One of the most difficult tasks I have found thus far, (for sister missionaries, that is) is finding clothing that suit mission standards and are actually affordable! It is nearly impossible to find a skirt these days that not only goes 'down to the knees' but STAYS past the knees and doesn't empty your wallet. Fortunately for me however, St. George has several stores that offer missionary discounts to the sisters. Oh, how I love Utah (:
Anyways, here is some recent knowledge I have gathered from my experience so far in this missionary shopping experience. I hope it helps any of you sisters out there, or simply girls shopping for some modest clothing!
Okay, first off, if you already follow the churches modesty standards, you probably have a closet full of cardigans and etc. like I do. Which is perfect! The first thing you should do before you spend a trillion dollars is go through your own closet and see what you can find. and your moms. and sisters. Heck go through your grandmothers closet. I'm serious. You'd be surprised at what comes back around every twenty years.
Next make a list. I make lists every time I do anything. ANYTHING. So, make a list of things you NEED and do not stray from it. As a girl, I know everything in every store looks appealing, but their job is to sell it. Also, don't buy anything you can't take on your mission, or won't wear while you are out. Because in a couple months you'll be gone. Don't buy any more clothes. And don't use the classic excuse of 'oh i'll wear it when i get back!' WHO ARE YOU KIDDING NO YOU WON'T. You'll just go shopping again because fashion is constantly changing. Just wear what you have. Don't waste a single penny, you're gonna need it!
Shoes. Now you can do what you want and not take anybodys word for it, but from everything i have heard and researched..shoes aren't about 'cuteness' or 'style' anymore, sorry. With all the walking or riding of a bike you'll be doing, you're going to want durable shoes with thick soles. Several people and websites have mentioned the brand 'clarks' so me and my mother did some looking around and found several options for them. (pic below)
Now, I know they aren't the cutest things in the world but i swear to you they are the most comfortable things i have ever worn! They do have a website with tons of different styles, colors and etc. Where I live I know you can find them at shoe carnival. They have some deal, where if you buy two pairs you get one of them half off. Which makes them about fifty dollars each. It seems like a bit much when you can find cuter, stylish shoes for ten bucks, however, you'll probably be replacing those ten dollar shoes once a month while you are out. Maybe, maybe not. Let me know how your progress goes. I also hear shoe carnival gives extra missionary discounts. So i'd give it a shot! I found these beauties at my local Ross however for THIRTY! So I had to swipe them up.
Which brings me to my next point, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, check ross. They get the weirdest things there. Like clarks? really? why. For missionaries like me thats why. Go check it out. They get new shipments of randomness every week. Moving on.
My new favorite thing to buy is black. But seriously, stick to neutrals. If you do, it is so easy to change the whole entire outfit up by a simple 'cardigan swap' or adding a piece of jewelry or some other accessory. I hear scarfs are a big deal out in the field. One sister once said "A scarf for a sister is comparable to a tie for an elder." You best believe they are right! Especially if you are heading off to the colder climates in the middle of December like me!
So with that being said, here was a little experiment I tried...
I found this mid length, black skirt at Christensens (which by the way, is currently giving 30% discounts to sister missionaries, go check it out!) and paired it with this black and white striped tank i found at Ross for like five bucks. And of course, my everyday clarks.
I tried making a weeks worth of outfits with this one above. Simply by dressing it up and adding accessories, my hope here is to make packing easier and lighter and this is what i came up with!
#1 Green Cardigan, Floral Scarf
I believe these were both found at target, who usually has awesome clearance sections up to seventy percent off!
#2 Coral Cardigan, Necklace
The necklace I found at home, the cardigan was bought at Ross for $9
Seriously, ross is home of all cardigans. go look.
#3 White Cardigan, Pearl Necklace
Necklace was once again found at home, Cardigan was bought at khols, who also has decent clearance sections. As well as monthly percentage discounts, especially if you sign up for their khols card! Not like you'll want to do that personally, since you're going on your mission, but maybe like your mom or something................. yeah. Either or.
#4 Grey Cardigan, Red Scarf
The cardigan was found at Ross, Scarf at JCPenny
#5 Navy Polka Dot ButtunUp
Found it at ross! Seriously goes with everything!
#6 Tan Cardigan Indie Scarf
Both found at TJMaxx
(Which is my backup plan if ross ever fails)
#7 Chambray ButtonUp, Clock Necklace
Remember when chambray was a big deal? Got it at ross.
I got the weird clock necklace at dickens festival one year.
#8 Cream Cardigan
It didn't have buttons so i tied it. And WHADUP.
Magic. I got it also at ross.
Ross is now trending.
#9 Teal Cardigan, Darker teal Scarf
The cardigan i found at Christensens, with their missionary sale.
The scarf was found at seagull book for five dollars!
Last year though, unfortunately. Maybe they'll get more in stock?
They actually have some cute stuff.
#10 Button Up
This one cracks me up. I feel like i'm wearing a tourist buttonup from my dad, or grandpa, or uncle.
I'm sure you can find plenty of these at thrift shops all over the nation.
Forget the missing buttons, just tie it.
Ya know in case you want to look a little more dressy and such for the mission president interview.
But seriously, i got this four 12 bucks.
Now this is my favorite part. This bag i found? oh. my.
Step one a satchel.
Step two a backpack.
Step three its still beautiful.
All those BOM's I'll be packin aint got nothin' on me.
And yes, i found it at ross.
So thats my shpeel for you all! Just a couple of quick outfit ideas. I've found some awesome deals here in town, with the discounts most stores offer, don't forget to ask them about it!
As well as on your own personal Blogs (:
Just Copy/Paste the link!
Thanks for reading, love you all!