Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What not to wear with anything.

Why would some Catholic women in the United States want to wear something like this?  A veil is a veil is a veil - nothing wrong with veils, is there Ms. Fatima Burqa-stein?  Obviously a good mantilla is hard to find outside of Spain or Italy.  Please, please, please wear a scarf or a hat if you think you are obliged to cover your head - but not some Little House On the Prairie home-made doilie-thing like this.  A well intentioned blogger is actually giving this away and a priest is actually encouraging women to wear it...  They know not what they do. 
Picture this:  I was at a church in St. Paul for Mass one evening this past winter and noticed a somewhat stout woman I know, wearing what looked like a WWII flight jacket, a long denim skirt, white men's socks and brogues, sporting a cheap black chapel veil similar to the one in the photo.  She looked like a mental patient.  
Anyway, the woman with the cottage industry who makes these things does lovely work, and she is obviously very well intentioned and devout, so go ahead and buy her stuff, but maybe use the pieces as doilies someplace in your home instead of wearing them.  Please do not make Tim Gunn weep. 
Really - consider a scarf instead... even if you end up looking like a refugee...
Ralph Lauren
Louis Vuitton


  1. You know, Terry I think you're really out of line with this post.

    I wear cheap headdreses at Mass.

    But what is pictured looks handmade and as an artist yourself, you KNOW how handmade stuff is undervalued enough! Why add to the de-valuation of handmade things even if you disapprove of their current cultural usage?

    If you truly want to pick on women's headwear, pick on mine, all machine-made.

    But don't pick on the little guy (or in this case, the little lady), who actually may be a very real friend of mine, and yours if you would have even a smidgen of respect for her trade.

    After all...she cares about yours.

    And screw the gay rich guys. They don't know anything about fashion anyway because the only reason they wear it is because they're either popular or dead and death makes them idols.

    Mantillas have a totally different culture.

    Respect the mantilla!

  2. You wouldn't wear a pot on your head just because it was handmade. And handmade pots can be crapper than machine-made ones. "Organic" doesn't necessarily =better for the environment, nor does handmade necessarily =better than machinemade.

    Mantillas do have a totally different culture. Do you dress so it doesn't look weird? And do you dress so you don't stand out like a sore thumb amongst the rest of your congregation? (and if you go to a traddy church, does the congregation stand out like a sore thumb?) Mantillas are a very practical way of covering your hair, because they will go over any hairdo. But turning up in one at my parish church is not going to happen, unless I decide to go dressed as a Goth. It draws attention, distracts. And usually looks crap, if not actually mad.

    Hats, beanies, scarves, snoods ... it's easy to cover you head without sticking out in a LookI'mPious way.

    For my part, I would have my devout persons, whether men or women, the best dressed of the company, but with the least pomp and affectation, and, as is said in the book of Proverbs, adorned with good taste, propriety and dignity.

    Of course, I expect with some imagination one could work the little number pictured here into an outfit in a way that didn't scream "LOOK AT MY HEAD-COVERING". Little House on the Prairie is a valid look, however much Our Blog Host may dislike it :), but in some places it will stick out, and the older one is the more careful one has to be not to look silly in clothes that stick out. And while it's GOOD that there are mad people who are pious, it's not good for pious people to look mad unnecessarily.

    Rant over :)

    1. The mantilla or chapel veil or hat or whatever head covering a woman chooses to wear to church is not worn to impress you or the person worshiping next to you or anyone else in the congregation...but to please God. It is not a display of affluence nor is it a badge of holiness. It is an outward sign of an action of devotion to please God in the reverence and respect to God's Divine Presence in the Eucharist. If you think it is or ever was intended as a fashion piece, you are so sadly and completely mistaken. If you truly understood what this personal devotion means, and the history behind it (the REAL history, not the one the media has romanticized into something awful about burkas) then you would never have made such a comment, nor would the article have ever been blogged. Psalm 90:17 "Prosper the work of our hands, Lord. Prosper the work of our hands."

  3. ps Feel free to wear mantillas if you like, if someone turns up in an unexpectd place wearing one I think "oh, how nice", not "how proud and ostentatious can you get". I was inspired to rant by your defence of the practice :)

    Also the one in the piccie, if not in black, could probably work in a hippy sort of look, or a mixnmatch bohemian sort of look, or ... the shape, though, is going to be difficult to pull off... hmmm ...

