On Getting New Garments


So I’ve needed to buy some new garments. For, like, a long, long time. But I had been putting it off. Being a participant in the Bloggernacle had sort of freaked me out, because of all the conversations (dominated by women) about how horrible the fit is and all the money they’ve wasted on ill-fitting, uncomfortable garments. And I have to admit, all that talk worried me. But I finally screwed up my courage and decided I was gonna do it.

Our temple here in Chicago actually has a Distribution Center where you can try them on if you need to, so I figured that would help. A week ago Saturday I decided to make the 45-minute drive to the temple, take in a session and buy some new garments.

I’m driving east on Euclid Avenue, which eventually turns into Lake Avenue, toward the Village of Glenview where the “Chicago” temple is actually located. And I’m thinking I’ve been driving a long time, and I realize I had overshot it somehow. The temple is pretty huge, right close to the road, so how I possibly could have missed it I have no idea. But I turned around and made my way back to it.

Only half the gate was open, and there were only four cars in the parking lot, which seemed quite odd. I walked up to the door and there was a sign that the temple and Distribution Center were both closed the last two weeks of January for maintenance. D’oh! It hadn’t occurred to me to check the temple schedule online first. Foiled!

I put it out of my mind, but then the next Saturday (which was last Saturday as I write this) I decided to give it another shot. I arrived at about five to 10:00 a.m., and I had checked beforehand and the sessions only run every hour on the hour, not on the half-hour. So I booked it inside, let them know I was attending the session, changed as fast as I could, and walked into the session room at 10:00 on the dot (maybe even a minute after). I was kind of shocked when I walked in, because the room was packed to the gills, with one open folding chair in the corner set up for me. I was expecting maybe six people in there, but the room was at full capacity, whatever that might be (50? 60? 80?), which was a very pleasant surprise. I prefer a crowded session to an anemic one. Another plus was I got to see a film I hadn’t seen before, which was fun.

When it was over, I didn’t bother lingering in the celestial room. I didn’t know a soul there, so I didn’t really see the point. I got dressed into civilian clothes and walked next door to the Distribution Center.

I liked the material and fit of my old garments, which is I suppose a big part of the reason I had gone so long without replacing them. So I had brought both a top and a bottom with me to use as a sample of what I wanted. I entered the store and this elderly sister came to help me. I started to pull the garments out of my pocket to show her, and she about had a heart attack. Apparently there is a strict rule against open garments in the store (a store mind you which sells mostly garments). I tried to explain to her that I wanted the same material and didn’t know what it was called. She asked about the tag, and I laughed, because my garments haven’t had tags (or at least not readable ones) for years. She said they could only be exposed in the dressing room, so she goes with me into the dressing room to look at my garments and tell me what material they were. (It turns out they were corban.) It seemed counterintuitive to me that we had to be alone in this little dressing room for her to even look at my old garments. But whatever.

So she showed me where the men’s corban garments were. I wanted to try them on. She alone was allowed to open the packages, using a knife to slit them along the top. (I’m guessing this is so they can more easily seal the packages for garments that are opened and don’t sell.) And she once again stressed I could only remove them from the package in the dressing room. The bottoms fit fine, but she had grabbed the wrong tops, and so I got the right ones and tried those on, and all was well.

They had tops in tall sizes, not not bottoms. I think they might exist, but you have to special order them, and no way was I doing that. But I’m pretty sure the ones I’ve worn for all these years were regular (not tall), too, because they hit my thighs above the knee. That’s what I’m used to and that’s what I wanted to replicate, so I was fine just getting the regular ones they had in stock.

Today is my first day wearing the new ones. And I think I succeeded. As far as I can tell the fit and feel is the same as what I had become accustomed to for all these years. And it’s nice to (finally) have brand new pairs. 14 tops and bottoms cost a hair over $100. And yes, they take credit cards; they even had a chip reader.

What are your stories of garment preference, fit and acquisition? And are the sizing and styling of women’s garments really as bad as I have heard? Are there tricks to doing this completely by mail if you’re not near a physical Distribution Center?




  1. The tall tops are great; the tall bottoms are uncomfortable and best avoided, even for those of us who are abnormally tall.

  2. Man, it must be nice being a dude. :)

  3. I don’t think the women’s are all that bad, but I’ve only been wearing them for about 8 years, which might mean I only know recent changes. I know what I like and always get the same thing? I do like the new shoulders, they stay in place better, and the new waistbands are nicer too.

  4. Cotton-poly blend . . all the way!

  5. jenthreesixtyfive says:

    I’m getting to that point myself. Browsing online the other day, I noticed they’ve changed the women’s for at least the second time since the last time I bought any. I’ll likely order online. My experience is that the little old ladies who work in there (not all of them) can be awful, especially to other women. After one of my babies, I drove 30+ minutes to buy nursing garments, only to turn around and return them within a couple of weeks because the plastic (yes, plastic) elastic had already snapped in several cups. I returned them because I thought they should have lasted more than two weeks. The lady at the counter finally processed the return, at my insistence, but not before she very rudely looked at my chest and asked if I was sure I hadn’t purchased a size too small. Sadly, this is not my only story about rudeness at the beehive clothing counter. I dread having to deal with them now.

  6. Dave Tedder says:

    Mesh, mesh, baby. Ever since I traded in the Dr. Denton’s in the Kimball days.

  7. Kevin Barney says:

    Tim, thanks for confirming my impression.

    Tracy, it is indeed nice being a dude when it comes to this subject.

  8. Kevin Barney says:

    I’m old enough that I started with the one piece things, believe it or not.

  9. Kevin Barney says:

    jen, that’s horrible!

  10. I quit wearing garments. Last time I ordered cotton and cotton poly tops and bottoms. My bra band was too tight over the top and the shoulders would fall off if I wore it underneath. Also the sleeves on the top were longer than the sleeves on my short-sleeved shirt so they stuck out. The bottoms were too bulky to fit under my pants and they went well below my knees. Previously I had been wearing silky but I can’t wear that kind any more. I’ve stopped wearing garments because I am frustrated with the materials and fit. I have not had a yeast infection or UTI since. Nor have I started wearing boots shorts and tube tops. I can still keep my marriage covenants without them . I will never ever wear them again.

