February 24, 2013

Advice on Sister Missionary Attire

I don't know about all the other sister missionaries that have since come and gone, but clothes shopping for my mission was HARD. And expensive (although it works for many...I just can't do the DI and Goodwill). I also am kind of picky and I really want to look nice and put together on my mission. I figure the nicer/cuter/attractive you look, the more likely people will let you in their doors (I know, horrible thought, right? But people do judge a book by its cover!). And since I am headed to warm and sunny Southern California, a lot of my clothes didn't really work. Plus, I just went through the temple and although all my clothes were modest, my garments would sometimes peek out of shirts and I didn't want to have to deal with that on a mission.

I didn't necessarily find one store that had everything. It took me almost four months and MANY trips to the mall(s) to find everything/make everything (thank you, mom!). Last night I decided to count how many tops/sweaters I am taking. A whopping 37. Woops! I hope they all fit in my suitcases! So I guess I didn't need to buy as much as I did (though I had about half of it from before I started shopping).

So I thought I would write this up to hopefully alleviate some stress to you future sister missionaries! Good luck!

So...here is where I found most of my clothes by clothing type:

(click on the name of the store to get to the website!)

Miscellaneous tips:
  • I have a couple tops/a dress that don't completely cover garments...or garments sometimes peek out. But, they are super cute and I didn't want to not bring them, so I got some thin cardigans to put over them. Problem solved!
  • Start early...but don't get too stressed about it (I did, though I had no reason to). Also, be patient. Trying to cover garments plus following the mission dress code is pretty difficult. 
  • Go to the outlet malls! Sometimes it's cheaper, sometimes not, but in my case, it was! 
  • Here is the official Dressing and Grooming standards for sister missionaries.
  • No-show socks: They are cheapest at Walmart
  • Jewelry: I'm not sensitive to cheapy earrings or jewelry, so I got all that at Forever 21
  • Although I like the Shade shirts a lot better, they don't cover my garments (I have the carinessa kind). So I am bringing Down East undershirts and camis instead. 
  • For pajamas, I am bringing basically what I already have. I'm not super comfortable just wearing g's in   front of people...so. I bought some cheapy v-necks from Old Navy , though. 
  • I bought my raincoat at Nordstrom. They have decent sales on coats and things...especially right now as winter is ending! 
  • I bought my robe at Target. I hate getting ready in clothes and I also don't want to wander around in my garments either! 
  • Called to Surf (Provo and SLC) I think I spent $40 on a dress? I can't exactly remember.
  • Mikarose I got two dresses on sale--they were about $30 each. 
  • Macy's 
  • Mikarose 
  • My very, very kind, sweet, and talented mother. We bought fabric from a store in Kansas City, Missouri and she made me five skirts. They turned out super cute. We got fabric that was nice, so the skirts averaged out around $35-40 ish. 
Tops (the most challenging thing for me to find): 
  • NY & Company  I just got a bunch of short sleeved shirts here. Best part is that you don't have to wear a cami or undershirt underneath! Which will be nice for California. I also got a couple 3/4 length sleeved button ups here. The button ups were about $30 and the other shirts were $15-20.
  • Gap/Gap Outlet. Gap is probably my favorite store ever, but I wasn't super successful at finding shirts here. I got a couple of button ups here. And if you frequent Gap's website often enough, they have 35% off everything (on-line) nearly every week. So never spend full price online at Gap! 
  • Van Heusen (outlet store) 
  • Loft They generally have some pretty cheap clearance at their stores. 
  • Banana Republic This place is ridiculously expensive (but I love BR still!), so I think I bought maybe two tops/lightweight sweaters--both on sale. BUTTTT I scored at the OUTLET BR. A couple cute sweaters and some short sleeved blouses.  
  • J.CREW Factory I got three cute, lightweight, 3/4 length sleeved sweaters here for $20 each. They often have short sleeved tops on sale as well. J.CREW factory is SO MUCH CHEAPER than the actual J.CREW. That place is ridiculously expensive. J.CREW Factory also has times where they have 40% off everything
  • Called to Surf (Provo and SLC)
  • I was BOUND and DETERMINED to defy the sister missionary ugly shoe stereotype. And I was successful! Though I still need to buy a pair of brown shoes.
  • Dillard's is where I bought my shoes. I bought these ones (I wouldn't suggest these if you're going to a biking/walking mission) and these ones. They were both $60...which is a pretty decent price I think.
  • Nordstrom Rack I am bringing some leather boots I got pre-mission call as well. I think they were $100 ish and were originally $200 ish. Super good deals on shoes at the Rack.   
Exercise Clothes:
  • We're supposed to bring exercise clothing that isn't too tight. GO TO TARGET. Seriously. Only place I found exercise pants that were loose enough and weren't expensive. The two pairs of pants I bought were about $17 ish each. I ordered some from Old Navy and looked at other stores (I even ordered a size or two bigger) but nothing worked except for the ones I found at target!
  • For exercise tops I am just bringing freshman year BYU football shirts 
I hope this helps, sisters! Good luck :) 


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