A Sister Missionary's Guide to Clothes: Tops and Dresses

As someone who loves clothes, what to wear on my mission was one of the main things I obsessed about as I got ready to leave. There were a lot of factors to consider- missionary guidelines, what the weather would be like, if I'd like the clothes for 18 months, it they'd last for 18 months, and if I could fit them all in my suitcase, to name a few. I was really worried that I'd be stuck wearing frumpy clothes I hated, but luckily there's a lot of really cute options for sister missionaries. 
Finding good clothes can be hard, so I'll share my favorite sources for missionary clothes, along with some tips on which clothes work best and how much to bring. These are just my personal opinions based on my mission and my style, so definitely tweak this to fit your own personality and needs. Today I'll be covering tops and dresses, but I wanted to start out with some tips that apply to all clothes. 

General Guidelines

-Don't buy clothes that are high maintenance. You're going to get dirty and sweaty. Durable and low maintenance is the goal. This pink skirt in this picture was super cute, but it drove me crazy because it wrinkled so fast, and it was dry clean only, so once I stained it, I never wore it because cleaning it was so hard.
- Remember to think about all the seasons of the year. Since I left at the beginning of summer, it was easy to get hung up thinking just about the hot, humid weather I was headed into. But winter did eventually come and it was cold! I was glad that I'd brought some thicker, warmer clothes when the weather changed. 
- Because you're going to be living out of two suitcases for 18 months, you'll get sick of your clothes. My mission organized a clothes swap at transfers a few times, and it was so much fun for all of us! Consider doing something similar if you can. 

Now on to tops and dresses! 

Tops: 5-8

Missionary guidelines; "Choose attractive, colorful blouses and tops that you can mix and match with a variety of skirts."

- Cap sleeves aren't allowed, make sure that your shirts have an actual sleeve on them that goes all the way around your arm. 
- Super tight shirts also aren't a good idea. Make sure that you can't see your bra through your shirt.

-Patterns are great. So are button up-shirts. 
-Look for shirts that are a little bit of an upgrade over your average tee shirt. A little lace, frill or design makes you look a lot more professional, while still being comfortable and durable. 

- Don't spend a lot of money on your shirts. They're the most disposable part of your wardrobe, and you'll get sick of them the fastest. So don't spend a ton on them. 

- If you're going to a warm place, (and where isn't, at least part of the year?) you're going to want shirts that you don't need to wear an undershirt with. The less layers, the better.

My Recommendations

Dresses: 3-5

Missionary guidelines: "Dresses should be colorful, tailored to fit well, and professional in style."

My favorite dress- red polka dots! 

- Dresses are great for days when you don't want to think about what to wear. Have at least one that you can just throw on and be done. 

-You never know what you're going to end up doing in a day. In the top picture, we got caught out in a massive rainstorm, and I got drenched. In the bottom picture, we showed up for a lesson and ended up doing yard work instead. See what I mean about clothes needing to be durable? You will do things in a dress you never thought you would do in a dress. 

- Dresses were the clothing item that I liked to dress up the most. It was nice to have a couple nice dresses for church and meetings.

My Recommendations

P.S. Thrift stores are also a great place to find dresses. Most of the dresses I wore on my mission I got at thrift stores. 

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