  11. I dread ordering garments because the fit for women are always changing. I live too far from a distribution center to go try them on so it ends up being weeks of purchasing one set at a time trying to get a good fit.

  12. Yes, it is really as bad for women as you’ve heard, and for some women it is even WORSE. Imagine feeling maligned and embarrassed to the point that you can’t even write the details down with the aid of annonimity that the blogosphere provides.

    Crippling, embarrassing, compounding of body issues, rude and harsh judgement from every employee and every other women in the store. Expensive. Uncomfortable. Exacerbating medical problems. Degrading. Spiritually draining. Frustrating.

    The horror stories you’ve heard are real and the ones you haven’t heard are worse than you could imagine.

  13. Any religion that controls and monitors a person’s underwear is just plain weird.

  14. I tried a bunch of different fabrics recently because the carinessa fabric is SO FREAKING THICK AND HOT, but everything else bunches and migrates and they have these awful little thin elastics in the legs that raise welts on my thighs, but the good news is it only cost me almost ten dollars a set to find this out. 👍

  15. Kristine N says:

    When i first purchased garments I bought them about two sizes two big. I’m short, so my waist is relatively thick, and the young woman helping me just went with my waist measurement. She wasn’t much older than me, so probably not terribly experienced. The tops fit fine, but the bottoms had way too much fabric. I didn’t really care that much because I’ve always preferred loose-fitting pants and it was nice to not have to throw away all my low-cut shirts since the tops didn’t come up to my collarbone like I’d feared. Buying garments that first time was strangely validating since it turned out that I’d dressed modestly all along.

    A few years later I bought a few more pairs at the Chicago distribution center. The lovely old lady helping me (because some of them are lovely and are experienced) asked my size and, when I told her, said, “no way. You’re more like a (26? does that make sense?)” She handed me garments, which did indeed hug my form much better. Much less excess fabric on the bottoms, much less bagginess around my middle in general. The only problem: the tops come up to my collarbone. And thus I learned modesty is different for skinny girls.

  16. Fun write-up, Kevin. Thanks.

    The only thing I would add is, now that you know the size and type of garment you like, ordering online is much easier than going to a store. Go for it. I think there’s even free shipping still.

  17. Kevin Barney says:

    Good point, Hunter. Without knowing that upfront it would have been awkward trying to order them online. I guess one would need to order one set to make sure they fit well before then ordering the rest.

  18. Left Field says:

    The weird rule about not showing the garments made me think of another weird rule I just learned about a week or two ago. I went to a session with just a handful of people (which I actually prefer; it feels more intimate and tranquil.) When it came time for the prayer, they had to bring in temple workers. Two of the sisters in the session were missionaries, and the officiator made quite a deal explaining to the the temple workers that these were missionaries, which apparently meant that they weren’t allowed to participate in the prayer. That was certainly not the rule when I was a missionary 37+ years ago. I asked about it after, and was told that they didn’t want missionaries “holding hands.” Okay. I never thought of it as a sexual activity, but I still wouldn’t have imagined that a couple of minutes in the temple “holding hands” with someone likely twice your age or more would lead to too much sin. I wonder how long that rule has been in place.

    I only wear two-piece garments when going to the doctor, so I’m not an expert. But my understanding is that tall/short in the two-piece bottoms doesn’t really have anything to do with how tall you are. It’s a function of the groin-to-waistband distance. If you don’t get the shortest bottoms available, you have to either pull the waistband up around your armpits to get the proper fit in the groin, or the garments sag down around your knees like Dick Van Dyke doing the penguin dance in Mary Poppins.

    A couple years ago, I ran across an unopened one-piece garment about 12 years old. I compared it with a new garment of the same nominal size fresh out of the package, and found that the new garment had sleeves about two inches longer. And I do on rare occasions now find that the garment shifts so that the sleeve comes out from my nearly elbow-length shirt sleeve. I suspect that somebody in Salt Lake decided that their idea of “modesty” means that I sometimes need to look ridiculous.

  19. I feel like every blog post about garments is a ripe opportunity for me to evangelize to my fellow ladies about the wonders of the onesie. You know the one-piece. They are not oft spoken of, or maybe even known about, and if they are, then people think they won’t like it. Oh, but you will like it. You will like it very much. The onesie may even be life changing.

    The advantages? No bunching or excess fabric from having to tuck your top into your bottom. Just one smooth piece of silk running all the way down your body. And, flare legs. Wonderful flare legs. No elastic border on the legs cutting into your thighs. They are super comfortable. I think I may even like wearing them better than regular underwear.

    They do admittedly make it a little trickier to go the bathroom. But you get used to it, and it’s a small price to pay.

    Whenever I order them, I always stockpile, because I worry one day they might discontinue them because of their lack of popularity. So I’m always trying to get the word out.

    Try the onesie. Love the onesie.

  20. The first time I bought them the sister in the store measured me, found which size the chart said I should buy and then told me the general rule was to buy two sizes smaller than the chart said. She was right. So what is the point of the chart?

    Now they change the sizing at least every six months. My mom ordered 4 new pair by mail, they were all the same size, but different fabric. Some of them were so loose they literally fell off. Others too tight, cutting off circulation. A lot of money is washed that way.

    I’ve actually been pleased with many of the recent changes. For instance, now you can order by cup size. How many decades did it take before someone at beehive clothing noticed that women come with different sized breasts?

  21. Gotta be anonymous says:

    The troubles for women in garments seem too intimate to write out! Even with anonymity! Let’s start here with what is pretty obvious to every woman, but may not have occurred to men because you haven’t had to cry from frustration or body image angst in the dressing rooms of the world since you were about 10:

    When a woman goes to buy a bra, it is overwhelming. All the sizes and styles and options and such. But in truth, the giant selection is good because we need a giant selection. Because women’s bodies–and preferences–are all really different. (Duh!) Then there are the garments, and even with the efforts to have a little variety, you would guess by the garment selection that all Mormon women’s upper bodies are much the same. And this does not even account for the belly part of the body! It is nearly impossible to be, all at the same time:

    (1) respectful of the garments, especially the things you have vowed to keep sacred, and especially complying with all the rules you are given to follow regarding rolling or folding, etc.

