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Male and Female Clergy Shirts: How to Choose a Clerical Shirt

by Dominic Chandler
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When you think of the church and those who represent it, fashion doesn’t tend to spring to mind. However, if a person puts a lot of time and effort into supporting their congregation, why shouldn’t they be able to do it in style? Of course, there are traditions to respect, but that’s not to say clergy members cannot choose a clerical shirt that suits their individual style. In fact, there is a range of men’s and ladies’ clergy shirts to choose from.

But the style and looking great isn’t the only consideration. Traditions must also be adhered to. In this post, we’ll discuss the various aspects to consider when choosing a clerical shirt.

What is a Clergy Shirt?

Clergy shirts have been a staple in many western countries for decades, allowing clergy members to adopt a more modern style while retaining the traditional elements of clerical attire. Traditional blazers do not have a high collar, so a clergy shirt with a collar was introduced to look like a cassock.

There have been several variations of clergy shirts to suit different collar styles throughout the years. However, clerical shirts these days tend to feature a high tab collar with a square-shaped opening at the front. This allows a white plastic collar to be slid into and around the collar easily. A plastic collar not only offers convenience and comfort but also prevents stains that cloth collars can cause.

Do I Need a Clergy Shirt With a Collar?

Yes, you absolutely do! A collar represents an individual’s religious calling and ensures people in the community can identify them as a member of the clergy. Collars are worn all over the world and have maintained the same style for many years. A stiff, narrow white collar that’s revealed by a small square-shaped opening at the front of the clergy shirt. 

Detachable collars are now the go-to option for clerical clothing as it’s convenient and comfortable and allows people to clean the shirt and collar separately. With traditional designs where the shirt and collar were joined, it would often incur the expense of a brand new shirt if the collar becomes weathered or stained.

Today, slip-in plastic collars are the most popular and widely-used clergy shirt collars. As we mentioned, this design enhances convenience and general comfort. Plastic also makes collars much more cost-effective, and clergy members can easily replace them with minimal expense or hassle.

Are There Men and Ladies Clergy Shirts?

Whether you’re looking for a clergy shirt for women or men, the process is no different from buying any other shirt. At Evess, we offer both short and long sleeve clergy shirts for men and women. The critical difference is the sizing and the style, as women’s shirts tend to run smaller than men’s. Men’s clerical shirts are sized by the circumference of your neck in inches, whereas a clergy shirt for women is in numbered sizes.

One crucial thing to consider is the collar, as many people opt to size up to accommodate it. If your clerical shirt is tight, you may find the addition of the collar somewhat uncomfortable.

Clergy Shirt Colours

Primarily, clergy members wear black shirts with a white collar or a roman cassock with the same colours. However, various religious orders and denominations can have their own unique uses of colours to offer a sense of expression and freedom. With that said, black is the most widely used colour, as is the church’s tradition.

In most cases, colours represent seniority within the order. For example, purple (Roman purple) clergy shirts are worn by bishops or senior bishops. Also, white clerical shirts are worn for special ceremonies such as funerals.

Are you looking for a new clergy shirt or other clergy clothing? Evess is a leading provider of clerical clothing and accessories. Whether you’re looking for a new clergy shirt, collar, cassocks, or choir robes — we have everything you need and more. Check out our online store or get in touch if you need help.

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