Suitless in Seattle, everywhere: new grooming standards for Mormon missionaries

THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE

Published: July 11, 2013 09:54AM
Updated: July 12, 2013 05:50PM
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New missionaries walk on the campus of the Missionary Training Center in Provo June 25, 2007. Steve Griffin/The Salt Lake Tribune

The image of Mormon missionaries roaming the streets in dark suits is changing.

According to new dress-and-grooming standards, male missionaries no longer are required to wear suits “during everyday [proselytizing] activities.”

Instead, they can be dressed as young professionals in white shirts, ties and dress slacks (even lighter-colored ones).

Suits — including light grays or browns — will be reserved for Sundays or special occasions.

For years, many Mormon missions allowed their “elders” to go without full suits during hot summer months. But when the calendar changed to fall, so did the dress code and the suit coats were back on.

In colder climates, elders can add a sweater, rainwear or winter coat to keep warm, the standards say.

This may be the biggest churchwide grooming change since the summer of 2010, when the Utah-based faith allowed its female “sister” missionaries to forgo nylons.

Peggy Fletcher Stack