    (2) pretty.

    (3) comfortable.

    The garments affect how your other clothing fits. Your other clothing affects how the garments fit. The garments end up making you have to wear even more layers than you otherwise would have to wear. And those layers have to cover the garments! The right “foundations” are essential–that is the first lesson a mom teaches her girls when fitting “the girls.” There is no one size fits all. Awful awful awful. (Awful awful awful.) Did I say awful? Well, now let me say horrible and super duper hard. Need a thesaurus.

    And that is just a small beginning of discussing the tops. Won’t even start on the bottoms here, or the issues with fabric selection in various styles. Exhausts me just thinking of it.

  22. Left Field says:

    They’re not just for the ladies, Katie. One-piece is wonderful. No waistband. They just hang comfortably off the shoulders. And I find going to the bathroom is more trouble with two-piece (or with Gentile underwear) that just gives one more thing that has to go down and back up every time you sit on the throne.

  23. I recently learned the necessity of sizing down–after years of my bottoms riding up because I was wearing the right size for my waist, all is well now at a size smaller. The elastic starts out uncomfortable, but it relaxes.

    Also, I would pay any amount of money for merino wool garments made by Smartwool.

  24. Bamboo garments made to your own measurements. They cost more but wear well. Light as a feather. Soft with no dyes. No lace trim to itch. No tight legs to constrict. The ladies will measure you but I insist on doing my own measuring using my garments from the nineties for length.

  25. Onesies are the answer?! I am a grown, menstruating woman. So let me get this straight. Not only am I supposed to drive over 2.5 hours to a distribution center to get underwear from a grandma who thinks me wanting to look and feel sexy is sinful, not only do I have to go behind a closed door and talk about my underwear with a man who is not my husband to get a TR, but now I am supposed to wear a onesie?!!!!

    I remember reading some church history about back when garments were long sleeved and ankle length and women were condemned for rolling those sleeves up. Tell me how this onesie and the current garments are any different?

    Tell me why members of the military and law enforcement can send in anything they want to get marked up, but I am stuck with the crummy website choices.

    I’ve called asking for bamboo garments. I told them all about my suffering. They then assaulted me with a crazy list of measurements but also a major guilt trip about how these were more expensive and more of a burden to tithe payers around the world. They also suggested that I wait to order bamboo garments because maybe I’d lose more weight or something. I was in tears. In tears.

    So this is what my church wants for me? They want to humiliate me. They want me to feel like it is my fault that my body doesn’t fit into their weird women’s garments paradigm. They want me to loath my tummy were the fabric bunches up and leaves welts over my pregnancy scars. They want me to cycle through yeast infections and UTIs like it is normal. They want me to know that it is totally normal to talk about your underwear in an interview for a temple recommend with a stranger.

    I think there is some impressive symbolism going on when the answer to all of my garment problems is to just go for the onesie. Could it be a symbol that my church is infantalizing its members, particularly its women?

  26. Waisted Years says:

    I’ve been rolling down my garment waistband for 20 or so years now. Last summer I was shocked to find the “lower waist” style garments were truely lower waisted. No more rolling!

  27. They really are awful says:

    Don’t get me started on maternity options. On any of it, really. So much of buying garments is oral tradition. No one told me to size down when I was endowed a decade ago. Literally, I sat down in the session, leaned over to my mom and said we were going to distribution on the way home to exchange them. But now they’re more true to size…which also no one told me. You wind up with the back of your drawer stuffed with rejected sizes and styles.. And maternity options! Even the worker say to just buy larger regular tops because the design is so awful.

    I take partial credit for the new lower waist options; my friend’s mom was on the garment committee and we would send our complaints through her.

    Also, why is it OK for men’s garments to show (like the crew necks, or even just with shorts) but we’re clutching our pearls if women’s show??

  28. Ok. That was some surprisingly strong pushback on the onesies. Sewing together one’s top and bottom, does not an infantilizing garment make. If you have your period, use a tampon. Finally, bamboo is for pandas.

  29. During WWII, the 1st Presidency stated the marks are what is important, not the material. I’m still waiting for all members to be allowed to iron, stencil the marks into their daily wear. Way, way overdue.

  30. Another anonymous says:

    The new low-waist Carinessa bottoms changed my life, in that I don’t completely hate my underwear now. So that’s progress. I still think it’s weird that they made women’s garments that don’t work with common menstrual products. So I wear gentile underwear (thanks for the term, Left Field!) for a week a month. The dearest wish of my heart is that they would silk-screen the marks – they show through many shirts that are perfectly modest. I have called and asked if they would do that as part of their special order process, but (very nice) lady said it wasn’t allowed.

    I read on BCC years ago (I think) the idea of Under Armour taking over the garment business for us, and I would love to see that happen.

  31. I’m pretty sure that having a tight layer of fabric pressed against my torso – fabric that remains grimy no matter how faithfully (heh) I launder it – is the reason I STILL have such terrible acne on my shoulders and back. well into my thirties.

    It’s downright bizarre that an elderly woman can’t show you garments in the open WHEN SHE IS SELLING YOU GARMENTS, but my friend’s husband can take me behind a closed, windowless door and ask me what kind of underwear I have on. If the situation were reversed and women were somehow the gatekeepers of men’s underwear (and by extension their “modesty”) I bet the question would be dropped in a hurry.

  32. I was actually at the Chicago temple this past Saturday buying garments too. For the last many years, I’ve worn either cotton-poly or Dri Lux. But this week I decided to try the midcalf length bottoms to wear with slacks and the distribution center only had that style in Carinessa and Drisilque, so I bought one of each to see which I liked better. I later went online and saw that I can order cotton-poly midcalf bottoms, so that’s an option if I don’t like either of those.

