SALT LAKE CITY — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has updated guidelines for how missionaries should dress. Clothing that has been acceptable in many missions for some time has now been standardized.
The LDS church has had a longstanding policy requiring missionaries 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," according to direction listed on lds.org.
For men, previous guidelines required dark colors for suits and slacks and limited colors for ties.
"In an updated dress and grooming standards webpage, clothing for Elders now includes lighter colored suits and slacks," said Ruth Todd, spokeswoman for the church. The latest updates allow tan, khaki and lighter colored suits and slacks, as well as more tie options. Pictures on the site show missionaries in pink, light blue, and pastel-colored ties.
In addition to lighter-colored suit options, suit coats are not required for day-to-day missionary activities.
Certain missions also allow closed-toe sandals. Hair and grooming standards have not changed. Faux hawks, crew cuts, mullets, spikey and messy hair are among the styles not allowed for men.
Other guidelines remain the same and include conservatively designed and well-pressed white shirts for men. Ties and tie pins must also avoid caricatures or pictures.
The main principle remains to avoid clothes that "draw attention, appear unprofessional, or distract others from (missionaries') messages." Mission presidents also have discretion to allow or disallow certain items of dress or appearance.