. The only variation in the current issue is the strapping guy in the ugly striped clergy shirt with one hand in his pocket and the other on his belt buckle. What are you Father Fonzie? Aaay!

In all of these clergy catalogs the men’s clergy shirts, vestments, and assorted paraphernalia are in the front and the women’s section always feels like an afterthought on the back pages. It’s sad but true.

Well, I guess someone has to model these things. It would look even odder if they were all draped on mannequins. Yes, I know, you’ve heard some priests preach about as well as your average department store mannequin.

Perhaps I’ll start moonlighting as a J.Crew model in my spare time. Now that would look authentic.


5 Comments on “Clergy Haberdashery”

  1. AKMA says:

    I don’t ever rest my hand on my belt buckle; do you know anyone who does?

  2. Father Tim says:

    Only priests with gigantic Harley Davidson belt buckles.

  3. Scott Gunn says:

    Wow, Tim. That’s a bold blog posting. I’m not sure I’d have run such a piece, what with calling men “buff” and women “hot”. Didn’t you have to take some training on all that in seminary?

    Really, you are spot on. I’ve always thought Almy catalogs were the height of goofy. You’ve captured the issue, spot on.

  4. Father Tim says:

    Thank you, Governor. You’re the wind beneath my wings.

  5. Chris Riely says:

    I loved this post! Excellent work. For years I’ve poached scrubs from my mom to use as pajamas. Wouldn’t it be interesting if your boys did the same with you work clothes.


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