    I was just thinking about this last night – my husband joined the church in 2015 and went through the temple last September. We bought him several sets of garments, but only one style of top and one style of bottoms. I wear two different top styles, depending on my dress/blouse, and now three different bottom styles (natural waist, lower waist, and midcalf), depending on what pants I’m wearing for the day. It seems a bit extreme, but there it is.

  33. Kevin, I used to love the onesie, especially under dresses and during pregnancy, but I will say the onesie has one issue that lead me away from it forever. Women have more crevices; fabric bunches in crevices, and bunched fabric is uncomfortable.

    Unfortunately, the breathability issues with every garment bottom, regardless of fabric, rendered me with a skin condition so horrifying that my dear doctor gasped and teared up when she did the examination. It’s healed now, but my relationship with garments has to be different to protect my health.

  34. Not a Cougar says:

    Left Field, from personal experience, missionaries were still participating in the prayer, hand-holding and all, as of 2001 in the Provo temple. I don’t seem to recall any fornication occurring afterward, but perhaps today’s 18 year-old just isn’t as mature and self-controlled as the 19 year-old of yesteryear.

    Also, corban bottoms, cotton tops. Though, were I the prophet, the first thing I would pray for would be a revelation on whether garments are really necessary. I wear them, but I’m not a fan at all, and I truly do not understand when people express their thankfulness for the garment. I appreciate and really try live up to the covenants I made in the temple, but I haven’t received a witness that the promised blessings associated with wearing garments actually occur.

  35. Left Field says:

    “Onesie” is not my term, and it’s certainly not the church’s term. It’s not a colloquialism I’ve heard in common use. Precisely speaking, the one-piece garment is a union suit, which is not worn by infants. There is really nothing particular about full-body clothing that has anything to do with infants. Jumpsuits, flight suits, unitards, dresses, one-piece swimsuits, wet suits, leotards, nightshirts, overalls: all full-body one-piece garments having nothing to do with infants. If the term “onesie” is what bothers you, I suggest you just disregard Katie’s use of the term.

    I wear the one-piece garment and recommend it because it’s more comfortable than anything else I’ve tried. And it is not ankle- and wrist-length–at least it hasn’t been since before the days of Heber J. Grant.

  36. it's a series of tubes says:

    One day, mens garment bottoms will be made in the style of the Under Armour boxerjock. Until then, the restoration of all things cannot be complete.

  37. It must be nice to be a guy. Garments for women are horrible and humiliating. They fit poorly (apparently the people at Beehive have never seen the shape of an actual human woman), they are of terrible quality, they chafe and bunch and fall down, they’re used as modesty enforcers rather than covenant reminders, the sizing is wrong and inconsistent, they severely restrict your clothing options and make it harder for women to feel good about their bodies. They cause medical problems, they’re not designed to work for women’s lives (menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding are all made way more difficult by the poor design)–they’re just not made for women’s bodies or women’s spirits or women’s lives. And any time you try pointing that out to a person in a position to do something, you get a big dose of rudeness and shaming. It’s exhausting.

  38. Yes, women’s fit issues are really as bad as you have heard. Also, I have very sensitive skin and the seams of garments give me hives. So live your life with hives down your inner legs and under your breasts (until they finally, finally came out with tops without those seams, hurrah) and down your sides and around your armpits and really by evening I just want to light my body on fire. I gave up sleeping in them years ago so I could give my skin a break. Now I skip entire days and still manage to feel the Spirit and receive answers to prayers and faithfully hold a calling. Also, I am 5’6″ and order the smallest made bottoms in petite and can still tuck the waistband of the bottoms into my bra. My hips are not as big as their model size apparently. That or they should just be honest and put the belly button mark on the bottom if they want us to have waistbands on our ribs. A friend once told me that they are sized that way because there won’t be any skinny people in the celestial kingdom :-) Maybe that’s the dividing line – only the righteous have bodies that fit these things.

  39. OK, have to share one more thing. Back before two piece ones were available, my mother suffered greatly from UTI infections. Her doctor told her she had to stop wearing garments or live with them constantly which would not be good. So, my mother wrote a very nice letter to the First Presidency explaining that she was not the only woman with the issue and perhaps they could consider some other sort of design for women – perhaps even in two pieces. A few weeks later my father was called in to meet with the Stake President where he was lectured and chastised for allowing his wife to communicate out of the proper order. Yeah, so that too.

  40. I’m all about the cotton-poly and drilux. I hate that they’ve changed the waist band on the boxer style, though. I want fabric over my elastic, thank you very much!

    One piece garments are my absolute favorite, although if I wear them for multiple days in a row, I get a UTI, and I’m a man! The Church needs to let us police our own covenant-keeping and allow us to turn all of our clothes into garments. If you go to Provo, you’ll see that most men’s garment bottoms are about the length of normal boxer briefs anyway, so apparently the knee mark should actually be called the upper thigh mark! (I have no idea how these guys wear garments that are so small that they’re that short. Their voices must be an octave higher than they should be)

    That being said, I do appreciate that every time I put on my garments, I have to look at them, see the marks, and acknowledge their presence. That is something I’d miss were I to be able to just silk screen marks on my normal clothes and/or gentile underwear. Plus, it would be highly inappropriate for me to take my pants off as soon as I get home from work and not have full body coverage. My family would be stricken blind.

  41. I too was thrilled with the idea of cup-sized tops. Until I ordered one and discovered I would have to gain 30 pounds for it to fit. Between that and the fact that the raglan sleeves now on every style hang out of more than half of my short sleeved shirts that previously covered my garments with no issues, I’ve given up on trying to get new garments and am hoping to keep my old ones going for longer. It infuriates me that my wardrobe, which was garment friendly under the old garment fit, is suddenly ‘immodest’ by garment standards. And as someone living in a climate that gets not just hot but very humid, I’m not willing to layer up year round.

