Subject: Is it only me or does anyone else have an aversion to wearing white shirts?
Date: Mar 04 23:02 2003
Author: so it goes...

I have to dress professional for work and it really hit me today that I haven't worn a white shirt for...well...a very long time. When I was getting dressed this morning and in the process of picking out a shirt to go with the suit, and I came to this realization...and...I still consciously couldn't put one on. What the Fuck. It pisses me off. How did something so stupid happen to me?

Subject: I do
Date: Mar 04 23:12
Author: rpm

Just this past Sunday, in fact, getting dressed to go to church, looking into my closet, I saw only about 4-5 clean, white, pressed shirts hanging on separate hangers, and said to my wife: "I'll be darned (she's TBM) if I am going to look like another priesthood clone today," so I reached down and picked up the only colored button-up shirt I could find in there (it had fallen off a hanger, and was wrinkled a little bit).

I put it on, inserted my head through a pre-tied tie, noosed it up a bit, left the top button undone, put on my Neo-style dark sunglasses, and headed off to The Morg.


Subject: Only when I go to church!
Date: Mar 04 23:22
Author: spud

But at work, I save the white shirt for occasions when I want to look sharp.

BTW... I have "longer" hair and a beard, so I don't look mormon.

Subject: Re: Is it only me or does anyone else have an aversion to wearing white shirts?
Date: Mar 04 23:26
Author: Opie

I'm the same way. I avoid white shirts whenever possible. I also try to wear a watch as little as possible so as not to remind me of the constant running around and feeling like I would be thrust into hell for not being at appointments on time.

Would this be considered PMS (Post Mission Syndrome)?????

Subject: in a recent meeting with a GA
Date: Mar 05 00:03
Author: SLDrone

I recently had lunch with a GA friend of mine that offices in the Admin Bldg. When I arrived to pick my friend up I went up to his office. I was wearing a fairly conservative blue shirt, stays in the collar and perfectly ironed with medium starch, complimented with a red / yellow tie and a very nice Italian dark blue faintly pinstripped double breasted suit and polished black oxfords.. On my way down the hall I ran into Packer who actually had the gall to ask why I was wearing a colored shirt in that building and lightly scolded me. He doesn't know me at all by the way, I'm a stranger to him. I couldn't help but think, my god Boyd, what would Jesus wear you senile old crank???? What a dip shit. I just smiled and said I wasn't fond of white shirts. He scowled and continued in his appointed round. Had I been a TBM, I would have been devastated. As it was I found it one more evidence of lunacy.  I think I'll wear bright red next time, with a huge pink carnation in my lapel. BTW, I think Packer is the only one that would ever say anything like that, maybe Monson if the mood struck him. God help us when Hinckley dies.
Subject: What a rude thing to say!!
Date: Mar 05 00:13
Author: daily

Not everybody in the COB at any give moment is mormon. And even if they were, is there a dress code at the entrance. Is there a maitre d, like in a fine restaurant, checking attire at the door?

I always hated the white-shirt-to-perform-priesthood functions thing. Even as a TBM, I bought hubby colored dress shirts. I was pleased to see my fairly-recent RM son wear a plaid shirt (with tie) to SS while he was visiting for Christmas.

I don't understand why white shirts would be so important in the "lord's kingdom". More control, more conformity.

Subject: Re: in a recent meeting with a GA
Date: Mar 05 00:20
Author: rpm

That is almost unbelievable.

But I remember back when I was EQP and in a SM the SP reprimanded me for wearing an off-white shirt. It was summer in Texas and the beige shirt I wore was the only short-sleeved button up shirt I had that was close to white, and I told him so.

He told me he had several and that I could borrow one from him if I couldn't afford a new one.

Subject: Re: in a recent meeting with a GA
Date: Mar 05 10:46
Author: Gary

SLDrone, I had a similar experience a few years ago. While I was a Bishop, we had a deacon pass the sacrament during a ward conference who was wearing a bright red shirt. Interestingly, we had a GA visiting with the stake president (member from the second quorum of seventy). Anyway, both the SP and GA were furious over the situation.

