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General Guidelines 

  • An Ambassador of the Lord

    An Ambassador of the Lord

    As an ambassador of the Lord, you are to wear professional, conservative clothing that is consistent with your sacred calling and that will clearly identify you as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Appropriate dress and grooming will help you earn respect and trust. Your appearance is often the first message others receive, and it should support what you say. Never allow your appearance or your behavior to draw attention away from your message or your calling.

    “Thou shalt not be proud in thy heart; let all thy garments be plain, and … let all things be done in cleanliness before me” (D&C 42:40–41; see also Alma 1:6, 27).

    The following guidelines contain general standards for your dress and grooming. For additional information, see the “Items Specific to Your Mission” section in your call packet.

  • Personal Grooming

    Personal Grooming

    You should strive to look your best, especially at zone conferences, in Sunday meetings, at visitors' centers and historic sites, at baptisms, and when working with local leaders. Be neat and clean. Keep your clothes clean, mended, and pressed. Bathe daily, use deodorant, and wash your hair frequently. If you choose to wear perfume or scented lotion, make sure it is not distracting or overpowering. 

    The style, color, and length of your hair should be attractive and easy to manage and should not draw attention. The color of your hair should look natural and conservative. If you decide to color your hair, consider time, frequency, and cost. Hair adornments and other accessories should also be conservative. If you wear hair accessories, including headbands, choose styles that are simple and conservative. Avoid large hair accessories that draw attention and distract from your message. See examples of hairstyles and accessories.

    You are not required to wear makeup; however, wearing makeup can help you look your best. If you choose to wear makeup, be sure that it is natural and conservative in style and color. Nail polish should also be subtle in color and style and not draw attention. See examples of makeup styles.

  • Modesty


    Maintain a high standard of modesty. Wear clothing that:

    • Is neither too tight nor too loose.
    • Is not transparent or revealing in any way.
    • Does not draw attention to any part of the body.
    • Is not casual, wrinkled, sloppy, or faddish.

    You should present a dignified, clean, well-groomed appearance and be feminine and professional in style.

  • Outfits


    Because of budget and luggage restrictions and limited closet space, you should plan and purchase your clothing carefully. Outfits should consist of professional suits, skirts, dress slacks, blouses, jackets, sweaters, and dresses. Clothing should be attractive, colorful, tailored to fit well, and conservative in style. Choose colors and patterns that you can mix and match with a variety of outfits. See examples of suits, jackets, and dresses. 

    Blouses and Tops

    If you wear your shirt untucked, ensure that the bottom of the shirt presents a tailored, professional appearance. You may layer shirts under blouses and tops to increase modesty; however, undershirts should not be noticeably longer than the top layer. Avoid sloppy, tight, or casual styles. Do not wear T-shirts, sweatshirts, golf-style shirts, casual shirts, or shirts with low necklines. Sleeves should fully cover the shoulder and the upper portion of the arm, including the underarm, to cover the garment. Shirts with cap sleeves should not be worn alone, but they may be worn under blouses or tops to increase modesty. See examples of blouses and tops.

    Skirts and Dress Slacks

    You may choose to wear dress slacks during regular missionary activities, including during normal training activities at missionary training centers. However, you should wear dresses or skirts when attending the temple and during Sunday worship services, leadership and zone conferences, baptismal services, and missionary training center devotionals. When attending Sunday worship services, leadership and zone conferences, and baptismal services in the mission field, you may wear dress slacks to the meeting location and change into dresses or skirts before the meeting begins.

    In areas where for cultural reasons it is not acceptable for women (including sister missionaries) to wear dress slacks, you may choose to wear ankle-length skirts for additional protection from extreme weather and insect-borne diseases such as Zika, dengue fever, West Nile virus, Lyme disease, and malaria.

    With the increasing prevalence of serious insect-borne diseases in certain areas of the world, you are encouraged, during seasons when the risk is high for insect bites, to apply insect repellant containing DEET to exposed skin and to apply insecticides to the outside surfaces of outer clothing to help prevent insect-borne diseases.

    Skirts and dresses should fully cover the entire knee (front and back) when you are standing or sitting. Slits should not be above the knee when standing or sitting. Dress slacks and ankle-length skirts should have a modest and professional appearance. Do not wear dress slacks that are too tight, that are cropped above the ankle, or that touch the floor. They should fit well (not too tight or too loose) and be in solid, conservative colors. Dress slacks and skirts should not be transparent, revealing, casual, wrinkled, sloppy, or faddish. Do not wear floor-length skirtspantsuits, or baggy or skinny-style slacks.