  42. I too was thrilled with the idea of cup-sized tops. Until I ordered one and discovered I would have to gain 30 pounds for it to fit. Between that and the fact that the raglan sleeves now on every style hang out of more than half of my short sleeved shirts that previously covered my garments with no issues, I’ve given up on trying to get new garments and am hoping to keep my old ones going for longer. It infuriates me that my wardrobe, which was garment friendly under the old garment fit, is suddenly ‘immodest’ by garment standards. And as someone living in a climate that gets not just hot but very humid, I’m not willing to layer up year round.

  43. I’m so done with garments. I’m on the high council. Internal conflict much?

    I’m so tired of poor fit, shoddy materials, too warm in summer conditions, the way they show through most clothing (weird thick seams or white peeking out of normal “modest” clothing). and generally unattractive ness.

    When I have to get up in the middle of the night, I don’t want the people I encounter to see me in my underwear – any kind of underwear. So wear pajamas over, right? Well I get hot and wake up in the morning finding that I’ve pulled most of the stuff off in the night. So I wear just pajamas. And that’s sinning?

    And unattractive? The only reason we have children is that my wife can be talked into occasionally wearing something comfortable and attractive when we’re alone. (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but still. A bunch of elderly white guys presume to dictate the clothing we wear in our bedrooms? Nope. Not going to sustain that.)

    I’m offended that the leaders of our faith – and some of our fellow congregants, are so concerned about other people’s underwear. Kinda kinky?

    So. I do what I promised I would do in the temple. I’m wearing garments -throughout my life- (which is the actual covenant). Every day, but not in bed, not “while working in the yard,” not while barbecuing by the pool, etc. And GASP, late at night in the pool I don’t wear anything. Because I’m a grownup, not because I want to sin. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were treated like adults?

    That TR interview stuff is nothing more than a creepy version of hedging about the law, looking beyond the mark. My response to those questions is that I honor my temple covenants.

    The ideal situation, it seems, would be for the church to get out of the underwear business, and our leaders to spend less time thinking about ladies’ underthings. (Yes, I’m phrasing it unfairly. But in my opinion, this whole thing is just a little perverse.)

    Failing the church making that change, I’ll keep the promises that I made to the Lord, try to find clothing that doesn’t advertise my faith, and manage my private life privately, comfortably. And I’ll do my best to not let Wasatch Front culture try to shame me.

    You’re invited to join me.

  44. Rigel Hawthorne says:

    Kevin I’ve seen those squares of corban fabrics and to me they look like the fabric that women’s lingerie is made of. I guess you could get used to it, but don’t your male buddies ever ask why your shirt under your shirt looks like ladies’ nightgowns? Dave Tedder I’ve got a pair of mesh 2 piece and a mesh one piece and they are comfortable, but the seem to give me worse pit smell after a day compared to cotton or cotton poly. Do you wear antiperspirant deodorant under them?

    I went to the distribution in behalf of my wife who hates the fit and feel of garments. I was met by a sympathetic sister at the counter and bought some low rise bottoms and some various fabrics. Wasn’t lucky enough to find something that she was enthusiastic about wearing. I made the mistake one time of commenting on why there was a central bulge under her blouse on the chest and then got the explanation that there was a bow in the center of the neck line that protruded very unusually. I was sorry for having drawn attention to it. I wish the church could to better for the ladies.

    “One day, mens garment bottoms will be made in the style of the Under Armour boxerjock”

    here, here!

  45. Clark Goble says:

    Kevin while I came of age long past the one piece garment era, I actually found a pair of one piece garments I’d wear skiing back in the day. Don’t remember where I found them although they were ancient.

    One thing I wish the Church would do for those who are very active athletically is come out with wicking inner liner style garments. They’re more than long enough. I’d actually asked a stake president about just sewing markings on some Patagonia liners. He said I could but I never quite had the guts to do it.

  46. Rigel Hawthorne says:

    One thing I forgot to mention is that my wife has quit wearing garments during menstruation. They do not hold standard pads in place. She wonders if this is why her mother always used those humongous bulky pads while she was growing up. I certainly don’t blame her for not wanting to spend the day juggling one of those around.

  47. eponymous says:

    On the men’s side of the garment experience I still have a few pairs of the bottoms that I purchased more than a decade ago (bought many pairs, only opened them as needed so some were opened recently). When you compare the waist band of the old model to the current model they sell (I only wear the corban and the mesh versions – cotton is way too hot and thick for me) you notice that the waist band is now just an elastic rubber strip that is sewed onto the top of the short and it can cut into your waist leaving pain and red marks. The older model folded the fabric of the short over and had the elastic embedded in the fold so it was vastly more comfortable.

    I’m really going to hate the day when I destroy my last pair of the older model and have to completely transition my wardrobe over to the new model.

  48. after wearing garments around the clock through rashes, hives, UTIs, period accidents, extreme pregnancy and nursing discomfort for over 20 years, i recently decided that my underwear and my covenants were between the Lord and me, and we are both perfectly fine if i don’t wear them to sleep, when i’m on my period, when it is too hot, when they make me feel deeply unsexy and ashamed of my body, when they sneak out of the sleeves of my incredibly modest and professional work clothes, or whenever else they cause me discomfort or to feel bad about myself. and i chose to not let myself feel guilty about this. it is sitll a work in progress, but now on the days when i choose to wear them, i feel good about them and myself instead of feeling completely dreadful. and yes, i do believe i am still wearing them “throughout my life” as i covenanted.

  49. For the guys: Beehive clothing has experimented with cuts and materials which start to approach those of the “Under Armour boxerjock,” but most of these are only “approved for used by active-duty service members only.” No one has been able to explain to me how our military is fully able to wear these bottoms and keep their covenants but I am incapable of doing so.

    And it seems to me that if modesty and the sanctity of the garment symbols were truly issues, having colors other than blazing white would help the garments blend in and not be so glaring.

    Side note: For those of us getting up in years, please remove your garments when you go to the gym. No, it is not cool to see garments under improvised gym clothing with the poor wearer sweating like an overweight sultan in a Turkish bath. The sanctity of the garment is not preserved in this activity, and there is a danger of chaffing and overheating, so just wear appropriate attire during your workout and put on clean garments after your post-workout shower. I know several GA’s and they NEVER wear garments while working out.

