An anonymous cleric writes:
Interesting comments on clerical clothes – but does anyone speak from experience?
I wore a double breasted cassock when I was in seminary. It was bulky and required a leather belt. It is very warm: in unheated churches it is fine, but where are the unheated churches? How does one drive a smallish car in such garments? As a seminarian I usually wore shorts and a tee shirt under it, but add to it a clerical shirt, collar, and trousers and you have on a lot of clothes.
I still have my first priestly single-breasted Whipple’s cassock –it is now to me unbelievably heavy, and I had to wear it all the time indoors and out because I didn’t have a car and had to walk or take the bus. There were a lot of drying cleaning costs, including the mending of tears when attacked by dogs who hated cassocks! Since they were usually German Shepherds which I assumed were protestant dogs.
How does one pack a double breasted cassock, linen surplice, and alb for travelling –with everything else one needs? Who washes and irons them so that they always look and smell fresh? Not me!
A black cassock of light material, an alb, and a surplice that are all washable, black tab shirts (for me). and a light weight black suit is the only way to go, in my experience.