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Sister missionaries get a new wardrobe

Alexis Sanders - January 12, 2011
source: LDS Living

Photo from LDS.org.
For years, the dress standard for sisters missionaries has been a consistent guideline and entirely unchanging. In recent months however, the Church has implemented new changes to the approved apparel.

Encouraging brighter colors, patterns and even accessories, the Church hopes to make sister missionaries’ appearance more inviting to investigators.  With completely new photos, the changed apparel guidelines have proliferated as they have been sent out to sisters recently receiving their mission calls, and current missionaries have been notified by their mission presidents.

In addition to the unchanged guidelines of retaining modesty by ensuring clothes are neither too tight or too loose, sheer or sloppy, the new standard is meant to enhance the perpetual tradition of presenting oneself as dignified, well-groomed and clean in appearance.

“The Church provides dress and grooming standards for Elders and Sisters alike, which are current with acceptable styles yet maintain an appearance of dignity, professionalism and modesty,” said Scott Trotter, spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In conforming to current acceptable style, the updated guidelines encourage sisters to wear brighter colors and patterns, simple accessories and dub nylons as optional. Skirt length has also been modernized with the rule that they can rise above mid-calf, but are still required to cover the knees when sitting or standing.

Although there are revisions, sisters are still required to maintain their appearance of modesty, wearing conservative outfits that consist of professional suits, skirts, blouses, jackets, sweaters and dresses.
     
Dana Blackburn, a sister recently called to the Calif., San-Fernando Spanish-speaking mission, said, “It’s been a long time coming. They changed all the things making sister missionaries feel like they’re dressing drab.”
     
Blackburn is among the ranks of newly called sisters who are excited to shop for their missionary wardrobe. She believes that if they take the changes to heart and add bright colors, the new standard will cause sisters to dress in a way that’s more approachable and relatable to investigators.
    
“People who would listen before will still listen, but lots of people who've written the [sisters] off thinking, ‘here are two people who want me to join their drab-looking religion,’ will instead think, ‘here are two cute people who want to share some bright message with me,’” Blackburn said.
     
In addition to the sisters’ more welcoming appearance, the revisions will also dispel the common notion to call sisters “drab,” and perhaps cause a deviation from attention on what the sisters are wearing, to what they are saying.

“When my uncle was a mission president, he’d hear concerned women who were worried they’d have to dress like the sister missionaries if they joined the Church,” Blackburn said.
     
Over the next years when sisters receive their calls, they may be excited to discover the updated options for apparel during their 18 months of preaching the gospel—though it's just one small reason to celebrate the joy of serving.

© LDS Living, 2010.
Comments 52 comments

lilu said...

09:16 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I appreciate the positive thoughts about improving the sisters' wardrobe--however, I think including so many shallow comments from a newly called sister Blackburn wasn't the best coverage. I think it's funny that she thinks people have written off the sisters becuase their wardrobe was "drab". That sounds like a personal problem. I find it hard to believe that focusing on "cute people" who will share a "bright message" is what will open doors. Perhaps interviewing someone or quoting someone with a little more in depth knowledge and perspective would have helped this article NOT seem shallow and trite. There is sort of a stigma with sister missionaries...but focusing on the "cuteness" of a sister's clothing is NOT why the church is updating the wardrobe suggestions! It's definitely deeper than that.

telavian said...

10:31 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I agree with lilu. The comments make sister missionaries seem vain. I would hope that no sister would choose to not serve a mission because they have to wear a dress a few inches longer than they normally would. However it sounds like Sister Blackburn would rather not. I served a mission and was in basically the same looking shirt and tie almost 24x7. I never complained once. However sisters did complain because they couldn't wear this or that.

critical_thinker said...

