Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Clothing Ideas and Suggestions for LDS Missionaries; Elders

Here is a list of things my missionary son, Elder, wished he new about clothing before he went on his mission. (He wrote it after I requested help for his cousin who was preparing to serve.) He also surveyed other Elders in his Zone (area) who added to the list. Hopefully, it will be of some help to others'.

Missionary Clothing Ideas; Elders:
Alright - here is a list of things I would have done differently if I had known while shopping what I know now:

1) Shoes: Get slip-on shoes (Ecco is best brand) - they are nice because while serving with Elder Ngatuvai, I learned to take shoes off in every house which is very respectful, and it's nice to be able to slip your shoes right back on afterward. (his cousin ended up with one slip-on and on w/shoelaces)

2) Ties: A wider variety of ties, but not expensive ones. Polyester is preferable. Silk only for special occasions and meetings. I did pretty good on this when I came out - I learned that they get stained very easily, so just buy a bunch from DI - They have really nice ones! (for his cousin: "it would be nice to have some newer, nicer ties, to help him feel more comfortable, but this is just what I would have done differently if I knew."  :)

3) Socks: A lot more socks, not super thick, and not the Mr. Mac ones. They are nice, but they stretch and then aren't super usable anymore. - get all the same socks, so you don't have to spend all of p-day trying to match them up. (we found good solid black ones at Target; gold-thread on toes)

4) Shirts: The NO-iron shirts. More short-sleeve than long-sleeve. probably 8-10 short, and 2-4 long (depending on mission policy on suits) but in our mission we can't roll up long sleeves, so short would have been much nicer. - Extendable-collar shirts would have been nice. Walmart 'George' brand makes them. You don't get choked when the collar is a little bit too tight.

5) Under garments: wider variety - I only brought 1 type, and they're not good to workout in.

6) Belts: I got 'mission belts', and that is DEFINITELY the way to go! (Mr Mac carries them)

7) Pants: Washable suit-pants. I bought my new suits from Tuxedo Warehouse, and they are pretty nice. They are more on the fragile side, so that is something to watch out for. 
(his cousin got all his at Mr Mac and they have a great package price with shirts, ties, shoes and washable pants included -- each package was 495.00 for suit with 2 pants, 4 shirts, 4-5 ties, 2 shoes). He had to buy two packages plus an overcoat (layered dress coat) which was about $170.00.
*Plan on spending about $1,500.00 at Mr Mac plus $100.00 for their men's shoulder bag which is specifically recommended for missionaries.

8) Suitcases: Get suitcases that have more space than you need, because you'll collect lots of necessary things like binders for studying, etc
And...everybody says 'get things that are a little big because you'll probably gain weight'.  That's true for many but I am the exception as I lost weight (green smoothies breakfast and lunch). So, maybe get a few cheaper things up front that are the right size but then get some nicer things that are a size bigger for when the weight hits!  :)

That's about all I can think of right now. I emailed a bunch of missionaries, and some of these are the responses I got. I hope it helps! 
-Elder Garvin, Idaho Nampa Mission

I hope this is okay to share. Elders? You okay to show other missionaries some good ideas? Thanks!