Not a thing to wear

Yesterday I had the opportunity to preach, which I always enjoy. In the week before I did my usual over-preparation of material, then I pruned furiously back to an acceptable length sermon. (actually, it was on the vine and the branches and pruning… boom boom.)

In the morning I had a final challenge to surmount… what to wear. This is simple for men: shirt and trousers. Formal church, add a tie, high church, add a robe. Done.

I had learned from experience NOT to wear a dress (nowhere to clip the battery pack for the microphone) or a v-neck top (the lapel mike ends up too far on one side of your face, so if you turn your head the other way your voice “drops out”). So I grabbed some tops and trousers and underwear… quietly mind you, as I was up early and my husband was asleep.

I had a shower then put the basics in place… undies with good elastic and a nice firm bra (Let’s face it… wobbling as you walk isn’t a good look. Unless you’re an exotic dancer,  just don’t go there. Ever).

Thereafter dressing got complicated. I put on a nice scoop necked top, but then I remembered I’d be using a lapel mike, and as I don’t have a big booming voice, it’s important to get the mike as close to the mouth as possible. I really needed a high-necked shirt. So I took off the scoop necked top and put on a brownish coloured t-shirt. It had a suitably high neckline, but unfortunately, it was really too “fitted” for church wear.

The Lord has rather generously endowed me (ahem) in the upstairs department. I discovered many years ago the difference between the male and female minds on this issue. I remember being full of admiration for a couple of youth group girls who did a beautiful liturgical dance in church in leotards. However, I discovered later our youth pastor was absolutely mortified… he could think of nothing but nipples, while praying furiously with his eyes shut. Oops.

To make the tshirt acceptable, I then put on a floaty jacket that skimmed over the offending area. I looked for trousers in a matching tone, but settled on basic black. This should do.

I then began the hunt for my lipstick in brownish tones to compliment the brownish top. Disaster… I had swapped handbags over but my brownish lipstick was in the old handbag!!!! As I didn’t wish to wake slumbering husband by making too much of a hulabaloo, I just put on a pinkish lipstick hoping to be forgiven for the colour clash.

I then tried removing my necklace, but the clasp was so stiff I was unable to get it off. Big mistake. I found when preaching the beads made little noises as they moved, all picked up by the radio mike. Sigh.

This dressing thing for preaching seems awfully complicated. If you dress modestly enough for the men-folk you might end up looking eccentrically unfashionable for the women-folk. Then there are all these technical restraints around lapel mikes etc.

Anyway, I’d be interested in your comments about what to wear when preaching… and what NOT to wear. I’ll include a number of Facebook comments below when I mentioned this today to get you started! These comments are below:

My church now has a 'madonna' style mike for those preaching so that eliminates some of the problems you have mentioned - I'd be hard-pressed to know what to wear for such an event though. Just a few weeks ago, we had a panel of people sharing the way God had worked in their lives in the last year. They were seated on arm chairs on the stage. Problem was, one lady was completely wearing the wrong skirt and did not seem to know to keep her knees together and we got a 'great' view of her knickers!

You are preaching to the choir on this one. This is a weekly issue for some women

Sometimes the fixed or hand held mike is a blessing... always interesting to work out what to wear when needing to be 'up-front'!

I heard recently of someone who was preaching over a weekend and during interval just before program recommenced, went to the toilet with the mike still on.
I was the key note speaker at a conference and turned my mike off to go to the toilet during interval only to realise I went into the men's room. Hard to get back on stage after that one.

Another friend of mine was speaker and tucked her top into her knickers at the back. Just caught her before the audience did. We think.... lol!

One of our worship leaders wore a skirt recently that clung terribly to her stockings leaving nothing to the imagination. I saw someone dash off and then during a break in worship the leader disappeared out a side door and come back with the problem sorted. Either someone had raced home and got her a slip or found a can of hairspray to eliminate the static problem. Hair spray stops the build up of static that can happen when you wear certain fabrics with tights/panty-hose when you spray it on the clothing or your stockinged legs. You can also buy a spray, called 'Anti-static Spray' at the supermarket, from memory in the area where they sell coat-hangers and such things. I have a pump pack of it and do use it from time to time. I just give the inside of a suspect skirt or dress a bit of a spray before I put it on. If I forget, I just spray my panty-hosed legs. It works a treat and totally eliminates any static issues of the clothing variety.

I solve the skirt problem by wearing pants... but the other problems are very real! Still need to work it all out beforehand!

One lady speaker had a wig on and it was crooked. It was very distracting.

It is a nightmare and if I wear the madonna mic I always wonder wear my matching bra is with the points. Not to mention the weight of fabric needed for the power pack. Guys have no idea.

Hillarious but so true!! Always be prepared to ask for a radio mic and prep the sound person to not be too scared to offer a different mic during the service. So many stories one could tell. Oh and if you do have to tuck the power pack under ones clothes, do you trust the sound person to switch it off when not on the platform?...nooooo

Yup!!i decided long ago to use handheld mike. Hard at first but my preference now. Had to learn how to things with one hand and not move the mike around. The 'madonna' mikes mess with your hair and are often too big. And the power pack messes up your clothes. Not many places use the lapel mike anymore. If you are taking note you'll see most of the higher profile female speakers use handheld for the reasons I mentioned. My husband hates hand held- he needs to use his hands a lot to express himself. Plus he wears pants with a belt. Lol

Ahh if only we were savvy enough to put together The Woman’s Microphone for public speaking.


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