  4. Other people can wear whatever they like. Me? I'm so over it. The '50's and'60's were a long time ago. My mom and grandma used to wear the most elegant hats, but I'd feel funny doing it now. I used to wear mantillas to school Masses. Some people think everyone wore wear them, but they pretty much didn't come into fashion in a general way until the 1960's in the USA.
    I do try to dress up a bit and look decent when I go to church, but just don't feel it's important to stick something, anything! on my head.
    P.S. I wish the lady who makes mantillas the best, everyone's struggling in these difficult economic times.

  5. Actually, the only reason the crocheted mantilla looks all wrong is that it is too small.

    If it was larger (and was ironed) the weight of the fabric would make it hang better.

    Small wimpy mantillas are no good. They have to be in proportion to the rest of the person...


    I buy my mantillas from a lady who makes them, but she makes them from lacy fabric rather than crochet work. But my mantillas all cover my hair completely and hang down to my shoulders...

  6. Back in the old days of the 'sixties when I attended parochial school, if a girl forgot her mantilla for daily mass, the nuns made her wear a piece of folded kleenex on her head, held in place with a bobbypin.


  7. Dolorosas Sevillanas Con Mantilla


  8. I own a this same veil in gray. It's terrific. Because it's crochet it does not need pins and never falls off even when I'm laughing. And the lady who made it for me is a sweet gentle woman makes part of her living from her business.

  9. p.s. don'tcha think providing links to designer sites selling scarves for over $300 a pop is just a tad bit, shall we say, completely off the mark?

  10. ;) Quick shoulder hunch and mischievous smile and wink...

  11. Austringer10:47 AM

    Given what I have seen at Mass -- short skirts, plunging necklines, and T-shirts with sometimes off-color sayings on them ("Don't Rock the F***ing Bed", showing two dogs copulating in the bed of a pickup truck was particularly memorable -- yes, the "F" word was spelled out), a tacky mantilla isn't going to attract my notice, let alone raise my blood pressure.

  12. Terry! I'll have you know that was an heirloom flight jacket from my great-uncle who was killed in the war and whose name is memorialized on the american legion post in his hometown!

    I went to an Orthodox trade show last Thurs. which featured church appropriate clothes and scarves. I wore a scarf from the Vatican exhibit in churches in Russia. Should've brought my dollar estate sale designer scarf.

  13. Hi Lar - I'm trying to increase my female follower stats.

  14. Check out my new avatar.

    Another way to increase your female follower stats is to write about crock pots, or how frustrating it can be to find a bra that fits properly. So I've heard...

  15. This is exactly why I DON'T wear a mantilla. They are controversial, because it reflects a style of dress from a long ago era--most women in 2010 do not wear them, and when one does--it looks like a throw-back to the 60's.

    Most women who do wear them, look all feminine and beautiful--but I would look like exactly like the women you described--No thank you!

  16. My mommy would wear a mantilla to Church; it had Castilian roses and was very beautiful. It would cover her head down past her breasts as she was a modest woman, and did not want to appear provocative in Church. *

    When she passed away, I purchased a new one for her and made certain she was wearing it when she was buried.

    She wore the mantilla with roses as she was a Mexican girl. Castilian roses are what the Holy Mother gave to Saint Juan Diego. She wanted to please God at Mass, and also His Mother.

    Her mantilla, as with other women, was symbolic, and a sign of respect and obedience to our Lord.

    Somewhere in Holy Scripture is stated a woman in Church without a veil brings shame on her family.

    When I am in Mexico City, near the Cathedral, I purchase some beautiful hand-made mantillas from the poor women street vendors as gifts upon my return to America.

    There is no mantilla more beautiful than one made by a poor humble woman that loves God with all her soul, heart, and strength.

    Mr. Nelson, I see these traits in your artwork, so you must understand what I speak of.

    There are two fearsome presences in a Mass in Mexico; the Blessed Sacrament, and little old Abuelitas quietly praying the Holy Rosary during Mass while wearing their mantillas.

    God bless holy women.

    Santa María de Guadalupe Esperanza nuestra, salva nuestra patria y conserva nuestra Fe.


  17. "Somewhere in Holy Scripture is stated a woman in Church without a veil brings shame on her family."

