The Church recently updated their dress and grooming guidelines for missionaries, allowing missionaries to wear conservative sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats in order to help them better protect against the sun.
The Church holds its missionaries to high standards—both spiritually and when it comes to dress and appearance. As servants of the Lord, they represent Him in every way.
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Missionaries are told, “as an ambassador of the Lord you are 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” (Dress and Grooming Guidelines for Missionaries).
But that doesn't mean that adjustments can't be made to ensure our missionaries are safe and comfortable while serving. For example, in July 2015, the Church made a new policy for missionaries in some areas in Africa, Asia, Central America, the Pacific, and South America: suit coats are no longer required. This reduced missionary costs for many families and helped missionaries in hot climates reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses.
In 2013, the Church updated the wardrobe for male missionaries, allowing them more options for their dress. That change also loosened the dress code for missionaries in warmer climates, allowing them to wear closed-toed, closed-heeled sandals on regular days.
In 2011, the Church updated dress standards for female missionaries, allowing them to wear brighter colors and patterns and simple accessories. The standard for skirt length also changed to just above mid-calf.
Although these official changes are more recent, missions have long adapted for climate and culture. For instance, some missionaries in warmer climates have for years worn short sleeve white shirts and dress pants on regular days, reserving suits for Sundays and special occasions. Male missionaries serving in Samoa will sometimes wear the traditional dress lava lava.
For additional information about missionary dress and grooming guidelines, visit LDS.org.