Most meetings may be virtual now but that is no excuse not to dress for the occasion.
That was La Verne Wimberly’s philosophy in March 2020 when many states put in place stay-at-home orders and her weekly gatherings transitioned to online meetings, according to a story on the AARP website.
Like many at the start of the pandemic, Wimberly, an 82-year-old retired superintendent from Tulsa, Oklahoma, believed the lockdown and precautionary measures would last a few weeks at most.
She figured it was best not to get out of the habit of dressing up for church services, so she continued to do so at home.
Because no one would see her outfits in real life, Wimberly thought it would be fun to post her looks on Facebook, sharing with friends and fellow church members of Metropolitan Baptist Church in Tulsa.
To give her posts more meaning, she included scriptures and messages to inspire others.
Wimberly says commenters were placing too much attention on her looks at first.
“One Sunday early on, I had to say, ‘Thank you for the compliments, but I really want you to focus on the message,’ ” she says. “So, then they started saying ‘Your message was very inspiring’ and ‘You’re such an inspiration.’ ”
But it’s hard not to be mesmerized by Wimberly’s eye-catching fashion, which includes a variety of hats with huge bows and ribbons, various pieces of statement jewelry, and even a black-and-white-studded ensemble complete with matching mask and face shield.
Wimberly says she loves the color purple and has particularly enjoyed outfits showcasing purple and white combos. It never occurred to her that virtual church would be the new norm a year later, but Wimberly never missed a beat and has continued to dress up for 52 weeks straight.
As of the time the story was published, she hadn’t decided what she’d wear on Easter Sunday.