Dress and Appearance

Missionary Training Center in Provo

As you are an authorized representative of Jesus Christ and His restored Church, your appearance is often the first message others receive. It should be consistent with the sacred message you are called to share. Throughout your mission, make sure that your appearance and behavior help others focus on that message.

Let these words from President Russell M. Nelson guide your approach to your dress and appearance:

“When your greatest desire is to let God prevail, to be part of Israel, so many decisions become easier. So many issues become nonissues! You know how best to groom yourself. … You know the kind of person you really want to become.”

The following general dress and appearance guidelines can help you maintain personal dignity and effectiveness. Your mission president, his companion, and the Area Presidency may modify these guidelines to accommodate local circumstances, and they serve as examples of appropriate, professional dress for your mission. For additional information specific to your mission, refer to the “What to Bring” section on the Missionary Portal (or in your paper call packet) or speak with your mission president and his companion.

Personal Grooming

Follow healthy grooming standards to show respect for your body, the Lord, and others, including the following:

  • Be neat and clean.
  • Bathe, brush your teeth, wash your face, and use deodorant daily.
  • Wash your hands regularly, especially before preparing food and after using the toilet.
  • Wear sunscreen.
  • Wash your hair frequently.
  • Choose a neat, conservative hairstyle that is easy to maintain and does not draw attention. Hair color should look natural. If you decide to color your hair, consider the time, cost, and impact on your missionary activities.
  • Elders should always be clean-shaven. Sideburns should reach no lower than the middle of the ear.
  • For sisters, nail polish and makeup are optional. When worn, they should be subtle in color and style.


Wear professional-style clothing that is consistent with your missionary purpose and sacred calling as a disciple of Jesus Christ. This includes practicing “principles of orderliness, cleanliness, reverence, and dignity” (David A. Bednar, “The Principles of My Gospel,” Liahona, May 2021, 124). Always wear your name badge, whether you are wearing missionary attire or more casual clothing, unless otherwise instructed by your mission president.

Your clothing should

  • fit well (not too tight or loose);
  • not be transparent, revealing, or distracting in any way;
  • be clean and in good repair;
  • be free of wrinkles;
  • be durable, easy to care for, and suitable for your mission’s climate; and
  • be easy to pack and fit in luggage.

Temple Garments

Follow the guidelines for “Temple Clothing and Garments” in section 38.5 of General Handbook: Serving in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Choose a garment fabric suitable for your mission’s climate.