Sister Missionary Clothing Advice

By on January 20, 2011

Please note: The dress standards for sister missionaries were recently updated with guidelines that contain more current and colorful styles. You can find the official guidelines on appearance for missionaries at the Provo MTC website. Also see the article called Sister missionaries get a new wardrobe on LDSLiving.com.

sister-missionaries-clothing-dress-appearanceI asked our panel of returned sister missionaries: 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 like college 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 garments in 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 the humidity.”

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.”

Jimmy

About Jimmy

I served a Mission in Rosario Argentina from 1995 to 1997. An amazing experience! I work for the LDS Church managing websites, doing web analytics, and SEO. I am married to the lovely Heather, and we have five wonderful children. Read more about Jimmy Smith here.

6 Comments

  1. Sheila

    July 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Sad to see that sisters place such emphasis on the superficial.

    • Emily

      November 18, 2011 at 1:25 am

      I don’t think that the emphasis is being placed on the superficial, necessarily, but I do think that they are emphasizing that the physical appearance often reflects the inside. These sisters are saying that it’s important to look your best when you’re on a mission, and with good reason! As representatives of the Lord, shouldn’t they strive to look their best at all times?

    • Candace

      January 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm

      Oh, I don’t know. It is the world we live in! I think that someone who is dressed clean, classic, and smart will find more people open to listening to their message than someone dressed sloppily or like from the 1800′s. When polled and asked what word first comes to mind when people hear the word ‘Mormon’, a majority answered ‘weird’. That is an image we should not project if we can help it.
      I feel pretty strongly about it after my mission on temple square, that is why I opened Sorella Bella, the online online clothing store for sister missionaries.

    • Michelle Kendall

      June 17, 2013 at 1:50 pm

      With all due respect, reasonable information about mission clothing in a forum for LDS sister missionaries should hard be called shallow. It’s practical, my friend. I served many years ago, and rode a bike during my mission. Having clothing that was simple to care for, tough as nails and attractive was hard to come by!

  2. Pingback: Cute Sister Missionary Clothing (LDS) » Blog Archive » Great Clothing Advice for Sister Missionaries!

  3. Sis-Miss

    February 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    Cute. I love the new guidelines that allow girls to mix it up and add new designs in patterns and styles. Sister missionaries are at an all time high so check out sis-miss for unique and stylish sister missionary clothing apparel.

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