    Any takers on providing a where for this verse somewhere in scripture? I know the line in St. Paul about "for the sake of the angels", but this a new one ...

  18. Pablo - I love the custom on Latin women and all others who are otherwise appropriately dressed. I especially love the clothed images of Our Lady wearing a beautifully made mantilla.

  19. I hope my post didn't seem rude - I didn't mean it that way.

    Americans can always learn some piety by looking south, though it's sad to see that so many Mexican immigrants here are Pentecostals, and no longer Catholic.

  20. Canon 1262, par. 2, of the Code of Canon Law of 1917 mandates the wearing of a head-covering on the part of women attending sacred functions when in church...

    Like the True Mass, this has never been abrogated.

    Speaking of Americanized Mexicans;

    Freemasons are still at war with Holy Mother Church in Mexico.

    When the Cristeros laid down their arms in obedience to the Holy Father, the Pope forgot to require the Americans to cease their fighting.

    Hundreds of millions of American dollars are being spent in Mexico to pull Mexicans away from Christ and His Church.

    Because our Lady is the protectoress of Mexico, no heresy will ever come out of Mexico; all heresies are European and American.


  21. Thanks, Terry, I'm with you on this. I checked this out yesterday, and thought, no way! I've seen beautifully made lace mantillas and scarfs, and own one. But was not interested in this particular one.

  22. Pablo, the 1983 code of canon law does not require head coverings. The 1917 code of canon law is not like other papal documents. It can simply be abrogated by papal authority, and has been. If the 1983 code does not require it, it is not required. Catholics are bound to the 1983 code, period. The Church has the authority of binding and loosing disciplinary practices, and this is one of those. Canon lawyers have to base everything off of that code, and do not refer back to 1917 for any reason.

    Women can continue the pious practice of headcovering in Church, and women can be encouraged to continue. One may also hope that such a requirement be re-introduced into canon law. But to say that women sin by not wearing one, or to say that they break canon law is simply not true, and any canonist in good standing with Rome (i.e. not in schism) would say the same.

    Our Lady is also the Protectress of France, source of most heresies in the history of the Church. This also goes for Belgium, Austria, Canada, and several others. She did not fail them - they failed her. Any nation that gives up on God will breed heresies.

  23. any canonist in good standing with Rome (i.e. not in schism)...

    Schism is a word commonly used by Freemasons to descibe Catholics that do not buy into their evil plans.


    The above is an excellent article posted by a Catholic blogger.

    It is very edifying.


  24. Mantillas are not really a fashion statement. So... well that is all I have to say about that.

  25. Anonymous4:35 PM

    I'm sorry LV and RL? Obviously someone from the Midwest...

    Try ebay for vintage Hermes scarves and tasteful, smart vintage hats are available all over the internet from vintage sites at reasonable prices.

    That said, the manitlla is growing on me, for no other reason than it says, "I don't buy into your soulless culture of death and destruction!"

    Can you believe this conversation is even happening on blogs and forums all over the internet? I am filled with such pride that my Catholic sisters want to give God their best in every aspect of their lives. Silent Generation/boomers weren't really interested in doing that. Sorry, that's the way I see it...

  26. So I am a Freemason now? Never knew it. Fr. Hardon was one too. Who knew?

  27. Oh, Mr. Terry!
    You hit a hornet's nest here!!
    Since I don't "have a dog in the race"...my hood is my "cover"...I'll just be quiet and watch the "meltdown"...
    this is just so painful!:-)!

  28. Dear Padre Nazareth Priest,

    This is stirring up a hornet’s nest:


    Schism is something determined by Holy Mother Church and not us laity. Taking a left handed swing at groups like the SSPX and other Traditionalists is not polite.

    Why not just say “in good standing” and leave it as that? We can guess the rest.

    My comment stands on its own; it mentions only Freemasons. It does not point to anyone in particular.

    Father Hardon, having a Fr. in front of his name gives him authority to speak on Ecclesiastical matters.

    I am certain Fr. Hardon stands with Holy Mother Church in her condemnation of Freemasonry.

    I am curious as to why my comments seem to lead to catechism.

    I am not afraid to speak up for Christ and His Church, and God bless Mr. Nelson for providing a forum for all to do so.

