Shades, Hats, and Slacks; Now Coming to a Mission Near You

sister slacks
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The Church recently made changes to the dress and grooming guidelines for missionaries. The new guidelines allow both Elders and Sisters to wear sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats. Additionally in some missions, Sisters will be able to wear dress slacks or will be encouraged to wear long skirts.

Concerning hats, the new guidelines say:

In addition to sunscreen, You may wear conservative, wide-brimmed hats to help protect you from the sun. A hat with at least a three-inch surrounding brim usually offers necessary protection to your face and neck. Avoid bright-colored hats or hats that are too causal or that may distract from your message. Baseball, cowboy, bucket, newsboy, and fedora hats are not acceptable. Do not wear hats indoors. (lds.org)

Concerning sunglasses, the new guidelines say:

You may wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from overexposure to the sun. Sunglasses must look professional and not draw undue attention. Do not wear sunglasses with bright-colored rims or mirrored lenses. Unless there is a medical need for keeping them on, remove your sunglasses when you speak with others or when you are indoors. (lds.org)

Concerning slacks, the new guidelines say:

Check the “Items Specific to Your Mission” section of your call packet or click here to see if you are approved during seasons when the risk is high for mosquito bites to wear dress slacks during regular proselyting activities to provide additional protection from mosquito-borne diseases. If you are approved to do so, be sure to choose dress slacks that are modest and look professional. Do not wear dress slacks that are too tight, that are cropped above the ankle, or that touch the floor. Dress slacks should fit well (not be too tight or too loose), and be in solid, conservative colors. They should not be transparent, revealing, casual, wrinkled, sloppy, or faddish. Do not wear pantsuits, baggy slacks, or skinny-style slacks. (lds.org)

I served my mission in Resistencia, Argentina, from 2011-2013. While there, we were allowed to wear wide-brimmed straw hats. They provided a welcome relief from the sun and all of us considered them a huge blessing. I would have also loved to have been able to wear sunglasses. The Argentine sun can really beat down on you during the summer! I think many-a-missionary’s head is going to benefit from these changes. And if your mission is in an area that’s affected by the Dengue, Zika, or Chikungunya virus, be sure to bring along a few pairs of slacks and some bug spray. (By the way, the Church is footing the bill for DEET-containing bug repellent.)

Here are a few good and bad examples of the allowed clothing and accessories.

sunglasses elder
Good and bad sunglasses for Elders. (lds.org)
hats elder
Good and bad hats for Elders. (lds.org)
sunglasses sister
Good and bad sunglasses for Sisters. (lds.org)
hats sister
Good and bad hats for Sisters. (lds.org)
sister slacks
Good and bad slacks for Sisters. (lds.org)

Jump on over to Mormon Newsroom for more information.

How do you feel about this change in the missionary dress code? Let us know in the comments below.

Braden is a Writer for LDS.net. He's currently attending Utah State University and is pursuing a degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. When he's not working or writing, he's usually at the golf course playing nine holes or listening to an audiobook of some kind.