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HomePersonalGospel Q&A: What Exactly Are the Requirements for White Temple Clothing?

Gospel Q&A: What Exactly Are the Requirements for White Temple Clothing?

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Gospel Q&A is a series from LDS Daily that strives to answer important gospel questions from readers. Today, we answer the question, “What are the sleeve and dress length requirements for white temple clothing?”

Do you have a question you’d like to see answered? Send us an email at calledtoshare@ldsdaily.com or leave it in the comments below.

This question was interesting to research because I thought I knew the obvious answer. However, after examining myself, I realized my beliefs were based on supposition and had not looked to direct sources to know the truth for myself.

What made it more interesting was that the originally submitted question was posed as “I know that for temple dresses, long sleeves, to the wrist, are required. Skirts and dresses are generally floor length but don’t have to be. They can just be below the knee. Why is there not the same option for sleeves?”

This viewpoint was so different than the beliefs I already had that I knew I must go directly to the source to find the truth.

What are the temple dress requirements?

I started with a search on the church website which turned up no immediate results for temple dress requirements, but upon further digging, I discovered the Church handbook’s guidelines on the matter.

“Women wear the following white clothing: a long-sleeve or three-quarter-sleeve dress (or a skirt and long-sleeve or three-quarter-sleeve blouse), socks or hosiery, and shoes or slippers.”

Men’s attire is described as “a long-sleeve shirt, necktie or bow tie, pants, socks, and shoes or slippers.” The long sleeves may not be welcome in the hot summer months, but they are required. But did anyone catch that bit in the middle? Now that I know, I’ll be closely watching to find someone sporting a brilliant white bow tie!

The dress sleeve length is clearly delineated as three-quarter to full-length sleeves. What it does not indicate, however, is the length of the skirt or dress. I found this unusual to be omitted. I kept looking and found many opinions online from individuals, blogs, temple dress sales sites, etc., but nothing official from the Church.

I had a religion professor in college who was famous for saying, “I don’t care what you think. You don’t care what I think. Let’s find out what God thinks.” This is how I felt about the many blogs and sales sites I found stating what are the dress length guidelines for the temple. They invariably stated their opinions as facts and then failed to cite their sources as to where they got this information.

Not finding anything from the Church, and not wanting to trust someone else’s online opinion, I called the temple. I chatted with a lovely woman who agreed with the sleeve-length requirements (three-quarter to full-length) and when I asked her about dress or skirt length, she didn’t hesitate to state that temple dresses needed to go to the ankle. When I asked her if she knew if or where I could find anything official from the Church on the matter, she put me on hold for a moment. When she returned, she told me the temple itself could be my source, and that they required temple workers to wear dresses at the ankle (floor-length would be acceptable but less practical for a worker moving swiftly through the temple, but above the ankle would not be appropriate). Furthermore, this was their answer to all women wanting to know the appropriate dress or skirt length—to the ankle.

Let’s be careful, friends, to check our sources. What we may have heard from a friend, a social media influencer, or a blog may be more wishful thinking than fact. As in all of our gospel questions, we can find answers in many places, but if we are seeking to find the truth, we must go to those sources we can rely on for truth—the church handbooks, our priesthood leaders (like a temple president and matron), the scriptures, the words of the prophet, and the Lord Himself through personal revelation.

Let’s be careful not to conflate what we’ve heard with what is true.

Disclaimer: While all of my answers will use scriptures and/or words of modern prophets, I do not represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I don’t believe any of my answers are comprehensive. I’m just one person using the gospel I have been blessed with to bring hope, peace, and answers to other seekers of truth.

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Rebecca Wright
Rebecca Wright
Becca loves audiobooks, dark chocolate, singing, hiking, walking,  going out with her husband, and raising their chickens and children. She still wants to meet her hero Sheri Dew, see flowing lava and a blue whale in person, and uplift others with her words.

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