  50. They really are awful says:

    I haven’t quit garments during periods, but I I know a lot of women double up with gentile underwear. After giving birth I don’t bother with garments the first few days home, and then wear just bottoms over the mesh underwear the hospital gives you. I don’t start wearing the top again until I get breastfeeding established, because it’s just one more obstacle during a really stressful time.

  51. Another anonymous says:

    Oh yeah, and the double standard about men’s vs. women’s garments peeking out of the neckline of a shirt makes me so. dang. mad. I stopped wearing additional undershirts (like Shade cap sleeve tees or whatever) several years ago and just let the neckline of my garment occasionally peep out under certain shirts. It’s a finished edge, it looks cute, and like I said, the men already do it. I sometimes get comments from family members that my garments are showing, though. :(

  52. Vulvas were not made to have a tight synthetic fabric on them 24 hours a day. While the new fabrics and cuts like the carinessa low cuts are better for fitting under clothes, they are much much worse from a health perspective. Like someone else above, I have a friend whose doctor is forbidding he from wearing garments after a really bad outbreak. Maybe the church could consult a gynecologist.

  53. John Mansfield says:

    The options for one-piece garments has been reduced greatly over the last decade, and they now must be ordered online, as the Washington, D.C. temple distribution center no longer stocks them. I speculate that Gordon B. Hinckley was the last General Authority wearing them.

  54. Kevin Barney says:

    A couple of you have mentioned that the waist bands are now just a piece of elastic without any cloth on it. I noticed that with my new ones. At first I kept wondering whether I had them on inside out. I’m glad you mentioned it so I know I’m not going crazy.

    Rigel, yes, corban is kind of silky. When I first started wearing garments in the late 70s, I think that was kind of the standard material (or at least it’s what my parents wore, and the materials available were much more limited then. I don’t think they even had cotton yet, IIRC.) They’re just what I’m used to. No one can see them through my shirts. The only time people can see them is when I change in the fitness center, and I’ve never had anybody comment on them to me. (What they might be thinking privately I can’t say…)

  55. Kevin Barney says:

    And by the way, while I’m checking in, thank you all the great commentary. I hope the PTB find this thread and take some good notes.

  56. Garments are interesting from a religious studies standpoint. While sacred clothing and accessories are common to most religions, the garments are unusual in that 1) they are supposed to be kept secret but 2) they are not limited to secret ritual areas; instead they are covered by regular clothes. Which raises the question, what role do they play?

    They make poor markers, since non-Mormons are unlikely to notice the subtle indications that someone is wearing garments. They do not (as far as I know) serve a ritual purpose (the way the vestments of a Catholic priest do.) It seems that they are largely intended to demonstrate obedience and dedication to God–sort of a less painful version of a hair shirt.

    If that is the case, then take heart, ye who suffer from ill-fitting and uncomfortable garments–your suffering is a testament of your obedience to God! Just don’t sew yourself into the garments like St. Thomas Beckett, that would be bad.

  57. Nepos. What if you can’t do it anymore? What if the pain and health problems snowball until you can’t go on and so you decide like many of the comments above to work it out between you and the Lord and do something different? Does that mean that the garments have now become a testament to your disobedience?

  58. Amy, that would be between you and the Lord. Well, and your Bishop, who, curiously enough, has a mandate to inquire about women’s underwear.

  59. I have found in the past 10 years the inseam on men’s garments has increased. I’m 5’8″-5’9″; they clearly design the bottoms for the 6’+ Utah kids.

  60. Nepos, I am reminded of a great cartoon for children telling of Thomas Beckett in the local museum in Canterbury, illustrated by the late Oliver Postgate. There was quite some emphasis on the hair shirt, the discomfort it caused and last but not least the lice living in it!

    Another anonymous, I too am not fussed about having my garment neckline on show. So long as the symbols themselves are covered I’m not sure what the fuss is about. I’m just not into layering any more. It’s too hot!

  61. Rigel Hawthorne says:

    Here’s my question…for those of you who would like different fabric and design options, are any of you buying ‘gentile’ undergarments and sewing the markings on? If so, have you (men or women) found ‘favorite’ patterns/brands that are more comfortable? I know we have been admonished to follow the ‘authorized pattern’, but when it comes to either not wearing garments because of bad fit/health reasons or finding something cut in a similar way that is made in by a different manufacturer, it seems there is an argument that could be made for other options. If there was a women’s longer length bottom undergarment, for instance, made outside of Beehive Clothing that was highly ranked, that would be an easy way to give feedback that “this” is the kind of change we want. I remember when Justin blogged at W&T he was doing this kind of thing, but I haven’t heard of anyone else.

  62. At last a place where I can gripe about how they changed the men’s tops about 6-7 years ago! (Not that you folks have any way to get such feedback to Beehive Mills). I have always (since 1967 and those D#%^ onesies) used the scoop neck tops. The last time I ordered new ones the scoop neck is now called the “round neck.” And, the neck is markedly narrower/smaller than my older tops. Most of my golf shirts and other button top pullovers now reveal the top of the garment (both the top/front and the sides of the neck)–and I don’t like it a bit.


  63. Cotton/poly 36S bottoms and large crew neck top FTW! (although the large top is too large and sticks out of my t-shirt sleeves but cant wear a medium because it’s like a sausage casing.)

    Is anyone still wearing the scoop neck? Nothing screams 1980’s Mormonism like an eternal smile.

    Cheers to the ladies at the local distribution center who follow me around and watch me like I’m going to steal something, and insist on seeing a recommend before pulling back the curtain to view a rack of white pants magically transported through time and space from the 1960’s.

  64. Lol, sorry fbisti, looks like we both posted about scoop necks at the same time. :-)

  65. Rigel Hawthorne says:

    I know this isn’t a perfect answer, but I keep a pair of one-piece mesh garments because, among other reasons, the neck is wide (it needs to be wider so you can don them), and you can wear certain collared shirts or sweaters without having that annoying creeping out of the scoop seam. I don’t know for sure if the one piece comes in cotton or other fabrics. The one piece mesh is also cool to wear under a combo of snug jeans/sweater. I just try not to walk around in them in front of my wife, as she hates that look.