After the ward conference, I was debriefed by these knuckleheads about the shirt issue. They went on and on about following church guidelines. By this time, I was almost out of the church. However, as they spoke (both councilors were with me) my second councilor asked if they knew I was color blind (which is true). Until it was brought up, I didn't know the young deacon was wearing a red shirt (although I knew his shirt was not white). I really cannot see red or green, period. The look on their face was almost worth believing in the Joseph Smith story again. So much for compassion and inspiration.

What jerks. Packer is no different.

Subject: Wow SLDrone and rpm thats LUNACY. It reminds me of what...
Date: Mar 05 01:28
Author: so it goes...

it must have been like living with the Sadducee's and Pharisee's. Can't they recognize and see how crazy some of these rules are. I posted the following in February and that episode in primary was about the final straw as far as my rationalizations went.

I remember visiting the primary and was very disturbed when the primary presidency had all the 11 year old boys wearing white shirts stand up. They made a very big deal over these boys and how very, very appropriate they looked. I felt quite bad for the two boys not wearing white, who had to sit, and not be acknowledged because a blue shirt and a sweater is not a good enough uniform for a future deacon to wear to pass the sacrament. What the hell... so it goes...

Subject: My wife says...
Date: Mar 05 01:51
Author: Bob

She thinks I look sexy in blue jeans and plain white of my favorite outfits...

I only wear button shirts if I have to. That has happened 1 time in the last 2 years.


Subject: White T-shirts. White polo shirts. No problem.
Date: Mar 05 07:50
Author: Stray Mutt

Actually, I have one white button-down shirt for occasions where it's appropriate.

Even without the stench of Mormonism, the white shirt has bad connotations to me. I see it as a mask, a costume. "Look at me, I'm wearing a white shirt, suit and tie so I must be honest, competent, intelligent. Trust me." I've met many clowns and crooks disguised in suits.

Subject: I rarely wear white shirts to Church -- it's my personal form of protest .....
Date: Mar 05 08:57
Author: Rollo Tomasi

It seems like, these days, all males wear white shirts -- all "leaders" certainly must do so. I guess it's part of the junior-GA training uniform. So I go out of my way to avoid wearing a white shirt. I usually wear dark blue or purple with dark suit (a la Regis Philbin). I like looking different than everyone else. But I'm sure there will come a time when leaders from the pulpit will preach "only white shirt allowed", just like they've banned facial hair, 2 pairs of earrings, and tattoos.

Subject: My former Bishop chastised my son for wearing a shirt with stripes.
Date: Mar 05 09:03
Author: CO2

My son is a great kid and always tried to do the right thing. Around the time he turned 16, he was big enough to wear some of my business shirts to church. I always wore shirts with stripes. It was the style at the time - very professional. One day at church, the new Bishop, came into the aaronic priesthood and said that in order to bless or pass the sacrament, you MUST wear a white shirt. My son asked, is this ok?, pointing to his shirt. The Bishop replied in a nasty tone, "It isn't white is it!?"

My son learned a great lesson that day on the leadership of the church. Petty minds...petty actions.

Subject: an excellent use for white shirts
Date: Mar 05 09:14
Author: msmom

(thanks to nevermo J. for the idea) For the ladies - take the man's discarded white shirt. Drape over your braless breasts, wearing only the white shirt and a silky white thong. Enjoy with a glass of white wine and the partner of your choice.

Subject: Great idea!!!!!
Date: Mar 05 11:02
Author: mary ann benson

When I read your subject line, my brain thought, "Oh, I know, rip them apart and use them as rags", but I LOVE your idea so much better. Can't wait to clean out the closet!!!!!!!! Maybe I'll do that today, show Steve my new found use of his old white shirts. I can't wait!!!

Subject: I mostly wear black shirts when I go to church...
Date: Mar 05 09:21
Author: Ramses

with a nice dark suit and red-gold Ferragamo neck-tie costing 130 $.

Subject: I have an aversion to seeing men and boys wearing
Date: Mar 05 09:28
Author: nolongerin

white shirts, and that includes my TBM husband and sons. So I buy them colorful shirts and often lay out their clothes before church. I wonder if that makes me an exmo terrorist?

Subject: Oh, yeah . . .
Date: Mar 05 09:34
Author: Schweizerkind

Bet-I-haven't-worn-one-in-at-least-10-years-ly yours,


Subject: I make a point of wearing white shirts
Date: Mar 05 10:34
Author: Søvnløsener - Insomniac

No matching involved what-so-ever. My life is complicated enough without having to worry about if my stupid shirt matchs the tie/pants I'm wearing.

