How to Wear Your Chapel Veil
Perhaps you might be thinking, "What's the big deal? Just put it on your head and you're good to go." To a certain extent, that's true. But so many women are new to veiling these days, and I've had enough questions emailed to me regarding the actual wearing of veils, I thought it was time to write a few words on the subject.
When to put your veil on. Anytime you're in the chapel before the Blessed Sacrament. Whether you're at the Mass, Adoration, taking part in a Eucharistic procession or even just chapel cleaning, it's always appropriate to cover your head. Of course while doing the latter, you'll need something that's easily tied back for practicality's sake.
Where to put your veil on. Some ladies like to put the veil on while still in the car, others in the vestibule, while still others wait until they're in the chapel. Do what suits you best.
How to make sure your veil is on straight. Take a second or two to make sure you've got the veil on right, and that it isn't on crooked and it isn't all bunched up in the back. I find it distracting when a Mantilla's not laying flat in the back! Does that drive you crazy, too? Run your fingers across the back of the veil, and then check to see that it's on straight in the front, and that the sides are even by bringing the two front sides together and matching them up.
Slippage. Some veil styles tend to slip more then others. For example, veils with lighter weight trim in the front and heavy trim on the back are often more likely to slip, while stretch lace veils generally tend to stay on fairly well. In addition, some hair types tend to make veils slip more than others. Women with fine, silky hair tend to have more issues with slippage than those with coarser, curly hair. It's certainly fine to subtly adjust your veil during Mass; is it wrong to say it's even a little bit charming? I think it can be. But if you find the veils constantly slipping, then perhaps a sewn in comb or clip is the best option for you. Another alternative is to use a bobby pin or a tiny hair claw that can be slipped in between the fibers of the lace. However this option is less desirable, as bobby pins and hair claws can easily damage the lace if you're not careful.
A little more regarding veils that slip... Prior to putting a veil up for sale on the website, my daughters and I test all our styles for "wearability", and I think it's important for us to do so... By wearability, I mean, does it fall nicely? Does it frame the face well? All veils slip a little, but does the veil slip excessively? If we feel a particular style slips a lot, then I'll mention on that the veil's page--that a comb or clip is recommended.
Picking The Best Style And Color for You. When it comes to Chapel veils, the bottom line is to wear what you like best! There once was a time when no one would wear white after Labor Day, and the particular length of the season's hemlines was strictly dictated by the fashion industry. These sorts of clothing rules have been greatly relaxed. But it's always good to know what the rules are--or in this case, were--before breaking them. So there are some general guidelines you may want to consider. They are as follows below.
Traditionally married women and older women wore black, while younger ladies and girls wore white. Was this so that the men could see which ladies were "taken?" I'm not sure, but somehow it seems reasonable to assume that a sort of color coding would be useful in this regard. However, there are no longer any "official" rules dictating what colors you should wear, so feel free to express your personal preferences here.
While I'm on the subject of color, it should be mentioned color can express the mood or the tone of a given day. Certainly for a requiem Mass, the darker colors are more suitable, even for the younger girls, while at Easter, a lighter veil is more appropriate, regardless of age.
Another general rule is that the longer the hairstyle, the longer the veil. Think of letting the veil frame the hair. For example, if you have a bob, then a half-circle veil might look really pretty.
What if no one else is wearing a veil? Then be a trend setter. I know that sounds paradoxical when speaking of something as traditional as veiling, but my point is that one shouldn't let the fact that nobody else is veiling stop them, if they're veiling to please Our Lord. So it really doesn't matter if others approve or disapprove.
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