The blue blazer is a manly, wise, and presbyterian choice. Every elder should have at least one. Even better if you find one that fits from the 50%-off rack. And remember to buy it a little big since decades of fellowship meals and one-on-one breakfast meetings can have their expansive effect. Blessed is the elder who serves long and wears out (or maybe even outgrows) more than one blue blazer.
What equipment does a newly minted Ruling Elder need? I would propose the following: the Bible, the Westminster Standards, the Book of Church Order (BCO), a phone for texting members and fellow elders (there is lots of texting), an email account, and that most presbyterian item of men’s clothing – the essential blue blazer.
Why a blazer? A blazer is a solid-color coat – safe, humble, versatile, and frugal. A blue blazer is not going to impress, alienate, or overawe anyone. Let me put this gently: If you wish to impress with your creative and fashionable sartorial choices, you might not be elder material. If you are to stand out, let it be for your character, not for the cut of your suit; let it be for humility, not for haute couture; let it be for commitment to truth, not for the loudness of your plaids and patterns.
The modern “freedom” of informality and nearly limitless choices of dress and self-expression is, as many have noted, a source of stress. The plethora of choices makes confidence and ease even harder to achieve. What is appropriate for this or that setting? Is this too much? Is that not enough? Guess what works in nearly every setting from worship service to classroom, from funeral to wedding, from a hospital visit to a fellowship dinner, from presbytery committee meeting to General Assembly: the humble blue blazer. Pair it with jeans, khakis, or dress pants. Wear a tie or don’t wear a tie. Pair it with a casual shirt or a dress shirt. The blue blazer is almost infinitely adjustable.
The blue blazer says, “I take this event, job, or situation seriously, but I do not take myself too seriously.”