Dress Shirts are a main component of your missionary’s uniform. You want your Elder to be comfortable, dry and looking good! But what are the Best Dress Shirts for Missionaries?
I’m not sure about your teenage son…but mine is not the best at stain removal or ironing so two other important features I looked for in missionary dress shirts are that they are stain resistant and wrinkle-free. The fancy name for these “super” shirts is performance dress shirts.
The market for performance dress shirts has expanded a LOT over the last few years. Missionaries aren’t the only people looking for a shirt that feels and acts like a sport shirt but looks like a dress shirt (just ask your husband!).
We reached out to three of the top missionary shirt brands recommended by missionaries (and their moms!) and asked them to send us a shirt that we could test and review. Not everyone has the ability to run to a nearby store and check out these brands so we hope this is a helpful way for you to decide on the best dress shirts for your missionary. Read on to find out our reviews of &Collar shirts, Serve Clothing shirts and TruWear Shirts.
**Pictures are of my son. He is 6’4″ and weighs 205 pounds. He is an athletic build. ***
This post contains affiliate links. This means, if I will get paid a small commission (at no cost to you!) if you purchase products through my links. I always try to recommend products I have personal experience with and LOVE. I also read reviews and ratings to make sure that I am offering up the best possible gift option for you. You can read more in my full disclosure.
All of the shirts in this post were gifted to us from the companies, however all opinions are ours. We want to share our honest reviews so you can feel confident in purchasing items for your missionary.
What is a Performance Dress Shirt for missionaries?
Some of the things that these brands have in common:
- Easy care: They are made to be wrinkle-resistant
- Moisture Wicking: The fabric pulls moisture away from the skin to keep missionaries cool and dry
- Stain Resistant: They have some pretty amazing YouTube videos showing how they are VERY stain resistant
- Water Resistant: Because of fabric treatments, when liquids spill on the shirts, they ball up and roll off. This will help to keep your son dry as well as repel spills.
- Comfortable: The fabric is woven to provide a lot of stretch, which is more comfortable AND helps the shirts to stay tucked in.
Dress Shirt Sizing Explained
There are often a lot of choices in the sizing of a dress shirt, some you may not know! Not every company has all of the options, but here are some that are commonly found for missionary dress shirts.
- Standard/Classic Fit: This is a very typical dress shirt look. Standard fit dress shirts are fairly boxy, with lots of space in the belly/waist area.
- Slim Fit: Slim fit has a more tailored look, with less room in the chest and waist/belly area. This size will fit well if your Elder is on the slimmer side and/or likes his shirts a bit tighter.
- Athletic Fit: If you have an Elder who is an athlete or has a naturally muscular build, this shirt option is a great one. It is typically sized to allow more space in the shoulders/sleeves and still provide a slimmer fit in the belly/waist area.
How many Dress Shirts should my missionary have?
There should be a specific amount of dress shirts listed in the “What to Bring” section of your son’s missionary portal. In general plan to have your missionary bring:
- 8-10 white shirts: If your son is serving somewhere warm, hot and/or humid short sleeves are the way to to go! They will need one long sleeved white shirt for baptisms though!
- 1-2 blue shirts: Even if this is listed in the portal, email to confirm if the mission president allows blue shirts. Many missionaries buy a blue shirt as recommended and then get to the field only to find out they aren’t allowed to wear them!
I know that 10-12 dress shirts is an investment! But remember, purchasing quality shirts will mean that they will last longer and wear better…both things that are important when your son is far away for two years.
Missionary Dress Shirt Reviews (In alphabetical order)
&Collar Dress Shirts for Missionaries
&Collar Dress Shirts for Missionaries are constantly being recommended by missionaries and missionary moms! One of their biggest claims to fame (and inspiration for their hilarious commercials) is that these shirts are incredibly stain and water resistant. &Collar was nice enough to send us a shirt to review.
Features of &Collar Shirts that Elders (and their moms!) love:
- Stain Resistant
- Wrinkle Resistant
- 3D Stretch
- Moisture Wicking
- Machine Washable
- Made of recycled plastic water bottles (!) Yay for upcycled materials!
- Can ship Internationally to select locations including: Canada, United Kingdom, Mexico, Australia and Hungary.
- Free Returns and Exchanges for 45 days after your order is placed. All items must be new with tags intact.
&Collar Dress Shirt Options for missionaries:
- Long sleeve white “Atlantic”
- Short sleeve white “Pacific”
- Long sleeve blue “Maldives.”
