Clerical Clothing for Women Ministers Gets a Style Re-vamp

A London trained designer has launched a range of fashionable clerical clothing for women in church ministry.Camelle Daley

Camelle Daley, founder of fashion label House of Ilona, launched her clerical clothes in line with the 20th anniversary of the ordination of women as priests in the Church of England. She says it’s high time for a shake-up among Anglican clergy who, like Roman Catholic priests, still wear traditional black shirt and collar.

The  idea to develop a line of clothing that appealed to the modern female priests in the Church of England came to Daley as she recently ordained a friend who said ‘She wanted a new look for a new age’.

The House of Ilona clerical collection includes peplum dresses and tops, classic black dresses and a fitted green blouse with chiffon detail. With hundreds of orders coming in, clerical clothing for women is proving to be very popular.Camelle Daley

“Today, more than ever, women in ministry are complaining about the boxy, shapeless shirts on offer,” she said. “Why should a woman’s style go from stylish and elegant to manly and boxy when she is dressed in her clerical attire for ministering?”

With women making up a third of the clergy in English churches and with the consecration of women bishops on the cards over the next year or so, Daley’s sales are set to increase.

“The style is not about flaunting the body,” added Daley. “It is about clothes that accommodate the female shape in cut and fit.”

Daley says that designing the collection and making them available for women is her way of “giving back to the women in ministry” who have affected her life.

Check out Camelle Daley’s designs here at House of Ilona

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