11:10 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I agree completely with commenter lilu. Shallow comments and narrow point of view. It is almost comical to me to picture Ms. Blackburn's uncle chatting about his most memorable mission experiences at the family get togethers or letters/emails home to relatives while serving. He would of course recall the significant numbers of women who allowed missionaries to teach them, attending church where they could observe the mainstream and how they dress. Then he would elaborate on their sincere concern about having to conform to sister missionary dress standards. Last time I checked this isn't a church based on appearances, even though many would like to think so, but is based on the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is why we DON'T (or shouldn't for those of you who might) judge someone who shows up in pants or sneakers or something less than your personal standards. Although I personally do not know all of the discussion that led to these simple changes (and they really are basic and simple, nothing major) I would think it highly unlikely that a key component is to make sure those investigators who are already too shallow to look beyond ones apparel and into someones heart/spirit, such as Christ did, are really going to be ready for baptism in the LDS church to begin with. I do find it refreshing to see some specific direction for these changes. Although I served as a sister missionary over 2 decades ago, even then dress standards varied depending on the location of your mission. I have wondered lately as I have seen the sisters serving in our mission and have wondered why they always look ready to attend a funeral. So YES to the slight change in guidelines as a little color is always cheerful and would be most appropriate to share a message of peace and happiness.

bptrotter said...

11:12 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Say what you want about shallow remarks from the sister quoted. Unfortunately her remarks are true. Its no different in the business world, Those that dress the part find more success... and the truth is first impression matters way more then some people think. We can't have our missionaries looking like the "progressive LDS" members. The association is not good. Oh and I am a convert that was taught by two cute, and by cute I don't mean I was attracted to in a I want to date them sort of way, I mean modern conservative dress with happy personalities. That is why I let them in and the truth is I'm not sure I would have if they looked like "drab" out of style girls straight out of Arizona City.... And there are many out there that look like that. Image is important... like it or not.

jkcook said...

11:17 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Hmmm, guess I missed the "you're supposed to look drab" instructions when I was on my mission. No one told us we were supposed to not wear bright colors or act peppy and bright.

ssb said...

11:19 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Sister Blackburn, I admire you for desiring to serve a mission. I served a mission years ago. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Having a positive and uplifting appearance when sharing the gospel is important. When you approach people and share the gospel with them share your testimony and let them see the light of Christ in your eyes. Deciding to serve a mission shows that you are excited and ready to share the bright message the gospel brings to peoples lives. You will be a great missionary. Congratulations on your mission call.

peopleschoice said...

11:36 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I agree with bptrotter....Siter Blackburns remarks are right on the money....I live in the missionfield and see and hear comments from my friends that I have introduced to the missionaries. lilu, telavian,and critical thinker missed the mark as they talk about shallow remarks and her Uncle the mission president...Ms Blackburn is not on trial here...the fact remains that our sister missionaries will be allowed to be themselves more and still be modest....bptrotter says it best. Image is everything....We are to have a joyful countenance....hard to do that in blacks and browns....with granny shoes...being stylish is not immodest....

anne-marie said...

11:40 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Looks to me like the church is listening to women and notices that Sisters can modestly update their apperance (should that be their choice or not) and remain totally devoted to serving a full time mission. Nice! Another farely recent change is the fact that we ladies may now wear a "very special piece of clothing" on top of our bras should that be more practical. It seems to me like the church is listening and taking womens differences into consideration. Although I do agree that this young woman's comment might have been better received should it had been expressed her in a way that made her seem less vain, I hope to think that it is due to her young age, and or, lack of knowledge of better wording. I to think that "being cute" is not part of the mission field's goals, although I am totally in favor of sister missionaries being people that have appeal. Appeal in the way they dress and cary themselves and appeal with the message they bring to share with the world! Anne-Marie

joyful said...

11:50 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I don't know why everyone is making a big deal out of the church changing our sister missionaries appearances. I think it is great and we should all be happy and say "way to go". Clothes doesn't make a person, it's what is inside that person as we all know from the scriptures where we are told that the Lord looks at the heart and not the outside appearance of someone. It doesn't hurt to update things, to a certain extent. I'm happy for all of our sister missionaries and no matter what they wear, to a certain extent, they radiate the light of the Gospel to all. (:

weareight said...

11:58 AM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Oh my goodness! I'm surprised at how many critical comments are on here. I'm thankful it's not my daughter of which your speaking ill. Her comments were honest and accurate. A young person's point of view is not going to "jive" with an old sinker's point of view.

danaroo4 said...

