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Updated Dress Standards for Sister Missionaries

Updated Dress Standards for Sister Missionaries

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints announced earlier today that the dress standards for sister missionaries have changed slightly. When sisters attend Sunday church worship services, zone conferences, baptismal services, temples or special mission trainings they will be required to wear skirts or dresses but when it comes to daily attire sisters are now able to wear dress pants if they so choose. 

When discussing the updated standards Elder Uchtdorf said, "As we adapt these standards, we always carefully consider the dignity of the missionary calling to represent Jesus Christ, the safety, security, and health of our beloved missionaries, and the cultural sensitivities of the places where they serve." 

Hooray for options for sisters! We are excited for you to have expanded wardrobe possibilities. For sisters serving in humid, tropical climates, this can be a huge blessing to your health. For sisters serving in extremely cold climates this can help keep you warm and toasty in those crazy cold temperatures. For sisters riding bikes this can let you ride with more confidence and convenience! 

That being said, many sisters shy away from the chance to wear dress pants. Why? Dress pants have the potential to make women feel a little less feminine, and dress pants don't fit the way our every-day casual pants usually fit. 

1. Dress pants have the potential to make women feel less feminine:

  As little girls, many of us were often were found twirling around in the cultural hall or the foyer after church services in our full, flouncy skirts and dresses. We are taught from a young age to embrace being a girl and all the fun accessories and options that come along with it. Somehow the idea of pants, though comfortable, just doesn't give us the joy that a perfectly fitted dress or skirt does. 

Does this mean that dress pants can't be feminine? Absolutely not! The best way to help us get over this issue is to find ways to accessorize the dress pants. The new guidelines state that sisters should not be wearing pant suits but instead dress pants and a blazer, cardigan, blouse, etc. Pairing dress pants with a cute blazer, instead of a matching suit blazer gives sisters limitless options. Blazers can have bright, fun colors and intricate detailing. When tailored properly a blazer can be extremely flattering on any body type. Cardigans and blouses also offer many fun options through bold patterns and  endless color possibilities. 

The other thing that will help us feel more feminine in dress pants is understanding the correct fit of a true dress pant. 

2. Fitting dress pants properly: 

In a world where our daily pants are often tight fitting, skinny, and stretchy, a dress pant may seem outdated and intimidating but it doesn't have to be! 

Let's make one thing clear, dress pants are not meant to be form fitting. They are not your favorite pair of skinny jeans that hug all the right spots, and they are not leggings. In fact, the missionary dress standards say not to have form fitting clothing in any of your wardrobe. And let's not forget we are representing Jesus Christ in the way we appear as well as the way we teach and treat others. So how should dress pants fit? 

Dress pants are generally made from a woven material, not a knit. This makes them have less stretch so it is important to make sure they are comfortable for you and are cut for your particular body type.

When trying on dress pants be sure to allow 2 fingers to fit comfortably into your waist band. As sisters and missionaries our weight will fluctuate a bit throughout our missions and throughout the month. Plan ahead and allow a little wiggle room in the waistband so they will be comfortable to wear throughout your time of service. Allowing a little buffer room will also make them last longer. The durability of a garment has a lot to do with the garment material but also the fit of it to your body. 

What about the length? You want to have your pants altered with your mission shoes on. Now, if the dress pants you choose have a wider leg your pants will be about 1/4-1/2 of an inch from the floor which allows the wide leg to hang properly and let you achieve the look you are wanting. If your dress pants have a straighter cut then aim for 1 inch from the floor. Sisters who are serving in foreign countries where you will be walking on dirt roads may want to keep all of their pants 1-1 1/2 inches from the ground to keep the hem from catching on rough areas of the road and keep them cleaner all around. 

Do skinny cut dress pants exist? Yes! But the fit on a skinny dress pant can be inappropriate for sister missionaries.  Not only can it draw attention to the sister's body instead of the sister's message, the snug fit can restrict movement and impeded comfort. 

Other things to keep in mind with the fit of your pants: If there is any puckering or bunching in the front panel of the pant you need to size up. There is no shame in sizing up with dress pants, or skirts and dresses for that matter. You want a pant that fits you, you don't want to try to squeeze into a pant because of a number. Pants that fit too tightly will not be comfortable, will not wear properly, will not be flattering and will not last. Alternately, if your front panel has too much fabric and looks billowy you will most likely need to size down a pant size to something that fits you better. If you are a sister who has larger hips, or a larger rear you will want to fit your hips and rear first and then have the waist altered to fit you properly.

Check out our line of dress pants by clicking here.  We have a great selection right now and our friendly staff is always there to help. If you have any questions on the fit of your pants, whether you bought them from us or not, feel free to come in and ask our experienced staff.  We love you and want you to be comfortable while serving! 

In closing, we quickly want to apologize to all of the Anglophone areas in the world where wearing "pants" means something different than it does to us stateside. :) Sorry... by "pants" we mean "trousers". 

So here's to us sisters! Don't be afraid to get some cute dress pants to add to your wardrobe. Look the part, enjoy the new possibilities, and God speed!