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General Guidelines


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    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. Always strive to present a professional, dignified, clean, and well-groomed appearance. Never allow your appearance or your behavior to draw attention away from your message or your calling.

    The following guidelines contain general standards for your dress and grooming. However, your mission president may modify clothing guidelines to account for local circumstances. For additional information, see the “Items Specific to Your Mission” section in your call packet for direction from your mission president.

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    Personal Grooming

    You should strive to look your best. Be neat and clean. Keep your clothes clean, mended, and pressed. Do not wear clothing that is casual, wrinkled, or sloppy. Bathe, shave, and brush your teeth each day. Use deodorant, and wash your hair frequently. If you choose to wear cologne or aftershave, make sure it is not distracting or overpowering.

    Always maintain a conservative hairstyle. Keep your hair relatively short and evenly tapered on the top, back, and sides. Sideburns should reach no lower than the middle of the ear. See examples of appropriate missionary hairstyles >

    Unacceptable hairstyles include faux hawks, crew cuts, mullets, and styles that are spikey, messy, or permed. Do not bleach or dye your hair. Your appearance should never distract from your message.

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    Missionary Clothing

    In general, your missionary wardrobe will consist of business-style suits, white dress shirts, ties, slacks, shoes, socks, and belts. Depending on the climate of your mission, boots, overcoats, sweaters, and suit vests may also be included. Check the “Items Specific to Your Mission” section your call packet for direction from your mission president.

    Due to costs, luggage restrictions, and limited closet space, you should plan and purchase your clothing carefully.

    You are not required to wear a suit during regular everyday proselyting activities. On these occasions, wear a white shirt, tie, durable and comfortable dress shoes, and professional dress slacks that hold a crease.

    Certain activities require you to dress your best, or in other words, to wear “Sunday-best” attire. These activities include Sunday meetings, zone conferences, interviews, baptismal services, and some teaching appointments. On these occasions wear your best suit, shirt, tie, and shoes.

    Your mission president is authorized to determine appropriate missionary attire for each activity. He will help you identify occasions requiring regular proselyting attire and occasions requiring “Sunday-best” attire. 

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    Suits

    Wear business-style suits in conservative colors. If you wear lighter-colored suits, choose shades of grey or brown. Choose suits made of wool or a polyester-wool blend for durability, comfort, and wrinkle resistance. Suits with pinstripes or patterns should be simple and subtle in design. Do not wear sports coats or slim-style suits. See examples of suit styles and colors >

    Depending on the weather (temperature and humidity) of your mission, you may want a lighter-weight suit fabric in warmer missions or a heavier-weight fabric in colder missions. 

    When fastening suit coat buttons, traditionally the bottom button is left unfastened. It is also proper to unfasten the suit coat buttons while sitting.

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    Shirts and Ties

    Wear only white, conservative-style dress shirts made of polyester blend (for example, 40 percent cotton, 60 percent polyester works well) or other fabric that does not wrinkle easily. You may wear shirts with long or short sleeves.

    Ties should be simple in color and design and professional in style. Be sure that when the knot is finished, your tie reaches within the area of your belt. Customarily, the width of your tie at its widest point should match the width of your lapel at its widest point. Tiepins (if worn) should also be small and simple. See examples of shirts and ties >

    Wear only business- or professional-style ties. Ties and tiepins should not contain pictures or caricatures. String, bow, skinny, or wide ties are not acceptable. Do not, for any reason, wear ties that draw attention, appear unprofessional, or distract others from your message.

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    Slacks

    During regular proselyting activities you may wear a white shirt and tie and dress slacks that look professional, are wrinkle resistant, and hold a crease. Do not wear denim, linen, slim- or casual-style trousers.

    As with suits, wear dress slacks in conservative colors. If you wear lighter-colored slacks, choose shades of grey, brown, tan, or khaki. See examples of slacks >

    Slacks may also be made with a lighter-weight fabric in warmer missions and heavier-weight fabric in colder missions. Check the “Items Specific to Your Mission” section of your call packet.

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    Shoes and Boots

    Dress shoes should fit well and be comfortable, breathable, and durable. Choose polishable shoes in conservative colors. Do not wear casual or trendy shoes or shoes made of suede, canvas, or other soft materials.