12:00 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Wow. I had no idea that this article would produce any sort of negative opinion, of either myself or sister missionaries. For the record, I AM that Sister Blackburn quoted in the article, and I promise that none of those "quotes" are actually direct quotes and each of the things I said in the article were phrases pieced together from a 15 minute conversation with the interviewer. As for me seeming young and immature, I'm actually much older than most sister missionaries. I've graduated college, traveled the world, lived in different countries, and many different states. I grew up in "the mission field" as you might say. I LOVE sister missionaries and am so very excited to be one soon. As for calling them "drab," that isn't my word choice, but Elder Ballard's word choice to describe the overall impression of sisters' wardrobes the last time he visited the MTC in Provo. He said he was tired of seeing the sisters dress so drab and dreary and that it wasn't suitable to the message they were presenting... The article was written for the purpose of describing the changes to Sister Missionaries' wardrobe guidelines. Not much changed, but the overall focus of the guidelines has changed to being more approachable. Does that mean that something was wrong with the old wardrobe guidelines? Absolutely not. I would still be going on a mission if I had to wear nylons. The point is that God runs this church through a living prophet, and if he decides to implement a change, then we are to embrace it. So this is me, embracing the change, whatever the purpose behind it is.

tonia said...

12:29 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Thanks for the article LDSLiving; that's exciting news! Dana will make a fabulous missionary. She is a beautiful young woman, inside & out. Remember Dana, there must be adversity in all things; keep the memory of your father alive through your sweet smile!

alaska said...

12:33 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I was going to write a comment of how often times the newspapers do not quote people exactly or take things out of context. So many of my friends and family have been misinterpreted and misquoted many times. I am sorry you got so much negativity Sister Blackburn. I don't think that wanting to look nice is vain either. We are told to dress our best for Sundays, so is that being vain no it's showing respect to our Heavenly Father and Savior.

bah1 said...

12:37 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Excellent statement Sister Dana Blackburn and Alaska. I thought the article was excellent, including you and your views. Love the idea of bright colors.

alaska said...

12:46 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I meant to say I wanted to write a comment on how often times... I should have checked it over before I sent it. See people mistakes even if it's directly from them : )

texasmom said...

01:20 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Way to go Sister Blackburn!!! Great article and totally appropriate. I served a mission in Arizona 12 years ago and it was very difficult to put those nylons on during the hot summer months. They did encourage us to wear clothes that "matched" (in style) with those of the Elders in dark suits and I think often that was interpreted to wear dark and plain colors. If the new changes were out when I served I would not have had to go shopping for missionary attire. My clothes were already modest and would have been appropriate. I am excited because that means you can use clothes that you may already have! Good luck and keep up the positive attitude.

lulu said...

03:08 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Dear Sister Blackburn: Sounds like some folks think you should still be wearing dresses with hemlines dragging the ground and bonnets and boots. As I live in an area where Mormons are few and far between and most of the information people get about the Church is from anti-Mormon tracts and TV shows, I for one am thankful that the Church isn't stuck in the 1800's and encourages our young missionary ladies to look modest, approachable, and yes, joyful. Looking like they just escaped from a "compound" tends to back folks off. You go girl!

capri said...

03:12 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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My daughter returned from the Temple Square Mission last August and they were just starting to make new rules and "exceptions" in the dress code. It was always suggested that the sisters wear colors and spend time taking care of themselves each day so that will look nice and be presentable to those they meet. Most mission have always suggested colors that where flattering, but conservative. In other words, the clothes shouldn't be the statement you are making, and the mission isn't about your clothes. Making sure that you dress modestly, and appropriately for the calling was always the dress code. If some of the sisters chose to wear dark colors, it was their own idea of professional and appropriate. I am reminded that many sisters who go on a mission come from many cultural back rounds and economic diversities, the choices made by sisters are often made with in these perimeters. I personally have seen a lot of color on sisters, but now that they can wear more accessories and patterns it will hopefully, if done tastefully, dress up the clothes they wear. I am very sure that if the changes that had come to Temple Square are the same changes they are been allowed through out the other missions, they are small and some what conservative changes, such as earrings the size of a quarter, polka dots and stripes and lace). Probably not what most of us think as modern wear. We are a conservative and peculiar people who stand out from the world and hopefully we are less caught up in the things of the world. We achieve this through our words, actions, dress, covenants and beliefs. Sister Missionaries will never be on the cover of a fashion magazine, and I for one say "thank Goodness". They are going about the Lords work and they are amazing just the way they are, conservative or preppy, shy or bubbly...the clothes don't make the missionary and the Lord does. The clothes may make the first impression, but the Spirit will always make the lasting impression. There may be some small changes in the dress code coming for the sister missionaries, but the Gospel of Jesus Christ is their whole focus and finding and teaching it to perspective members is their goal and whole hearts desire...the clothes are secondary.