As for church....Well a white shirt is see through and there is no lying or guessing to the all important question, "are you wearing your garment, elder?"

And the Tattoos are visable.

Subject: Not me, on the infrequent occasions
Date: Mar 05 11:17
Author: tanstaafl

(1-5 times a month) I have to get dressed up to go to court or a mediation, I always wear a white shirt. Why? It always matches and there is no thinking involved. Otherwise I wear jeans and casual shirts to work.

I read thru the replies to this thread and wondered why I did not have the aversion that so many do to the white shirt and I think it is because I grew up 1) in the mission field and 2) in the 60's/70's and I cannot recall ever wearing a white shirt to church. I probably did in the early 60's but I can't remember it. Nor do I recall anyone else wearing white shirts at all to pass or bless sacrament (early-mid 70's) I guess my style aversion would be to what I remember wearing while passing the sacrament - shirts with flowers on them. ;-)

Subject: Somehow the irony of those white polyester leisure suites is striking
Date: Mar 05 11:29
Author: Romans house go

These were a favorite among the older set a the Provo Temple. Hell, if you're gonna sleep through the film (through 5 or 6 consecutive sessions) you might as well be comfortable!

OK, so it is perfectly acceptable to wear jammies and slippers in the temple all day -- not even a tie -- but shirt-color choice for 12-year-old "priesthood" holders is a big deal? The only reason my kid has a white shirt to wear is because we dig it out from under his bed every Saturday to wash and iron it.

Subject: Nope. Looked pretty good on Tom Cruise in Risky Business..
Date: Mar 05 11:31
Author: Lilith

That was a white shirt wasn't it? I could be mistaken. Don't remember the shirt that well. Maybe my mind plays tricks. But I HOPE it was a white shirt.

Subject: A mormon dress-code story
Date: Mar 05 10:15
Author: ApostateInAZ

I didn't intend to share today but as I was sitting in the congregation reading all these posts of white shirts and dress codes, I have felt the usual signs prompting me to share this story.

I was rather burned out on white shirts after my mission. I would still wear one but I liked to mix it up with stripes and colors and even the occasional plaid. Growing up in the east coast, the church leaders weren't quite as Pharisaical as they are in Zion. My father was my bishop for years and he was rather laid-back about such things. My college ward was also liberal (for LDS) and the bishopric would frequently wear non-white shirts.

I moved into a particularly fascist stake in Arizona where the leaders seemed to be entirely concerned with image. My first hint was soon after we moved when our bishop gave one of those combined p-hood/rs meetings on "The Unwritten Order of Things". It was full of comments like "This isn't doctrine, but...". I was a little annoyed and vocally grumbled, "There's a reason that isn't doctrine!"

The next year (it must have been a re-election year or something), the stake president's campaign slogan was "White Shirts - Uniform of the Priesthood". In every meeting we were told that the white shirt is the uniform of the priesthood. We were told that we even had to wear them to temple recommend interviews. At this point, I separated all white shirts from the rest of my clothes and tucked them into a corner of my closet. I lived the commandments as I was taught them and that didn't include mandatory dress-codes. What bothered me even more was that most of my friends at church complained about the dress code but they still showed up in their "white & delightsome" Sunday best every week (or more than once/week depending on your calling).

A few months after he rolled out this campaign, the SP announced that we were having a stake priesthood meeting and that we were all to wear our uniforms. I'm a punctual person and am always 10 minutes early to meetings (been that way my whole life). I made a special effort and showed up 30 minutes early to this meeting wearing a solid blue shirt. I sat down right in the middle of the chapel in direct line of sight of the podium. It was one of the newer chapels with stadium seating so I couldn't be missed. As people filed into the chapel, I was the only person in a completely packed chapel who was not wearing a white shirt. (After the meeting I saw one other guy who was wearing a striped shirt but he was sitting in the back, hiding.) The SP even commented how great it was to see everyone there in their white shirts and looked right at me as he spoke. I must have stuck out like a sore thumb. The only way it would have been more blatant would have been if I would have physically stood up and given the SP the finger but I preferred to just sit there attentively and symbolically give him the finger for the entire 2-hour meeting.

