Clothing Guidelines for an LDS Mission

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the opportunity to represent their church through serving a mission. Regardless of where they’re sent to serve, LDS missionaries maintain a specific professional and conservative clothing style that sets them apart from the rest of the world and shows respect to the church and their message.

Elders

Men are expected to wear suits throughout their mission. In general these suits are required to be of a business style in conservative colors such as black or shades of grays or browns. Since suits will be worn over two years, the church recommends durable fabrics like wool or polyester blends that are also wrinkle resistant. Fabric patterns and pinstripes on a suit are okay as long as the print is small and subtle. As some service areas get quite cold in the winter, sweaters or vests are allowed under suit coats with similar guidelines for color as suits. Elders are required to wear a conservative style wrinkle-resistant white shirt and tie with their suit. Ties must be professional, but can show some style through color and subtle patterns, as long as the tie does not stand out or distract from the work. For pants, professional dress slacks are required with similar guidelines to suits, and made from wrinkle resistant materials that hold a professional crease. Well-constructed and comfortable dress shoes and dress socks finish off the look. Due to the amount of walking a missionary does, the church recommends measuring the feet before purchasing a shoe to ensure a proper fit.

Sisters

Female missionaries are guided to wear dresses, suits or jackets that are professional in nature and correctly tailored to fit appropriately. Skirt and dress lengths are long enough to completely cover the front and back of the knees when sitting or standing and tops are of a modest cut. Sister missionary fashion guidelines are slightly less strict in the areas of color and patterns. The recommendation is to choose colorful pieces that can be paired in different ways. Simple and professional shoes are worn that are comfortable to stand and walk in throughout the day. A slight heel is okay, but styles are catered to the climate of the area served and the nature of the work. Accessories like earrings and necklaces are kept simple and professional.

While guidelines are set in place on the style and lengths of clothing, in many cases elders and sisters can still personalize their look with different colors and styles, as long as the overall look still falls within the church guidelines. When in doubt, the LDS church has a look book of styles available online for both men and women at LDS.org to provide inspiration of what is appropriate to wear while serving a mission.

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