kaycee said...

03:20 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Wow! I served as a sister missionary in a mostly tropical mission in Latin America over 20 years ago and I never heard of the "drab" guidelines. Many of my dresses/skirts were bright colored and we NEVER wore nylons. I even wore a few skirts that were above the mid-calf! I hadn't noticed that sister missionaries' attire had become that dismal until we sent the ones in our ward to some friends of ours. These friends politely declined to listen to them, and one of their reasons was the sisters' appearance. While I think this was mostly an excuse, they did say something about the missionaries looking like "Soviet refugees." I didn't realize the guidelines had been narrowed to such an extent.

capri said...

03:22 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Oh, by the way...the picture at the top of the page is of a sister Missionary on temple Square. She is wearing an outfit that would fit under the old dress code, collared shirt (colored shirts were highly recommended), conservative necklace and a solid colored jacket. The new dress code is really just enhancements to the old code. She looks great!

ajones said...

03:36 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I'm not sure how many of you have served missions recently; I returned home from my mission in Germany about two years ago. Without exaggerating, my companions and I (the sister missionaries) were called "nuns" at least three times a week... because of how we dressed. We were obedient and dressed by the standards the Church had given us in our mission calls: neutral/ dark-colored suit jackets, long skirts and blouses. Yes, we did look like nuns, and a lot of people wouldn't listen to our message because of it. It isn't a shallow thing to want to look nice for what you're representing. We want to look our BEST for our Savior! Do I want to look drab (I think that is an excellent choice of word) when talking about Him and His Atonement? No, I would prefer to feel as comfortable and confident as I can in colors that reflect the hope He brings. I wish more women in the church would follow these new standards when dressing for church on Sunday - there are a lot of flip flops during the summer and sweatshirts during the winter. I think the guidelines given by the Church for sister missionaries are fantastic, and inspired.

blutie said...

04:05 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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Hallelujah! I am sick to death of seeing sister missionaries wearing frumpy, dumpy clothes in black, grey and navy blue. Mormon grunge. It's unprofessional, unpolished and sends out an antiquated message of 'mormon colony'. I am a professional business woman who sits on three professional women boards;I also teach workshops on fashonable modest dressing and image at church. Yes, you actually can have both! Bottom line: clothes make a difference. Attractive packaging sends the right message. Period.

liesebelle said...

04:08 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I agree with Sister Blackburn. As a convert to the Church, who was taught by sister missionaries, I'll admit that I too was concerned I'd have to dress the same way. Being in the Church, I have gained a testimony of modesty. I feel that there are many young women within the Church who are not modest because they think that there are no cute modest clothes. Obviously there are so many cute and modest clothing options, but that doesn't mean everyone realizes this. I didn't think so at first, but after 4 years of being a member, I am so glad that I am able to not only look nice, but still hold true to my standards. I do think that this new dress code, regardless of why it was instated, will help sister missionaries look more approachable and encourage many women to serve missions. Yes, that shouldn't be a reason at all not to go on a mission if you dislike the dress code, but the reason does exist nonetheless.

kiwi said...

04:08 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I don't remember this movement towards dark colors for sister missionaries but am happy to see it expand to include brighter colors. I served my mission about 20 years ago in New Zealand. I have pictures of the sisters at Zone conferences and such all in bright colors looking both modest and professional.

ricklt said...

