Monday, February 4, 2013

Missionary Clothing Advice from Returned Sisters

What should future sister missionaries know about clothing and what advice would you have for them on dress and appearance?
Russia Rostov-na-Dony Mission, Katie Gividen
“You are on the Lord’s errand and you should represent Him. Being a missionary we need to portray to the world the message that God is sending, and in a big way we say a lot by how we take care of ourselves and dress. You should dress appropriately for the area that you are in. I needed to wear clothing that I could walk in and get around in. I couldn’t wear straight skirts unless it was to a zone conference or meetings that would last all day. There are reasons that you want your legs to be able to breath and not be restricted. Just make sure that you have both types of skirts and not just straight skirts. It will help a lot in medical areas.”
New York Utica Mission, Kristin Wardle Sokol
“I passionately feel that it is of the utmost importance for Sister Missionaries to look classy, current and fashionable. This absolutely can be done with practicality. Being frumpy and old-fashioned turns off people who otherwise might be interested in hearing the message. No one wants to talk to an unattractive woman, where generally it is more acceptable for men to be unkempt. Like or not that’s the way the world is. How you look speaks volumes about who you are and what you represent. People can’t help but judge. If you don’t care about the way you look. Others may not care about what you have to say. Bring an adequate amount of make-up and other beauty supplies to keep you looking your best through the entire 18 months. Make looking your best everyday a priority.”
Temple Square Visitors Center Mission, Patti Rokus
Let go of pride. Don’t be afraid to dress less than spectacular. Keep is super simple and easy to care for, so you don’t have to spend as much time carrying it around, and carefully cleaning it and ironing it.”
Arizona Tucson Mission, Jessica Rex
“Thankfully the Brethren have approved a new dress and grooming standard for sister missionaries – no nylon requirement, colors and prints are encouraged, and skirts must cover the knee when sitting down. Beyond that, you should be assured that what you are wearing, and the message that you are sending through your clothing is a message of being a representative of Jesus Christ.”
Argentina Neuquen Mission, Laura Daniels
“I guess it depends on where you go. My mission was in the southern part of South America so it was very cold. We tried to look nice but mostly we just bundled up over our skirts. We also walked everywhere and most roads weren’t paved so we wore comfortable, durable shoes that got muddy a lot. (At night we would take them off by the door and wash the dirt and rocks off in the sink the next morning.) I wish I had brought a few nicer outfits with nice shoes for mission conferences and baptisms, but for the most part those weren’t needed in my mission. We were definitely encouraged to wear make-up and look the best we could though.”
Texas, Houston East Spanish Speaking Mission, JoLynn Hansen
“Be comfortable but not sloppy. Our mission President reminded us that we shouldn’t look likecollege student even though most of us carried back packs, but to dress as representatives of Christ. Wear long johns under clothes in the winter, and wear breathable COTTON garmentsin the summer. Especially in humid areas. Otherwise you will have a female problem… Wear good shoes. Washcloths and or handkerchiefs were used to wipe away sweat from thehumidity.”
Montana Billings Mission, Wendi Condie
“Keep it simple. When I served, the Church sent out a list, with pictures and all, of what was acceptable/required. I don’t know how much has changed since then, and each mission will have a little bit different circumstances. I was in an extremely rural, so some of our clothing was more rugged and sturdy than it would be in some other areas. Dress shoes were for Sundays and meetings only–the rest of the time was “work/walking” shoes. I was also in an area where it was very cold. Warmth often won out over appearance of clothing. Don’t get too fancy. Follow the instructions in your call, and from your mission specifically. You don’t want to spend hours getting ready, but you do want to be clean and look nice. Plan to wear out your clothes and shoes. If you are working hard, your clothing will reflect it. Make sure you like what you are wearing, and that it is comfortable. Again, each mission will be a little different, but it is important to be dressed appropriately for your activity.”
Arizona Tucson Mission, Emily Craghead
“From what I understand the mission standards have changed a little bit from when I was a missionary. It’s really important to remember that you are a representative of the Lord. That doesn’t mean you have to look bland and boring, but tasteful and classy. Also, where you’re serving is important– your mission president will most likely send you a packet of information concerning your mission clothes standards.”


  1. The Orem Utah missionary clothing have approved a new dress and grooming standard for sister missionaries. And it is of the utmost importance for Sister Missionaries to look classy, current and fashionable.

  2. My advice to new sisters going out is to remember it is best to be good and radiate the love of the Lord in how you live. Some of the advice here, especially the second remark above by the sister who served in New York, is superficial. Some are trying to sell things. Remember the Lord looks on the Heart. And so will those who are seeking the gospel. Of course you need to do your best to have good basic hygiene- you already know this. But please do not worry about the overemphasis on superficial things listed in some of the comments. Some practical tips from my missison (Idaho): you might sit on the floor a lot if teaching kids,etc so do make sure your dress covers you if on the floor. Wear clothing that will be less likely to be damaged if you are involved in a service project. Remember you might be washing by hand or laundry mats, so have clothes that aren't in need of lots of dry cleaning. Also you don't want to look super rich/nonhumble so personally I would stay away from super expensive attire and things that would look better than those you will serve. Do make sure you feel happy/good in what you wear, but just don't worry so much about others and their thoughts! In Idaho, it was quite windy and my companion and I used to joke we needed to have metal weights sewn in the skirts to keep them safely weighted down. Make sure your shoes are comfy and won't hurt your feet. Comfort and protection of your feet is much more important than beautiful shoes. Also about the backpack vs handbag, I work with those who often have shoulder/back injuries from bad habits earlier in their lives. Take care of your back and shoulder use a bag that is not too heavy, has appropriate straps. It is important to use something that will be safe for YOUR BACK and YOUR BODY as you move forward in your life beyond your mission. Don't carry more items than you need (ie 20 book of Mormon'setc).