The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has updated its dress code for male missionaries.
In what appears to be the biggest change since the sister missionary wardrobe update of 2010, elder missionaries are being given more options for dress.
One of the most noticeable changes is that they are no longer limited to their signature dark suits. Also included in the new standards are grey and brown suits (see new suit standards, and examples) and slacks of "grey, brown, tan, or khaki" (see slack standards).
Perhaps the biggest change is the option for missionaries in warmer climates to wear closed-toed, closed-heeled sandals on regular days (see examples of sandals).
One possible reason for the changes is to make preparation for missionaries easier, especially considering the recent surge in service. Trent Peterson, a former missionary, told Fox 13 News of Utah that if he'd had these new options, "I'd probably be stoked, because it would be cheaper to get ready and go out."
Although these official changes are new, 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.
Missionaries wearing lava lava.
Most importantly, the guidelines still encourage missionaries to remember Who they represent and to present themselves accordingly. "Servants of the Lord have always counseled us to dress appropriately to show respect for our Heavenly Father and for ourselves," said President Thomas S. Monson in April 2010 general conference. "The way you dress sends messages about yourself to others and often influences the way you and others act."
These changes, along with other dress code standards for elders and sisters, are to be used at the discretion of the mission president.