05:09 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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It's a welcome change. Makes them look less like Catholic nuns. Now really, isn't it about time that male missionaries' standards changed too to allow for lighter colored suits? We still look too much like undertakers or funeral directors.

stampergirl said...

05:28 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I think that taking a nod from the well dressed, brightly colored, modestly accessorized sisters that speak to us each conference in the General Primary, Relief Society, and Young Women Presidencies is inspiring. These women are leaders and what a delightlful addition to a sister missionaries wardrobe. The old addage "The suit make the man" on an equal note, A sister is only as drab as she dresses. Bravo!

alaskadoc said...

07:18 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I mucst agree with the the Founding Fathers of our nation on this one, (whom I believe to have been inspired in their quest to establish our republic). Religion and morality were expected of our public servants, but their idea of government was to be the smallest possible one they could imagine, they abhored its intrusion into our private, public or busines affairs. We have strayed from that vision they had for us, wildly I'm afraid. We should not, as they did not, expect government to solve our problems, they left that to us, just as a loving Father in Heaven has done. We need to be responsible and accountable for our own actions, and work out our own problems, that's how we learn from this experience. We shold looke for candidates who will let us sink or swim, that is the only way this mortal existence will trully be the teaching experience it was designed to be in the Grand Council.

kidsmom16 said...

09:31 PM
on Jan 12, 2011

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I think this is a great idea! The entire female population of our ward looks like they could be missionaries. There are many who feel they have to "dress down" to come to church. Nobody wears bright colors, etc. It will set a good example for the rest of the women to stop looking frumpy and keep up with the times which is certainly easy to do even in a modest way. I am certainly tired of seeing nothing but black and other dark colors in Sacrament Meeting. All our ward needs are the bonnets and we could look like Mennonites. Nothing wrong with that attire for them but the meaning is not the same for us as it is for them. I'd like to see our women keep up with the times and they can find it at WalMart without having to go in for "expensive apparel". Yeah Brotheren!

tahoemormon said...

04:26 AM
on Jan 13, 2011

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Well, it's all fine and dandy that Sister missionaries get to have a change-up with the traditional clothing styles that they have been commanded to wear but what about the Elders? I had a nasty skin condition when I was on my mission but having to wear wool or poly blend suits along with shirts buttoned up to the chin didn't help out my skin condition out any. When it was summer over in Russia(and summers in Russia are just as grueling as they are here in the US) I was one big zit after another due to my body being just a couple degrees below the boiling point and no way to adequately cool off due to missionary grooming and dress standards. I'd like to challenge anybody to dress sufficiently cool(not the slang term) when you aren't allowed to wear clothes made out of breathable cotton and having no way to keep your chest and torso cool as well. I couldn't wait until my last discussion of the day when I could at least remove my tie and unbutton the top button to allow some air into my chest area. So, it's great for the investigators to see a well-dressed missionary but why sacrifice function because of fashion? Plus, one more thing that the leaders of the Church have forgotten is that darker colored clothes ATTRACT heat, not repel it! So, while the sisters are wearing loose fitting, light colored clothes and being all comfortable in hotter climates and in the summer, we elders are just about ready to pop like a kernel of corn seconds away from getting drenched with butter and salt. In addition, sisters are more likely than the elders to use air-conditioned cars instead of bikes to all of their appointments. And, if a sister starts her mission in the fall or winter, she only has to serve her mission during one summer while regardless of when an elder starts his mission, it is a whole 2 summers without cool, loose-fitting, lighter colored clothing. So, if any of you presume that it's COOL to serve a mission, think again!

bob21 said...

