Hello future sister missionary!!
Before my mission, I stressed far too much about clothes/shoes/accessories etc!!! So I’ve written this to hopefully help save some other sisters a bit of trouble! I served in the France Lyon Mission, so these tips will be geared more towards Western European Missions :)
I’ve always wondered how Elders deal with wearing the same thing every day. Maybe that is why they are always so obsessed with their ties...anyway here’s some tips on how to avoid feeling like a cartoon character with a closet full of the same one outfit while still having a practical wardrobe.
The majority of my mission clothes came from thrift stores. Most of the clothing held up for my entire mission, but I had to replace some of it. Make sure you find quality stuff. All your clothes will get beat up, so it’s not necessary to buy everything new.
Stuff not from Downeast or missionary mall:
It’s great to match with the other 40 sister missionaries in your mission, but sometimes you might feel like a clone. It’s fun to have some cool, vintage-y items that only you own. So go ahead and buy that fun skirt that no one else will have! You can find these items in thrift stores if you are good at looking. Or you can find them online on websites like Etsy! Here’s a link to my sisters’ Etsy shop for inspiration!
If you are stressing to find skirts that are long enough, go look on Asos!!! My first transfer of my mission, I was introduced to these wonderful skirts and dresses. So naturally for Christmas, my mom sent me a bag full of lovely, modest, comfy skirts and dresses from Asos!! True, a lot of missionaries have these skirts, but they go with anything—including that fun, vintage stuff that you find at thrift stores or online! Perfect for those I’m-just-gonna-put-on-the-first-thing-I-see days.
Stay dry and warm
You see, when it’s raining and all the people go inside, missionaries stay outside. You will spend a good part of the day outside, so don’t be cheap when it comes to rain and winter gear. Three essentials for me: Hunter Boots, Totes Umbrella and waterproof raincoat.
Totes, medium size. Don’t get a cheap umbrella. You’ll end up replacing it over and over.
My brother-in-law shared with me a great way to test if your raincoat is truly “missionary waterproof.” Stick the sleeve of the coat under a running faucet for 10 minutes. If the water seeps through, return it!! If not, it is satisfactory! I thought it was a bit over-the-top, but I put my raincoat to the test. It kept me dry for all 18 months. I had a ¾ length, hooded, black raincoat from Urban Sierra Designs. I loved it!
I had two pairs of Hunter boots on my mission. One was half-calf length that worked well with knee-length skirts and a pair of ankle boots for all skirt lengths.
Put some warm socks in these rain boots and they double as waterproof winter boots!! I’ll never buy winter boots again! These are pricey, but worth it!
Remember Umbrella + Raincoat + Rain boots = happy missionary!
I know that everyone wants to look all cute and still be comfortable... Well its only sort of possible. Here’s my two cents on shoes.
1 nice pair of flats for Sundays and Conferences. Yes, just one. Let’s be honest, there are H&Ms and such, and if you are like me, you’ll want to buy things when you are there. Who goes to some place like France and doesn’t buy anything? Save some money and space in your suitcase to buy things when you get there.
2 pairs of comfortable shoes (you could get away with one). Yes, the ugly kind. There are various levels of ugly. You don’t have to go really, really ugly. But you also don’t want to walk around all day in a little pair of flats. I loved my shoes from Earth Origins!
See ‘’stay dray and warm’’
I hope some of these tips were useful!! I hope you all have wonderful missions!! Don’t worry too much about the clothes and such! Bring what you think you should, and make due with it!! It’s kinda like how we show up to our missions and we hand over to the Lord all the knowledge, talents, experience, etc. that we have, and He makes it work. Actually He does miracles with the little that we give Him. So, if any of this has stressed you out, forget it and HAVE A GREAT MISSION!!