I never had a problem obeying "commandments" but always had a difficult time conforming to the irrational dictates of mormon culture. Add to that my interest in studying church doctrine and history, it's amazing I lasted as long as I did.

Subject: Re: A mormon dress-code story
Date: Mar 05 10:36
Author: Wag

Back as a TBM, soon after my own mission, I realized that one of the reasons I couldn't get any of my inactive HT families to come to church was because they felt uncomfortable among the "suits." Instantaneously, I quite wearing a white shirt and tie and made a point to sit in the back row in my tennis shoes, levis and western shirt. I also wore a black zippered leather biker jacket on days when I rode the motorcycle to church and parked it on the sidewalk right by the front entrance to the ward building. (That's another story!)

Funny thing was, some of the people I was HT'ing started coming to church, always sat very near me and started to say how much they were feeling the spirit. I kinda feel bad now, thinking that they may still be active because of me.

The infuriating thing about that was that, like others here, I was verboten from passing the sacrament or doing anything else remotely associated with PH ordinances, etc. etc. I was asked to speak in church a couple of times but I am certain now that those requests were attempts to guilt trip me into wearing a white shirt and tie because I would be at the podium. Didn't work. There were other times when I would be asked to play the piano, again, likely because of the guilt trip theory but it also didn't work. I'd wait until my name came up on the program, stand up in the back row and take off the leather (hard to play with it on) and walk up the aisle to the front while all eyes were burning into the back of my styled westerne blue and white shirt and my levi covered butt. I always wore cowboy boots on those days, just to dress up!

And I always got a raft of crap from the bishop about not wearing a white shirt and tie. This went on for about 10 years when I finally left the church. All that time, it was more important to them to make me "fit in" at the expense of the membership of the people I was trying to activate into the church. I always hated the idea that my outfit was more important than the professed eternal souls of people who would come to church the first time not knowing the dress code.


Subject: Thanks, this explains a lot!
Date: Mar 05 10:47
Author: Mrs. Estzerhus

I wonder if this is mostly something in Arizona, or the entire church. I attended an outdoor wedding for my Arizona nephew last year, and noticed how the TBM men wore drab white shirts. I've been wondering why anybody would choose to dress like that on purpose. Now I know!

Subject: Hey, in the Mormon church, IMAGE is everything. Just put....
Date: Mar 05 10:53
Author: Bob

on the right image for the world to see. Who cares whether or not "Christian Values" are at the top of the list.

Subject: When there is no substance ----
Date: Mar 05 11:09
Author: jillian

image is all that is left. Great story.

Subject: Meals at BYU
Date: Mar 05 11:17
Author: beaglie
Mail Address:

In the late seventies I attended BYU. There were a lot of rules as everyone knows (and I agreed to follow them before attending) but the cafeteria staff in the Canon Building where I ate my meals went one too far and made a rule of their own; they wouldn't serve meals to women on Sunday unless they were wearing a dress. Now I was Catholic and we wore pants to church. There were plenty of times I had no pantyhose to wear cause they all had runs, etc, etc. Or I had attended my church where dresses were not required. I became so indignant that I actually argued with these people. Usually, they backed off. (I think, my being from New York and most of them being "Provoans" sort of helped--Don't argue with an Italian New Yorker.) My rebelious friends and I showed up one Sunday morning in PJs.


Subject: Are AZ wards the most anally retentive?...
Date: Mar 05 11:19
Author: John

My brother moved to AZ 2 years ago and he complained about how strict the ward is on everything. I've been in 2 wards in the Seattle area and they both had very lax dress codes. Regular school clothes (jeans and T-shirts) were very common on primary age boys and many adult men wore jeans with some sort of button down shirt and tie. The women and girls usually wore dresses, but they were usually more stylish and sexy than the typical flower dress over T-shirt combo that mormon women wear. I showed up quite often with a non-white shirt and no tie, not out of rebellion but just because nobody really cared what you wore.

Subject: Not all, but most...
Date: Mar 05 12:18
Author: ApostateInAZ

I later moved to a different ward/stake that was much more open-minded than the one in the story (it was also much more educated). All that I will say is that if you are moving to AZ and plan to be a mormon and want to keep your sanity, make sure to move into a Tempe stake.
Subject: Appearances
Date: Mar 05 11:35
Author: Bert

That’s what embalming does to a dead body. It makes it look presentable to others, but its still dead.

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