05:17 AM
on Jan 13, 2011

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Oh, I couldn't resist commenting, although, by doing so, it just goes to show what a time waster I am. Oh, well. This article was not even real news. I don't remember dressing much differently when I served my mission. The skirt length standard is slightly changed and the panty hose requirement, although, that also depended on the mission, but we wore colourful tops when I served and although it is true that the Elders had less variation allowance to their wardrobe, I think we should not be so concerned. That's part of the reason that dress standards are established, so we don't have to focus on and think so much about such details, which leaves us to focus on the missionary work. It's far too exhausting and time-consuming to worry about your wardrobe when you are anxiously engaged in the Lord's work. Also, it is true about the newspapers misquoting or paraphrasing or taking out of context the utterances of individuals. I used to write for a newspaper and although I didn't personally do this, the editor of the newspaper was always changing my articles. They would be ridiculous changes that made me seem incompetent and I would rather they had just taken my name off of the article because I didn't want to be associated with such garbage when I had spent so much time and worked so hard to write a decent and interesting article with material that was simply not news at all. Not to mention that I wasn't paid nearly enough for such efforts. But that's all another subject. I figured it doesn't matter though since people just write whatever suits their fancy on these comment boards. It's so funny to hear all the judgement and criticism. First there are the cynical and critical remarks about the quoted individual and then the critical remarks about their criticism and then a rebuttal from the misquoted with some praise and support inter-dispersed and before you know it...... some guy complaining about his own circumstances in bitter resentment of the church leaders who apparently are not inspired because they didn't realize how hard it is to wear a suit all day. LOL I can't imagine what kind of person would actually waste their time by sitting and reading all of this. ;D

bob21 said...

05:22 AM
on Jan 13, 2011

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Oh, also, I am thankful for capri's comments, which were much more informative than the actual article and oh, so true.

bob21 said...

05:26 AM
on Jan 13, 2011

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Oh, and also, I think I wore more colours on my mission than before it. I found it easiest to dress in blacks and grays not as a missionary because then I didn't have to worry about whether or not my clothes matched and I could have fewer of them which was less expensive and time consuming. I too, found that as sister missionaries we were encouraged to wear colours.

cam said...

09:23 PM
on Jan 14, 2011

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I served a mission in fashion conscious Rome, Italy. One of the members mentioned how unfashionable both the sisters and the elders dressed. She was right. I could see how many of the missionaries were an embarrassment to the local members. I live in Florida now, where a large population has never met a LDS member and who believe that Mormons are still connected to the polygamous sects. Many of our Sister missionaries are well-groomed and nicely dressed, fortunately. I think that this can help to eliminate stereotypes. Hopefully, newly called Sisters can become informed of the fashion tastes of the area to which they are called to serve, so their appearance is an asset, not a distraction from the beautiful gospel message they carry.

dani said...

01:57 AM
on Jan 15, 2011

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7 seconds is the average time you get to create a 1st impression. Whether on a mission or serving through another calling, your dress and manner are what people initially judge to destablish rapport, decide your credibility, and whether they want to interact with you. Unfortunately, the traditional wardrobe guidelines played right into stereotypes and biases preventing many conversations from taking place. Regardless, like bob21, I guess I'm surprised by all the criticism and negative commentary. I didn't think that's the type of community we wanted to model.

joannlogsdon14@yahoo.com said...

07:24 AM
on Jan 15, 2011

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I would use religion only if I agreed with the platform. I would vote for the mormon over the other because I know most of us are honest and we need more honesty in our government. Again though I would need to agree with what they want to do for the people. Thank you

waynesworld4 said...

04:00 PM
on Jan 16, 2011

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I'm sorry to say it, but Sister missionaries are always under constant criticism, and now people say that we're being vain or pretentious because we like the new guidelines. Having just passed my two year mark from being home from my mission, trust me, people judge you on how you dress. My first mission president updated the dress code on his own, we weren't allowed to wear certain types of dresses, our skirts were allowed to be shorter than the traditional "mid-calve" length, we were told we *had* to wear makeup and do our hair nicely, it wasn't an option. The old guidelines were awful. I'm sorry. I know it bothers some of you, but its the truth. If we dressed exactly as the old guidelines instructed, we would have looked like we were Mennonites. I had a couple of companions that didn't know how to update their wardrobe or do their makeup or their hair, and it affected our ability to find people. One companion dressed EXACTLY like the old guidelines and picture samples, and it was a turn off to people. We would try to contact someone on the street and would be turned away because they thought that she was dressed like a 12 year old Mennonite. We expect the Elders to dress in a presentable fashion, where they look professional, friendly, and approachable. Fashions for men don't change as drastically as they do for women, nor as frequently. So while the Elders go around riding their bikes looking well-groomed and nice, the Sisters go around looking like something out of the Amish twilight zone. Then, when we're happy and excited about the clothing changes we're criticized for being vain and self-centered. Women don't have a priesthood responsibility to share the gospel as a full-time missionary, so any Sister missionary out there is doing it because she wants to help. Cut us some slack people!

njt said...

