A good while back I blogged about the importance of building a pastoral wardrobe while in seminary (though, of course, it's not too late to do so after seminary, especially for those of you whose realization that it actually DOES matter what you wear came late-- as in, after you accepted a call to ministry and still believed your Doc Martins would be the only dress shoe you needed.... c'mon, you know who you are!). Back then, I recommended Men's Wearhouse as a great source for good-quality clothes-- which I still recommend.
(By the way, I'm talking with the corporate folks at Men's Wearhouse to try to get them to put a discount coupon in the back of the book on transition I'm working on-- wouldn't that be cool?)
Anyway, I stand by all of that advice, in spite of the push-back I got from one commenter on that post. Naturally, other cultures are different from the western/American culture that I minister within, and I'm certainly not trying to impose western ideals on other cultures. The big point (clearly missed by some) was that, in every culture, there is a certain propriety to dress that Pastors are expected to adhere to, and there are very few ways to get around this without creating additional (and unnecessary) hurdles for ourselves in the process. (There are a couple of ways-- look for more on this in a future post.)
Continuing that long-dormant theme of wardrobe, then, may I point you to The Tie Bar-- an amazing source of high-quality ties of all sorts (yes, including bow ties) for astonishingly low prices.
While I'm at it, I'll mention the website that I found The Tie Bar from: Beauty Tips for Ministers. Yes, this is actually a serious blog, with a very large number of posts and some fascinating discussion. I recommend this blog with a huge grain of salt (think ice-cream rock salt), since it's written by a female Unitarian-Universalist Minister, and therefore focuses primarily on advice for women Ministers (which most-- if not all-- of my readers will not be). Nevertheless, she does have good (and funny) wisdom, and she has written a fair amount of tips for men.
Anyway-- good stuff, if you're trying to figure out what dressing appropriately for different pastoral contexts really means.