RM’s have their own fashion


    By Larissa Moon

    Just a short stroll across campus, returned missionaries are easy to spot by the clothes they wear. A dead giveaway is when the things they wear can only be found in the country they served in.

    “I think it is cool to be able to visually see where a missionary served,” said Nicole Guillian, a sophomore from Bozeman, Mo., majoring in mechanical engineering. “You can tell they are proud of where they served.”

    However, not all students agree with her.

    Sandra Garcia, a senior from Dallas graduating in Latin Studies, said she thinks it is funny when missionaries wear clothes and accessories as if they are from that country. She said she laughs because they are so attached to their mission.

    “We know you are not from Brazil of California, so why do you act like you are?” she questioned.

    Not easy questions to answer, but nevertheless, missionaries find it hard to separate themselves from where they served. Wearing things from their mission keeps them connected.

    One obvious fashion accessory brought back by missionaries is bags with long straps worn over the shoulder. They are usually woven, have a unique design and are sported by RMs who served in South or Central America. These bags are used a lot on campus as backpacks and even purses. Many students find them convenient, easily accessible and a small memento of their mission. But even with the bags” popularity, many students did not know what they are called or where they came from. They seem to be only a part of the RMs fashion couture.

    Another clothing article distinctive to RMs is the soccer jersey. They usually reflect the origin of the mission by the team advertised on the shirt and most missionaries will have more than one. Missionaries are spread throughout the world and these jerseys reflect the many different teams and missions. RMs proudly support their mission by wearing them.

    The RMs fashion world is an exclusive club with members who have their own fashion sense and opinion.

    “Because they”re cool,” said Cammon Randle, a student from Provo majoring in film, in response to why so many jerseys are seen on campus.

    Besides soccer jerseys, many RMs will wear a T-shirt with the flag of the country where they served. This will usually serve as a great conversation starter with the question, “Oh, is that where you served?”

    Other accessories commonly seen are flag pins and ties that are unique to different countries. The variety of ties range from Italian woven to bright green-orange knit from Chile.

    So even though these shirts and accessories are not at the height of American fashion, to returned missionaries these things are a significant part of who they are.

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