Missionary Clothing Guidelines for Elders

Statue of Moroni on top of temple

As an LDS missionary, you represent the Lord and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So it is essential for you to wear conservative, professional clothing to encourage positive engagement from those you are ministering to and not to draw attention away from your mission. 

Here are a few guidelines from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that we've compiled and simplified for both Elders. 

Looking Your Best as an Elder

Your goal is to look your best, which means you should be clean and well-dressed. Avoid casual or sloppy looking attire and opt for clean, mended and pressed clothing at all times. Obviously, good hygiene is a must as well. Just keep in mind that everything you do or wear should not be distracting. 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will require you to have a wardrobe that consists primarily of business-style suits, white dress shirts, slacks/dress pants, ties, shoes, socks, and belts. Depending on the location of your mission, you might also require clothing items such as boots, overcoats, suit vests, sweaters, etc. Your call packet will include a list of items that are specific to your mission that you will need. 

You'll want to be strategic about what you bring with you, because costs, limited closet space, and luggage restrictions will all be factors to consider. 

Obviously, you won't be wearing a business-style suit at all times, so you'll need alternate clothing options as well. Regular everyday missionary activities will allow you to wear a white shirt, professional dress slacks, durable and comfortable dress shoes, and a tie. 

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Suit Selections

When you are selecting your suits, you'll want to be mindful of color and patterns, fabric types, and suit styles. Choose conservative colors, simple and subtle patterns, and suits made of wool or a polyester-wool blend (this is for comfort, durability, and wrinkle resistance). Avoid any sport coats or slim-style suits. 

Be mindful of where you will be located for your mission. If you are going to be somewhere it is humid and hot, you'll want a lighter-weight suit fabric. If you are going somewhere it is cold, you'll want a heavier-weight fabric. Our team at Petersen's Clothing can help you select the right kind of suit for your location. 

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Shirt and Tie Selections

When it comes to your shirt and tie choices, keep things simple. You'll wear only white, conservative-style dress shirts made of fabric that doesn't wrinkle easily (like a polyester blend). They can be long or short sleeve, and you may want to decide that based on your mission location as well.

 As for ties, they should be non-distracting colors and patterns. Tiepins should be small and simple. String, bow, skinny, or wide ties are not acceptable according to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

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Slacks and Dress Pants Selections

When choosing slacks/dress pants for your mission, you'll want ones that look professional, hold a crease, and are wrinkle resistant. Avoid linen, denim, or casual-style pants. You'll want to choose conservative colors and neutral tones. 

Again, pay attention to the items specific to your mission, because you may need lighter-weight fabric for your pants on a warmer mission, or you'll need a heavier-weight fabric for colder missions. 

Shoe Selections

You'll want all of your shoes to be comfortable, durable, and breathable. Our team at Petersen's Clothing can help you choose which ones would be right for your mission. Avoid casual and trendy shoes, and shoes that are made of canvas, suede, or other soft materials.

A perfect fit, arch support, and well-structured design are essential for shoes on your mission because you'll be doing a lot of travel on foot and on a bike. Again, pay attention to the climate you'll be going to, as you may need rain boots or winter boots. 

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Simple is best when it comes to accessories. Opt for a shoulder bag that is durable and professional. You will be allowed one ring and an inexpensive watch. Avoid lapel pins, necklaces, or bracelets (unless for medical purposes). Belts should always match the color of your shoes when possible and belt buckles should be simple and not distracting. Suspenders may only be worn under a suit coat or sweater. 


The missionary handbook should cover this for you in detail, especially instructions about temple garments. 

When choosing socks, try to wear ones that match your slacks or shoes. A blend of synthetic fiber and cotton or wool is recommended as it is the best choice for absorbing moisture. We offer great socks for your mission at Petersen's Clothing. Make sure to pay attention, again, to the climate in which you will be. 

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Dress for the Climate

Ultimately, as you've likely deduced by now, there are guidelines for attire, but you want to be aware of what type of climate you'll be in and be strategic accordingly. Staying dry and warm in cold climates will decrease your chances of becoming ill, and dressing lightly in hot climates will decrease your chances of falling prey to the elements. 

Learn more about what to wear on your mission

At Petersen's Clothing, we strive to provide the best service that we can to prepare you for your upcoming mission. Visit one of our stores and we'll get you squared away!