    See examples of appropriate skirts and dress slacks.


    To provide additional protection from the elements in certain climates and conditions, you may wear gloves, scarves, and hats as needed. As with other accessories, these should be simple and conservative, without logos, words, or pictures. Coats, hats, gloves, and scarves should fit well, look professional, and be appropriate for the climate and condition of your mission.

    For cold weather, fleece or knit hats are generally acceptable. For sunny conditions, wide-brimmed hats may also be worn. In addition to sunscreen, and when necessary, choose wide-brimmed hats with at least a three-inch surrounding brim to help provide additional protection from the harmful effects of the sun.

    Avoid bright-colored hats or hats that are too casual or that may distract from your message. Baseball, cowboy, bucket, newsboy, and fedora hats are not acceptable. Do not wear hats or gloves indoors.

    For additional information on which hats are appropriate for your mission, see the “Items Specific to Your Mission” section in your call packet. See examples of hats.

    In colder climates, you may wear dark, conservative-colored leggings; however, they should only be worn under longer skirts to increase warmth. Wear boots or similarly colored nylons to avoid showing the bottom of the legging.

  • Underclothing


    Choose bras that are white or cream colored, durable, comfortable, and modest. Make sure you have slips that coordinate with the color and length of your skirts. If riding a bicycle, you may wear spandex shorts under your skirts for modesty.

    You are not required to wear nylons or tights; however, you may wear them, especially in colder weather. Your nylons and tights should not attract attention. Choose nylons, no-show socks (for dress shoes), and tights in conservative, neutral colors. Avoid bright, colorful nylons or tights. Patterned nylons or tights should be subtle and simple in design and should not be made of any kind of mesh, fishnet, or lace material.

    If you wear knee-highs, make sure the tops do not show, even when sitting. Bobby socks are not professional or appropriate.

  • Fabrics and Care

    Fabrics and Care

    Your clothing should be made of materials that are durable and easy to care for. The best fabrics are those that can be washed by machine or by hand and that do not wrinkle or fade easily. For suits and jackets, a durable weave of cotton, wool, or polyester blends will wear well. Do not wear denim, corduroy, leather, or fabrics that wrinkle easily or cannot be pressed. 

  • Shoes


    Shoes and boots should be practical, comfortable, attractive, and appropriate for the climate and condition of your mission. For safety purposes, wear closed-toe and closed-heel shoes. Flat-soled shoes or shoes with low heels are preferred, unless otherwise authorized by your mission president. You may use shoe inserts to increase comfort and support. Wear a dressy pair of shoes for Sunday meetings. See examples of appropriate shoes.

  • Accessories


    For safety and security reasons, handbags, jewelry, and other accessories should be simple and conservative. You are encouraged to choose shoulder bags and purses that are both professional and durable: backpacks are not approved.

    Earrings should not hang longer than approximately one inch below the earlobe. Do not wear more than one earring in each ear. Necklaces and rings should also be simple and conservative. Tattoos, nose rings, other body piercings, or toe rings are not acceptable.

    You may wear simple and conservative sunglasses to provide protection from the sun. However, unless your sunglasses serve a medical purpose, you should not wear them when speaking with others or while indoors. Do not wear sunglasses with bright-colored rims or mirrored lenses. See examples of appropriate sunglasses for missionaries.

    Belts may be worn with outfits for function or style. Choose belts that are simple and conservative in color and design. See examples of appropriate accessories and handbags.

  • Exercise and Other Activities

    Exercise and Other Activities

    Generally, on preparation day you should wear regular missionary clothing in public. However, if necessary for a specific activity, you may wear more casual clothing. You may bring one pair of modest jeans or pants, a few modest T-shirts, loose-fitting exercise clothing, a pair of gym shoes, and pajamas. Be sure to maintain a high standard of modesty in all activities—especially during activities that require you to stoop down or bend over—by avoiding low-rise jeans and shirts with revealing necklines. See examples of exercise and other clothing.

Modesty Is Always in Fashion

Modesty Is Always in Fashion

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland counsels young women about maintaining a high standard of modesty.