  66. Talon, if there were still a V-neck, scoop necks would be unnecessary. But last time I looked, there wasn’t. (If I’m wrong, please, PLEASE correct me!) And the non-scoop necks come higher than the necks of my t-shirts or button-up shirts with the top button unbuttoned, so they’re not an option unless I’m wearing a tie.

  67. I wish there was a V-neck. But the round neck looks silly to me. I’d rather not have the crew neck stick out of the top of my shirts, but I find even that better than the round neck.

  68. Matthew73 says:

    Thanks for an interesting discussion. I have disliked wearing garments for almost as long as I have worn them (almost 35 years now), but I still wear them most of the time. Marky, you are spot on. I joined you years ago. I no longer wear them hiking, or climbing, or back-country skiing, and I don’t even bring a pair to sleep in at night when I am on a river trip. And those are always among the times that I feel closest to God. Every now and then I see someone wearing them while playing basketball and think that is just weird.

    Since they started reading that statement about the importance of wearing garments while doing yardwork, I will now occasionally go for a long run on a Saturday morning, then leave my running clothes on while I do a couple of hours of yardwork. I just can’t see the point of taking a shower and putting on garments just to get them dirty and sweaty again while I mow the lawn.

    Bonjo, you are correct . . . they keep making the men’s inseams longer. My preferred style (other than “none”) is the cotton/ply blend. I am relatively tall, so I always order “long” tops. But I hate how the bottoms now hang below the knees, so I buy the shortest bottoms I can. Clearly the kind elderly ladies at the distribution center disapproved of my request to buy long tops and short bottoms, so even though I live on the Wasatch Front I now buy all garments online. Even the short bottoms are getting longer; I still roll the waistband up a few times so that my garments don’t hang below my shorts.

    Would love the see the day when we could just get the marks tattood on and dispense with the garment altogether, but I don’t expect that to happen anytime soon.

  69. Having a crew neck stick out of the top of your t-shirt or button up shirt is acceptable, even stylish, but having the sleeves hang out of a t-shirt is grounds for casting them into outer darkness.

  70. It’s interesting that we view the discomfort of garments as a feature rather than a bug. They are uncomfortable because they are based on men’s long underwear* from the 19th century, which were probably uncomfortable. I mean, I’m sure flannel undies that came to your neck and wrists was helpful in the winter in a pre-central-heating home, but they were largely wearing them because *that’s what people wore at the time.* There are SO many better underwear options out there, but we have managed to convince ourselves that the current design is exactly what God revealed (even if there’s plenty of evidence to the contrary), and that we are somehow making a sacrifice that He wants when we endure ill-fitting underwear, rashes, etc etc etc.

    To me that seems like insisting that God wants us all to be riding around in handcarts instead of actual motor vehicles, because that’s what they did back in the day. Okay, some pioneers used handcarts but only out of necessity, because the internal combustion engine didn’t exist yet, and as soon as something better came along (the transcontinental RR) they started using THAT. Nobody insisted that dragging handcarts across the plains was a necessary means of proving one’s devotion to God.

    *Yes, even the women’s. For all we are so concerned about gender roles, women are basically walking around in men’s underwear.

  71. Talon, right with you on the sleeves. But a crewneck shirt sticking out of your other shirt? I can’t say that I ever see it, except occasionally on Mormon men. So acceptable? Maybe. Stylish? Not in places I’ve lived.

  72. Garments have never bothered me as much as a lot of the ladies I know, and they still have been a tremendous burden. The fit is as terrible/uncomfortable as you’ve heard. The fabrics that breathe semi-well itch; the fabrics that don’t itch cause me to sweat indecently. All the time. The body image issues they cause are real. The way they limit the kinds of perfectly modest professional clothing options I have are real. Amen to the ladies who say garments don’t work whilst menstrsting, gestating, or lactating. They don’t. And the backbends one must do to accommodate wearing garments during these times are absurd (and definitely contribute to the impression I often have that our church just can’t be that bothered with women and their concerns). And a million times yes to those of us pointing out that discussing our underwear behind closed doors alone with a man we may barely know (or know well) is just so not okay.

    I personally have never experienced the kinds of medical issues (UTIs, rashes, etc.) that friends and family have experienced as a direct result of wearing garments, and so I count myself lucky.

    Don’t feel all that lucky though…

    And the way I’ve seen/experienced members shame each other over garments… I think, at least for me, garments are far more burden than blessing. And that’s sad.

  73. It makes me feel a little better that I’m not the only one who get hives from garments. I’ve stopped wearing them at night most of the time, and that has helped. The older I get the more frustrated I am with garments. Does God really expect to suffer from clothing?

  74. FWIW, one more difference is that women’s clothing in general is designed to move. That V neckline, those short sleeves, that flared skirt all have a little give. You have to wear a skirt that is longer than your garments or your garments will show. Same goes for sleeves and necklines. All it takes is one little breeze or sitting on those tiny primary chairs.

    Before I went to the temple I swore up and down that would not be me. Underwear showing is just not a good look. And yet here I am. I find I spend an inordinate amount of time tucking in clothing. Talk about symbolic. Unless you want to wear business attire all the time – and who does that? I’m a middle aged woman, so no immodesty here. Just normal clothing.

    I also have a number of issues with the fit. But for the sake of brevity I’ll focus on just one thing that has not been mentioned yet. I have heard that many women like the fact that the new garments are smaller in the shoulders. Well I like the old garments precisely because they fit well on my broad shoulders. The new ones cut into me and make it hard to breath! Think straight jacket. If I go up a couple of sizes so that they are comfortable then I get all this extra fabric around my waist. Why bother staying fit if you just end up with all this bulk anyway. I don’t have body issues! I least I didn’t before. Now I look like a sausage.

    I think elderly men making decisions about the underwear of young women is just inherently creepy. TR holders are arguably the most committed members of they church. Why not let adult women choose their own underwear and then silk screen the markings?