- Athletic Fit and Slim Fit
- Sizes from S-XXXL (Athletic Fit) and XS-XL (Slim Fit)
&Collar also sells amazing dress pants and performance ties for missionaries. We will have a review of the pants up shortly.
Pricing for &Collar Dress Shirts:
Price wise, &Collar shirts are very affordable! They currently run about $40 (without shipping). When you are multiplying this times the 10-12 shirts recommended on most missionary lists it might feel overwhelming…but a good quality shirt like &Collar will last longer and keep your missionary more comfortable so they are worth the investment. **See the discount code below for a free tie with purchase!**
Our &Collar Review:
Coming out of the package, the &Collar shirt fabric feels amazing. It is cool to the touch and super soft. It is slightly see through, but a good thickness. We used a clothing steamer to get the packaging wrinkles out and it worked magnificently. The wrinkles came out so quickly. Appearance wise, it is a really nice looking dress shirt. The signature blue top button is a fun addition. The collar is crisp and thick. It is extra long in the back so it will stay tucked in. My missionary (6’4” 205 pounds with an athletic build) said it was stretchy and comfortable. He liked how it looked and how it fit.
After wearing the shirt for three occasions, it did have “ring-around-the-collar” stains. We sprayed a laundry stain remover on and the stains came out easily.
Sizing: We used the sizing chart and ordered a Slim-Fit, XL. It fit true to size and my son liked how it fit.
Wash and Dry Test: We washed the &Collar shirt per recommendations (cold with like colors) and then hung it up wet on a hanger. Instructions say to tumble dry on low, however my son’s mission in Brazil doesn’t have dryers so we we tested to see how it performed after hanging to dry.
The &Collar shirt was completely dry within 30 minutes of removing it from the washer and hanging it in a closet. Of the three shirts we tested, it was the most wrinkled both immediately from the dryer and after hang drying (remember, the recommendation is to dry on tumble dry but we are testing without a dryer!).
We used a clothing steamer and were able to get the wrinkles out easily and quickly (less than 2 minutes).
Serve Clothing Dress Shirts for Missionaries
Serve Clothing shirts were designed by two former missionaries who served in hot and humid places. Their shirts are very unique in their design, with mesh venting sewn into two back pleats and in a strip under the arms down the side of the shirt. The vents combined with “revolutionary” material make for a missionary shirt that will stay dry, wrinkle-free and stain-free and keep your Elder cool.
Features of Serve Clothing that missionaries (and their moms!) love:
- Wrinkle Resistant
- Stain resistant
- Dark gray mesh lined collar to help neck cool and help prevent/hide ring-around-the-collar
- Mesh panels under arms and in back pleats make this shirt very breathable and comfortable
- Comfortable and stretchy (the stretchiest of the three shirts we reviewed)
- “Revolutionary” fabric with 0% cotton
- Sizes available from S-XXL in both regular and slim fit.
- 14-day return policy (receipt required, items must be unused and have tags still attached).
- Ships to USA and U.S. Territories and APO/FPO/DPO addresses.
- Serve Clothing has a 14-day return policy. To be eligible for a return, your item must be unworn with original tags and labels still in place AND have a receipt or proof of purchase.
Serve Clothing Dress Shirt Options For Missionaries:
- Long Sleeve White
- Short Sleeve White
- Long Sleeve Blue
Pricing for Serve Clothing Dress Shirts:
Serve Clothing prices are very affordable and run around $40 for short sleeved shirts and only $5 more for long sleeved shirts. **Read below for a special discount code for Missionary Square Readers**
Our Serve Clothing Dress Shirt Review:
Both the fabric and design of Serve Clothing Shirts are unique.
The fabric definitely feels different than a traditional dress shirt. Up close, you can see (and feel!) a slight texture. My son thought the mesh panels under the arm were genius, but didn’t love how the back mesh panels looked. (I think the trade-off for comfort in super hot and humid areas would be worth it though!). This shirt is very stretchy! Much stretchier in both directions than both the &Collar shirt and the TruWear shirt. The fabric is slightly see through, but a nice thickness. The length and fit were very similar to the &Collar shirt. The collar is crisp and thick and the shirt is well made.
Sizing: We used the sizing chart and ordered a Slim-Fit Size Large. It fit true to size and my son liked how it fit.
