Guidelines for Elders

Elder Missionaries

These guidelines will help you maintain a professional appearance so that you and others can focus on your message and the sacred nature of your calling.

Clothing should consist of professional

  • suits (if normally worn in the mission);
  • dress slacks;
  • white, collared, button-up shirts (see “Dress Shirts” below);
  • ties;
  • conservative belts with small belt buckles; and
  • jackets or sweaters (optional).

The images below illustrate these principles. They do not reflect all appropriate clothing options.

Suits and Suit Jackets

Suits and suit jackets (if worn in the mission) should be in conservative colors. They may have patterns such as pinstripes or checkers that are small, simple, and subtle in design. Suit jackets and pants should match.

Dress Slacks

As with suits, slacks should be conservative in color and may have small, simple, and subtle patterns such as pinstripes or checkers. Choose dress slacks that are professional and wrinkle resistant.

Dress Shirts

Wear white dress shirts made of fabric that does not wrinkle easily, and avoid rolling up the sleeves. Dress shirts may or may not have a pocket.

Specific Missions Only

As determined by the Area Presidency and mission president, elders in select teaching areas may wear a blue, collared, button-up dress shirt, with or without a tie, or a white dress shirt without a tie. Review the “What to Bring” section to learn if this option applies to your mission.

When attending the temple, Sunday worship services, missionary training centers, leadership and zone conferences, baptismal services, and other Church meetings, you are expected to wear a white shirt, tie, dress slacks, and suit jacket (unless suit jackets are not required in your specific mission because of the climate or culture).

Ties and Socks

Ties and socks should be simple in color and design and should not distract others from your message.

Ties and tie pins or bars should be conservative in size. They should not contain pictures or characters or show any political or country affiliation. Bow ties or string (bolo) ties are not appropriate. Lapel pins should not be worn.


Shoes should be comfortable, polished, and conservative in appearance. Shoes, including winter boots, should look professional and be appropriate for the climate and conditions of your mission.


In cold weather you may wear sweaters, coats, gloves, scarves, and hats as needed. These items should be simple and conservative, without words, pictures, or logos (however, small, non-distracting logos are acceptable).

Outerwear should fit well, look professional, and be appropriate for the climate and conditions of your mission. Hats and gloves should not be worn indoors.

Casual and Exercise

Casual clothing and shoes are appropriate for activities such as service or exercise. Casual clothing should always be appropriate for the situation, fit well, and be comfortable. For example, avoid clothing that is too tight or distracting or that has holes, words, pictures, or logos not consistent with your calling as a missionary. Mission leaders can help you apply these principles in a way that is culturally appropriate and maintains personal dignity and safety.

On preparation day, wear regular proselyting clothing in public unless more casual clothing is appropriate for a specific activity, such as service or exercise.

Additional Casual Clothing Guidelines for Senior Missionaries (Ages 40+)

On preparation day and when you are not performing mission duties, you may wear casual clothing, though it should still be consistent with your missionary purpose and sacred calling.

In some assignments (for example, Farmland Reserve, records preservation, and so forth), you may wear casual clothing that is appropriate for your specific assignment. Senior missionaries may also bring modest swimwear. You may also contact your mission leaders for additional information.


Choose bags that are professional, simple in style, and durable. Backpacks may be used for luggage but not for daily missionary activities. To keep yourself safe and to be sensitive of others, choose bags that are typical of those carried by others in your area. Consider purchasing your proselyting bag in the mission field. Carry only what is necessary, and be sensitive to others’ space when riding public transportation or in crowds.

Accessories and Jewelry

Keep accessories and jewelry, including watches, simple, professional, and conservative so they do not distract from your message or draw attention. Leave expensive jewelry at home.

You may wear wide-brimmed hats to provide protection from the sun. Hats should have at least a three-inch surrounding brim. Avoid hats that are brightly colored, too casual, or distract from your message. Baseball, cowboy, bucket, newsboy, and fedora hats are not acceptable.

You may also wear simple and conservative sunglasses to provide protection from the sun. Remove sunglasses when speaking with others. Do not wear sunglasses with bright-colored rims or mirrored lenses. Do not wear hats or sunglasses indoors.