11:27 AM
on Jan 17, 2011

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On the other hand, the sister missionaries should look somewhat in line with the suit/tie idea to look as though they respect what they are doing. Looking like they are going out to a ball game isn't the best look either. Perhaps the mission offices could assist some of the sisters who seem not quite sure how to put together a wardrobe. I have helped sister missionaries upgrade their appearance and they were ever so grateful.

r.m. said...

01:42 PM
on Jan 17, 2011

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These comments are funny to read. Before my husband and I left for our Florida mission, I was given a list of recommended clothing, apparently written by a former Florida mission president’s wife. The list included long underwear (for the sunshine state?) among other strange items. Before we left California, I bought some “missionary” shoes that had no open heels or toes; I never wore them. Our new mission wife was more enlightened and allowed sandals—to accommodate the Florida weather.

canoelover said...

08:54 PM
on May 24, 2011

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My daughter just put her papers in. She is a lot more excited now that she doesn't have to dress like a Mennonite in brown jumpers.

lady_arndt said...

10:19 AM
on Jun 01, 2011

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LOL! This was a cute article and the comments are even more amusing!

allencafe said...

12:01 PM
on Jul 16, 2011

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I served my mission from 95-97 and I guess I was pretty naughty; I wore colors and patterns all the time. I was always modest and well put together. I don't ever remember being told to dress "drab".

knorsk79 said...

09:59 AM
on Sep 17, 2011

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I didn't read all comments, so I might be repeating someone else's thought. But I think what the first couple comments were saying was that the person writing the article made the newly-called Sister sound negative. It was nothing against her particularly. Anyway, I have to say that never has the church said the Sisters cannot wear colors or cannot look modern. The paper that the Sisters receive with their call was a paper made probably back in the 80s. But it was told to us to use those pictures as guidelines. Therefore, when I was getting ready to serve, I did not go out and buy those exact outfits. I chose modest fitting, stylish (for my day) clothing, with many colors. On top of those requirements, depending on where you serve, some may also need to worry about keeping warm or staying cool. So those are other issues. But I think what that the church putting out "new guidelines" means that they are just catching up in pictures and paperwork to what the Sisters have been doing for the past 30 years.

sorellabella said...

09:34 PM
on May 21, 2012

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Modern and cute sister missionary clothing is available for affordable prices at Sorella Bella - www.sistermissionaryclothes.com

bridget said...

04:35 PM
on Oct 10, 2012

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I don't have a problem with bright colors, as long as they are tasteful and attractive. What I have a problem with is raising the hemline. Hemlines are already too high in the church. What, we want the sister missionaries dressing that way, too? I certainly hope this doesn't mean we're going to have to suffer through sister missionaries who are "skirting" the issue of modesty by doing the bare minimum. A proper length on a skirt is 35" from the waist. And a proper length on a dress is 54". It's far more attractive for a daughter of God to dress appropriately than it is to copy the world.

bridget said...

04:55 PM
on Oct 10, 2012

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By the way, I wish I attended the ward kidsmom16 claims to attend. Wow! Really? Every female is dressed that modestly? My ward is just the opposite. The hemlines are up and the bustlines are down. The flip flops are on and the pantyhose is off. You can see garments everywhere. And the young women are being prepped to be just as bad. They look like they could be in a popular TV show. Their skirts are so high above your knees, you have to wonder if they mistook a top for a dress. Yeah. We weren't allowed to dress like that when I was growing up. Or, rather, I should say, had I been inclined to dress like that to church, my dad would have made me change. Are these dads just blind? My dad's not. When my parents have visited the ward, my dad has noticed the lack of modesty. Both he and I were stunned one week when a woman (apparently not married much more than a year, and in the temple) was wearing a sleeveless, tight, super short black evening number while she gave a talk in front of the whole congregation. I asked my dad if I had missed something, if the woman had actually not been through the temple and had no inkling she was dressing wrong? He said the whole gist of her talk was that she had been through the temple and was proud of it, so her immodest attire was no mistake. Wow! If you could see a photo of that outfit! It looked like something you'd see in Hollywood, with everything showing way too much, not something you'd see in church. Let's be honest. Modern trends are not something you want to follow, especially at church. By the way, if you dress appropriately (and I do mean appropriately, not some totally skimpy version of it), you look like a princess, a true daughter of God. When you dress immodestly, you look like a s-l-u-t, and at church. Sorry if you don't like the truth. But if you really think that the Lord likes seeing his daughters running around like just as whorish as Bablyon, think again.

