I was thinking in the shower this morning, as I often do, about what I was going to put on when I got out of the shower. It being Sunday, I debated wearing a clerical shirt and collar. I decided against it, but it got me thinking.
I rarely wear a clerical collar. It's not because I don't like them, or have any philosphical distaste. It's actually swimming a bit against the tide of my denomination, in which most clergy wear a collar at every opportunity.
In my experience, they are useful sometimes--for instance, on hospital visits. Sometimes they command respect, and they always identify you as undoubtedly clergy. However, sometimes they arouse anger or distrust in people.
I wear mine when I am clearly representing the church--such as the media event last week--and when I am being interviewed by the media. I wear it sometimes when I visit in hospital, but there I also take a hint from the person I am going to visit. Some people are pleased to see the collar--I guess it gives me legitimacy in their eyes, or in the eyes of others they are concerned about--and others, as I said, distrust it. Occasionally--I will admit it--I wear it for the dicomfort factor. This is a heavily Roman Catholic town, and so it often disconcerts people to see a woman wearing a clerical collar. This can be an advantage, depending on the situation!
As to which I wear, I have both tab collars and one Roman collar. The tabs are easier to put on, but the Roman looks classier (to me). I have two long-sleeve and two short-sleeve. I would like to get one more of each, so that I don't have to immediately wash them when I take them off. Sometimes I wear them with a suit, sometimes just with slacks, sometimes even with tan khaki-type slacks.
United Methodists (my previous denomination) rarely wear them, in my experience, so I'm still getting used to the idea, and trying to work out what works best for me.
How about you? Tab or Roman? Every day or never? Ever tried a Janey? With suits, jumpers, vests (the latter two in the US sense!), skirts? Only on Sundays? Any make you prefer? Where are they least expensive?