    May God our Lord in His infinite and supreme goodness be pleased to give us His abundant grace, that we may know His most holy will, and entirely fulfill it.


  29. Anonymous7:04 PM

    Anyone interested in quality hats/scarves at more reasonable prices than RL and LV and (gasp!) Hermes can find them at talbots.com. Talbots always has a sale going on, so there's no need to spend an arm and a leg to get a nice, rather elegant head covering.

    Patricia Gonzalez

  30. Plot no evil against your neighbor, against one who lives at peace with you. Quarrel not with a man without cause, with one who has done you no harm. - Proverbs 3: 28

    Sound familiar?
    Have you ever tried to crochet? Anything?
    Have you ever seen/inspected one of her mantillas or chapel caps in person?
    No? Too busy watching Project Runway?

  31. I like it!
    I've just left a comment on the giveaway blog.
    The headscarf idea is too risky. As
    this website correctly warns, a headscarf, even a Louis Vuitton one, if tied the wrong way, can turn Grace Kelly chic into frumpy Norah Batty*.
    And a hat is for Ascot, or the mother of the bride. And I don't think beanies and baseball hats would work at all. Ditto pasminas draped over the head, that's too much "foreign aid worker going native" ( or "Princess Di visiting lepers" chic).
    No, it has to be a mantilla or not at all.
    If I win I'll post a picture and you'll eat your words Mr Nelson!

    ( *For American friends not aquainted with our national treasure Nora Batty, click on the link)

  32. I'm of the mindset that a veil does not a holy person make. I wear one to the TLM, but I wouldn't dare stand in judgment of someone who doesn't. The nicest veils and head scarves I've found, incidentally, have been on Jewish websites. If women want to cover their heads in close imitation of Mary, they should check out Tziznius. It's as close to the real thing as I've been able to find, and with a variety of styles to tie them. And if you don't want to cover your head, that's ok too. In fact, I'd prefer we work on getting everyone to cover the 3B's (butts, bosoms and bellies) and then worry about getting them to cover their heads.

    Nazareth Priest, I love the hood on your little canine pal. I crack up every time I see that photo.

  33. Dear Pablo,
    I think you misunderstood me...I am all for "head covering" in Church...believe me...I'm just not going to get involved in the "feminine" aspect of it...God knows I've been dealt enough "wounds" from this particular subject.
    Peace, brother.
    Something must have been amiss in the English translation of this...I'm all for it. Believe me!
    And, Mr. Terry...please wear a "bullet vest" now, yeah?:-)!

  34. And, WTH?
    Is this "Sweeps week" in bloggertome? Hmmm? Kat thinks so...she's accused you of trying to gain all kinds of b***** comments. Are you happy now?!
    Mr. Terry...are you out there???

  35. I love posting about these things because of all the interesting people who come out of the woodwork. My work is done here folks.

  36. Yeah, kinda jerky, dude.

  37. Mr.Terry: LOL!!!
    I love you so much!!

  38. I've decided that once my comments lead to arguments, I'm out. Has anyone ever been convinced by comments on blogs, or do we just continue to entrench ourselves?

  39. Head coverings.. love it...

    I usually keep a nice scarf with my motorcycle gear to put over my head when I attend Mass---but usually to disguise the sweaty "helmet hair," especially in the summertime. One time though the only thing I had handy was my black bandanna with skulls and flames on it...which I usually wear when I'm stopping for a break..gotta look the image :)

    Not a word was said when I entered the church wearing it....

    But I DID remove my leathers..I think the biker vest with the skull and crossbones and full fitting chaps would have been a bit much :)

    Beloved parton saint of motorcyclists--pray for us and keep us safe :)


  40. P.S. PROPER fancy lace should be tatted...

    But that's just me...

    Just try to find anyone nowadays who knows how to tat...lost art.


  41. "PROPER fancy lace should be tatted..."

    In general, I'm with you there, but I think tatted lace might get a bit heavy for this application (also a problem for crochet, I should think). Knitted lace, on the other hand, could work if done right. I'd be more inclined to go with something like this, though, than a straight-up veil.

  42. Of course, Mass simply isn't celebrated properly without a designer label. The Church is no place for such tacky home spun house frau concoctions.

    Then again, who would we mentally savage if it weren't for the less than stylish?



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