Wash and Dry Test: We put the Serve Clothing drying recommendations to the test, which are to hang dripping wet from the washer. Upon removing the shirt from the washer, we hung it to dry on a hanger. It was completely dry to the touch within 20 minutes of removing it from the washer. Serve Clothing shirts are made for easy care in hot and humid environments.
The Serve Clothing shirt took second place for least wrinkled (behind TruWear) immediately after removing it from the washer. However, by 30 minutes after hang drying, the Serve Clothing shirt moved to first place for looking least wrinkled without ironing or steaming. We did try the steamer, but it didn’t change the look of the shirt. Because of the unique fabric, you shouldn’t expect this to look like a normal ironed dress shirt. However, it will keep your missionary cool and dry and looks decent without iron or steam.
As a mom, I really appreciated the gray mesh lined collar. I am concerned about ring-around-the-collar stains and I think this would really help!
Truwear Dress Shirts for Missionaries
This is another company that was started by a missionary who hated the feel of his stiff cotton dress shirts. Truwear fabric is a blend of recycled polyester and spandex that makes it feel “more like a workout top than a stuffy collared shirt.”
Some Truwear Features that moms and missionaries love include:
- Liquid Resistant
- Odor Resistant
- Stain Resistant
- Wrinkle Resistant
- Machine Washable
- 360 degree stretch
- Materials: 90% polyester 10% spandex
- Sizes Available Slim Fit from S-XXL Standard Fit from S-XXXL
- Truwear offers free returns and free exchanges within the United States for items that are purchased within 30 days and in unworn, resalable condition with hangtags still attached
Truwear Dress Shirt Options for Missionaries:
- Professional White Long Sleeve
- Classic White Long Sleeve
- Classic White Short Sleeve
- Professional Light Blue Long Sleeve
- Classic Light Blue Short Sleeve
Truwear also carries amazing dress pants for missionaries (watch for our review soon!)
Pricing for Truwear Dress shirts for Missionaries:
Truwear shirts are a little more expensive, running just under $100 for long sleeve and just under $90 for short sleeve. HOWEVER, they have an amazing discount just for missionaries *see below for discount code for MissionarySquare readers**
Our Truwear Dress Shirt Review:
The fabric is very soft and silky and felt like a very high-end dress shirt. It has a great stretch, and is a good length. The collar is thick and crisp. The fabric is slightly see through, but a good thickness. The Truwear shirt is very well made.
Sizing: We used the sizing chart and ordered a Slim Fit in XL. The Truwear ran larger in the chest, belly and arms than the &Collar XL. I would recommend sizing down if your son wants a slimmer fit, my son thought this shirt felt too big and would do a size L in the future. The Truwear shirt stayed tucked in the best of all three shirts when my son stretched and moved around, so that is a definite benefit!
Wash and Dry Test: We washed Truwear in cold water with like colors. Immediately after getting it out of the washer we hung it up. Of the three shirts tested, the Truwear shirt was the least wrinkled directly out of the washer. The Truwear shirt was completely dry within 30 minutes. We used a clothing steamer and were able to get all of the wrinkles out very easily within two minutes of steaming.
The Best Dress Shirts for Missionaries:
The best dress shirts for missionaries keep your Elder comfortable, are stain-resistant, wrinkle-free, easy to wash and look good without a ton of effort. My son will be serving in Brazil so I can’t put much of a FINAL final word on this post until we see how the shirts hold up on his mission (I will be updating this post regularly!). However, from our initial try-ons and tests, my son preferred the feel and fit of &Collar, followed by Truwear and then Serve Clothing.
I do think Serve Clothing dress shirts for missionaries would be a really smart option for Elders who are serving in developing countries that are humid and hot with difficult laundry situations, and lack of access to things like electricity for drying/steaming. I’ve heard of many Elders that LOVE their Serve Clothing shirts in those areas.
Truwear and &Collar are quite similar in feel and appearance but &Collar is less expensive. The discount code for missionaries makes them close in price. If you have a missionary with a thicker build, Truwear is a boxier fit.
Overall, we were impressed with all three of the shirts. They look nice, launder well and are very comfortable and stretchy. The stain and water resistance will make them last a long time in the harsh conditions of missionary wear (and care!).
If you don’t live in a place where you can try on these shirts in person, I would highly recommend that you order one of each and have your Elder try them on and decide his preference. Some will prefer one brand over another, but I have heard glowing reviews about all three of these brands!
What does your missionary think? I would love to hear shirt preferences in the comments below. Please add where your Elder served so we have that information too!