3 August 2010

Vexed by vestments

One of the things mentioned in my information pack from Westcott is that I should probably invest in some liturgical vestments:
Though not essential, it can be very useful to have some of your own liturgical garments while you are at Westcott... The most useful article by far is a white cassock alb.
Having done a spot of internet research, I am underwhelmed by the web efforts of the UK's vestment suppliers! I suppose I have been conditioned by Amazon.com and the like, to expect that all the product information I need will be immediately accesible online. This isn't the case with many of the suppliers I've looked at. On some sites there are very dated photos showing clergy in typical 'catalogue poses', on others there are hand drawn pictures of garments with no photographs. 

Am I asking for something unreasonable? If I'm to invest £100 in a garment, it would be nice if a bit of effort has been put into the webpage so I know what I'm getting for my money.

Of course, the alternative route will be to visit one of the suppliers to see the vestments 'in the flesh' and try some on. The problem is that there aren't any in our area. The nearest would be a branch of Wippells in Manchester - maybe I'll give them a try, though they are responsible for the photo above!

Are there any wearers of cassock-albs out there who might be able to give me some hints? I've never done this before.


  1. I totally agree Lanky. At Cuddesdon Cassock and surplice are listed in what we should take to college. I've been in touch with J&M for a paper catalogue in the hope that it will be better than there pencil sketches on the web. I'm fortunate I am only 20 miles from Exeter and can visit Wippells. Talking to @I want to be a Vicar' she has recommended Crossdesign for femaile cassocks,(not helpful to you I know!!!!) but they are twice the price of other suppliers. It's a headache at the moment.

  2. Only as an altar boy, but they were handmaid.

    DrD. (aka Gorbag)

  3. I really don't like cassock-albs - in fact, I am also going to Westcott in September, and find my self somewhat reluctant to invest in the wretched garment - but despite the bad sketches on the website, I can heartily recommend J and M - I had my cassock made there (well, semi-made - one of the budget tailored ones). Their stuff is good quality and they do take care to double check the measurements - I got mine wrong when I submitted them, and they noticed it was unlikely, and the nice woman who rang me up helped me sort it out. (And it did fit well in the end).

  4. Looks like I'll go with J&M. THey seem a friendly bunch. Now I need to decide on a style. I'm thinking 'Cathedral' looks ok.