    Shoes should be well-constructed. Length, width, and arch support are important in selecting a shoe. Have your feet measured to ensure a good fit. Toes should not touch the end of the shoe, and shoes should not cramp the foot. Do not wear cowboy boots or hiking boots. See examples of shoes and boots >

    Certain missions recommend closed-toe and closed-heel sandals for tropical climates, or rain boots or winter boots for wet and cold climates. See the “Items Specific to Your Mission” section of your call packet for direction from your mission president.

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    Accessories and Belts

    For safety and security reasons, accessories should be simple and conservative and should not attract attention. You are encouraged to choose shoulder bags that are durable, professional, and business-like. Backpacks are not professional or appropriate. You may wear one simple ring and an inexpensive, conservative-style watch. Do not wear lapel pins, necklaces, or any kind of bracelet (except those with a medical purpose). Tattoos, nose rings, other body piercings, or toe rings are not acceptable. 

    Generally, you should wear a belt. Belts should be simple and should match the color of your shoes. Do not wear large belt buckles or buckles with logos or caricatures. You may wear suspenders only under your suit coat or sweater. See examples of belts and accessories >

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    Underclothing

    The Missionary Handbook gives instructions for wearing and taking care of the temple garment. “Wearing the temple garment is the sacred privilege of those who have taken upon themselves the covenants of the temple. The garment is a constant reminder of these covenants. Endowed members should wear the garment both night and day, according to the instructions given in the endowment” (Missionary Handbook, 23). Do not adjust the garment in order to fit different styles of clothing. When two-piece garments are used, both pieces should always be worn. “When you must remove the garment, you should put it back on as soon as possible. The garment should never be left on the floor” (Missionary Handbook, 23). For additional instructions, see the Missionary Handbook.

    Choose socks that match the color of your slacks or shoes. A blend of synthetic fabric and cotton or wool is best for absorbing moisture. Wear socks that are loose across the toes (excessive pressure from shoes and socks can lead to ingrown toenails). Do not wear no-show or ankle socks.

    In colder weather, some missions recommend white- or cream-colored thermal underclothing as well. Check the “Items Specific to Your Mission” section of your call packet.

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    Layering Outerwear

    Layering Regular Proselyting Attire

    Staying dry and warm while proselyting in wet and cold climates is very important. During regular proselyting activities you may add any of the following layers over your white shirt and tie as needed:

    ·       Sweater

    ·       Suit coat

    ·       Rainwear

    ·       Winter coat

    Layering “Sunday-Best” Attire

    To stay dry and warm during activities that require you to dress your best and wear your suit coat, you may add the following layers as needed:

    ·       First, layer a suit vest or sweater under your suit coat. (Suit vests may not be worn alone, but only under your suit coat.)

    ·       Second, if you are still not warm enough with a sweater or vest, you may add another layer over your suit coat such as an overcoat or raincoat. 

    Be sure to wear your nametag on the outermost layer of clothing so that others may clearly identify you as a missionary. 

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    Outerwear

    Coats, jackets, and sweaters should be in solid, conservative colors and be business professional in appearance. Do not wear hoodies, sweatshirts, or other casual sweaters while proselyting. 

    You may wear gloves, scarves, and hats as needed. As with other accessories, these should be simple and conservative, without logos, words, or pictures. Fleece or knit hats are generally acceptable; baseball caps are not. Do not wear hats and gloves indoors. See examples >

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    Clothing for Exercise and Other Activities

    On preparation day you should wear regular missionary clothing in public. However, if necessary for a specific activity, you may wear more casual clothing. See examples of service and exercise clothing>

    You may bring one pair of modest jeans, a few T-shirts, loose-fitting exercise clothing (including gym shorts), athletic support, a pair of gym shoes, and pajamas.

    Maintain a high standard of modesty in all activities, including those within your own apartment. Avoid tight-fitting T-shirts and low-riding or skinny jeans. Do not wear clothing with slogans or logos that are not consistent with your calling as a missionary. 

Preparation Brings Blessings

President Thomas S. Monson counsels young men to dress appropriately.

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