Members of the clergy use robes as part of their attire. Unfortunately, you can’t just walk into a mall and buy your vestments. But, specific stores and tailors are specializing in selling and making these robes.
The best part is that many of these shops can also be found online. Clergy attire, from shirts, cassocks, robes, and to dress shirts, can come in various designs and materials. There’s also a wide range of qualities and prices. If you’re curious to see all kinds of vestments, you may check out this site.
But, before buying your robes, there are some things that you need to keep in mind. These include:
1. Know your budget
As mentioned before, the quality of robes varies, and so do the prices. That being said, it’s essential to stick to your budget. Still, if you think that the higher quality is worth investing in, make sure that it’s not going to set you back too bad.
2. Choose from ready-made or custom-made robes
It’s possible to buy ready-made robes or have them custom-made. Getting one ready-made might not be exact to your measurements, but it does come close. Besides, it’s easy to have it tailored later on. On the other hand, custom-made robes will fit precisely to your measurements. However, they tend to come at an extra cost.
3. Take your measurements
Just like with any garment, taking measurements is an important step. To determine your sizing, whether it’s for ready-made or custom-made robes, follow these procedures:
- Unit of measurement: Use inches, but you can also convert them later, depending on the shop’s sizing chart.
- Height: This is the total height of the garment as you would wear it with footwear. Use feet and inches, like 5’2″.
- Sleeves: Not all robes require sleeve measurements. In case it’s needed, put your hand and bend it toward your face, like you’re looking at a watch. But, make sure your arm is parallel to the floor. Take your measuring tape from the center of the back of the neck. Then take it over the shoulder, around the elbow, and finally to the wrist.
- Chest: Wrap the measuring tape around the chest, right under the armpits. Note down the measurement where the tape measure meets.
Ladies will require different measurements for their cassocks, skirts, or cassocks. Here’s how you can go about it:
- Neck: Take your measuring tape and wrap it around the base of the neck. It shouldn’t be too tight. Be sure it’s comfortable enough to move, preach, and sing.
- Belt: Some garments need cinching in using a belt. When doing this, make sure you’re making measurements over other clothing. Wrap the tape measure around the fullest point of your stomach.
4. Choose the fabric
There’s quite a number of fabrics suitable for robes. Here are some great options:
- Wonder crepe: This is most commonly used for robes. It’s snag-resistant, has a soil-release finish, and retains its vibrancy. It’s machine-washable.
- Millenova: This is usually used for church choir robes. It’s also machine washable.
- Viva: It’’s made to resist staining and soiling. It can also avoid snags, as well as wrinkles, to an extent. It’s also machine-washable, but you’ll need to iron or steam it afterward.
- Contessa: This elegant fabric is almost like satin. It gleams, and it’s smooth to touch. But, despite its lavish look, it can be tossed in the washer, too.
- Tissue faille: This one is made from polyester silk. It’s a flowy material, but it’s surprisingly durable and machine-washable!
- Peachskin: This microfiber material is soft and lightweight.
5. Choose the color
There are several color options to choose from, but some limitations might depend on the fabric you choose. It’s essential to select a color that can reflect your personality, theology, and your congregation’s identity.
All in all, choosing your robes is similar to choosing other garments. Remember, when you’re in front of the congregation, you’ll also need to feel and look confident, and your vestments can help you exude that. Most importantly, your attire can make a great statement as a member of the clergy.