mczenock said...

04:14 PM
on Oct 24, 2012

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well i am a returned mission, and it saddens me so read comments like our sister missionaries are unfashionable... well i can only speak for my mission or the ones around my area... our missionary in Africa are the most fashionable specially the elders. Our sister are the most modestly dress.I served from 2004 to 2006, i am saying this in responds to what someone said about the missionaries in Italy. Please don't generalize things. I believe the new modification is well deserved.

moss said...

10:36 AM
on Oct 30, 2012

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So glad for the new guidelines, I hope they are enough. In order to make their wardrobe practical for what they have to do, our Sister Missionaries often end up in rather bizarre ensembles- think Fundementalists. I can't help but think that a lot of these problems would be solved if they were allowed to wear dress slacks (at least in first world countries where people aren't threatened by pants-wearing women).

andie said...

10:38 AM
on Nov 09, 2012

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This is wonderful news to me, although I'm not sure when the sisters' dress code changed from when I was a missionary way back in the late 70's. I guess I'm not very observant. All the sister missionaries I've met have always looked amazing. As missionaries, we always wore dresses, or skirts and blouses. We were never required to wear black, brown, or gray jackets or skirts. I wore bright colored and pastel dresses all the time. This modification will be great for the sisters.

sheridan said...

07:19 PM
on Jan 29, 2013

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I am appalled at this article, and similar ones that I have read on the subject. Since when was the Gospel of my Savior so materialistically and image focused? I'm pretty sure Isaiah summed it up beautifully when he spoke of the daughters of Zion in the last days when I read articles of this nature. We exist in such an exploitive culture to begin with, and then, to make statements such as, "Encouraging brighter colors, patterns and even accessories, the Church hopes to make sister missionaries’ appearance more inviting to investigators" is offensive and disgusting, not only to the young women who already feel immense amounts of pressure to conform to the exploitive images that surround them in the media, but to those of us who served honorable missions and were so focused on teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ in 116 degrees that things like "hair accesories," "jewelry" and make-up were never on our mind, but our success in bringing souls unto Christ was immense, and the level of their activity is still high even a decade later......because they built their foundation on the rock of their Redeemer and not on our short skirts. ;)

flygal said...

01:44 AM
on Feb 05, 2013

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There was a guideline besides dress modestly? :) I find this funny because I never heard about anything and dressed in classy classic skirt suits that had color and looked nice. That was just my style, clothes that I would wear to the office. My mission was in 1992-4. Other sisters often wore the denim coverall dresses that just looked frumpy and yes there were comments from investigators wondering if they had to dress that way when they got baptized. I never considered anything a "sister missionary standard" just a matter of taste or laziness. I biked in my skirts just fine, although after a while I opted to not wear my skirts that went just below the knee because they would go up too high while biking. Seriously? Sisters are having to be commanded to dress more attractively and in a classy manner? I would think that would be a given, but obviously not.

yousetoobee said...

09:59 PM
on May 25, 2013

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Well they got some cute sister missionaries to be all flirty and modern and they were able to get my nephew dunked. He is a shy, fat boy and he had a crush. Well, they dunked him and now they are gone. Now he is using Facebook to express his hate for the church. Looking cute and attracting people so they listen to your message is not necessarily a good approach.

lange said...

02:12 PM
on Jun 04, 2013

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maybe we could update the way the Elders dress too. Maybe make it more appropiate for the different areas of the world that they serve in.
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