  75. And BTW when I say broad shoulders, I mean bones that are not going anywhere. Bones! As in large frame. I have no weight to lose. Just big shoulders. Little waist. Think Joan Crawford. Fortunately I have a few older garments stockpiled. I will be wearing them until they are threadbare and falling off my big shoulders.

  76. anona-miss says:

    I’m a lady and I’ve been endowed for about 2.5 years. First I stopped wearing garments in the summer during 12 hour field days in 100+ degree heat. When I stopped taking birth control and got my period again, I stopped wearing bottoms during my period, because garment bottoms were designed by someone who never used a pad and never bled through a tampon. When I got pregnant and had horrible morning sickness, I stopped wearing tops altogether, because the double layer of fabric over my torso made me feel ill. Now I doubt I will ever wear tops again – the markings usually showed through my shirt, giving the impression that I have very strange shaped pointy nipples. I have small boobs, so the garments came up to my collarbone and poked through the necks of most of my professional clothing. And I just feel healthier without them, especially when I am active for work. Luckily I’ve never had health problems with the bottoms and still wear those most of the time. But I’m still wearing the first pairs I bought when I got endowed, because when I tried to replace them I found the fit changed and the waist was now halfway to my bra line and extremely uncomfortable.

    Like some who have posted already, I have come to the conclusion that “wearing the garment throughout my life” does not mean 24-7. It may not even mean most of the time. And when I am asked the temple recommend question, I say the matter is private and I keep my temple covenants.

    I would love to sew the markings on my personal clothing. The meaning is beautiful. Unfortunately the application is ridiculous.

  77. Dog Spirit says:

    My endowment was a traumatic experience. It turned out that for me, only a few of the covenants were at all meaningful, and some were blimdingly painful. I found that I could not wear the garments for psychological reasons, so I never got around to not liking their fit.

    Since I don’t have skin in the game, my opinion is only worth what you paid for it. But it seems to me that we have a real problem on our hands when folk for whom the symbols and covenants are meaningful struggle powerfully with the reminders of them. If garments really are meant to function as a reminder of sacred covenants, I think that reminder should invoke warm feelings that expand the soul. For many people, the opposite seems to be true. The reminder is unpleasant, constricting, and authoritarian. I could not abide that kind of reminder. I want my holy symbols to set me free.

    Those who likened garments to a hair shirt are spot on. They play right into the human tendency to equate suffering with righteousness and holiness. And equally human tendencies to want to inflict suffering in others if we are suffering and to police boundaries.

  78. I’m going to second Owen here, “Also, I would pay any amount of money for merino wool garments made by Smartwool.” Yes, please!

    Since moving north (and I mean NORTH, 53rd latitude) I have to squeak out all the sun I can get in the winter for my mental health. So I walk outside and have learned it’s all about the layering. Man, I love that Smartwool base layer.

    A couple of thoughts about women and garments:

    1) Since the last resizing, the waistband of my bottoms is finally hitting at my waist instead of half up my ribcage, for which I am grateful. (I could never understand why they didn’t fit before. I’m 5’2″, for crying out loud, not exactly an outlier for height.)

    But I recently learned something about female bodies in comparison to male bodies – there’s more diversity between women. And I don’t just mean cup size and waist-hip ratio either. It’s even an issue for prosthetics for women, there’s way more variety in body types in my gender.

    So until we offer many more sizing options for women compared to men, this will continue to be an issue.

    2) There’s an example I use to illustrate why we need more women’s voices in the church. Several years ago my very thoughtful, feminist husband asked why I always bought tankinis and bottoms for our daughter, who was then 8 years old. I asked him, “Do you know how hard it is to go to the bathroom wearing a wet one-piece bathing suit?” He had no clue, because it was simply outside his personal experience.

    Men in the church have no experience with garments and menstruation, or bra-weaing, or pregnancy, or nursing, or urinary incontinence, or UTIs, or hot flashes, or mastectomies, or other things *I* probably haven’t thought of. Unless it’s an issue for their wives, most are clueless.

    We need female voices.

  79. Kevin Barney says:

    Di, this “Do you know how hard it is to go to the bathroom wearing a wet one-piece bathing suit?” really opened my eyes. I had simply never thought about it before, but now that you express it like that I all of a sudden can conceptualize how awkward that would be!

  80. For the swimsuit, it’s easier to pull it to the side than to lower the whole damp thing. ‘Nuff said on that.

    No one mentioned the itchy lace on the women’s tops, the kind that gives me a rash everywhere it touches. I’m in the wear-the-old-ones-until-they-die camp.

  81. Ew, Deb. Like meme of Jimmy Fallon Ew!

  82. I’ve read several of these discussions before and it makes me very grateful that I haven’t had comfort issues with the garment. There are some fabrics I don’t like, but as long as I stick with mesh they’re great. I noticed the garment the first couple of days after my endowment, but since then they feel natural. Again, I’m very fortunate that way. It has allowed me to be free to wear the garment nearly all of the time: working in the yard, etc. I don’t wear them to the gym or to the lake when we take the boat, but I don’t find myself having to justify why I choose to wear them day and night. I’ve never had to focus on my leaders forcing me to wear the garment. The comfort factor allows me to wear them because of my covenants. For those of you who struggle with health issues related to garments, I feel bad and hope one day there will be better solutions.

  83. whizzbang says:

    I too hate wearing garments. They shrink, pit stains and I figure they have a 6 month shelf life. I am thinking of going to onesies just to see how it is. I hate having to be constantly tucking in the tops. I used to wear mesh ones but they were total garbage. They were always ripping, you couldn’t scratch if you needed too and they were just uncomfortable. I realize these problems don’t hold a candle to women’s issues.

  84. I love the carinessa. Got some petite length ones so they wouldn’t show when I sit down in knee length shorts, but otherwise love that the leg stays put and doesn’t climb like the cotton ones. I like that my clothes don’t cling to my garments. For me, the new low waist ones don’t work; too close to plumber butt for comfort. The cotton bottom waist was way too high, but the regular carinessa is just right. I wear a pantiliner every day and it works just fine, just wears out the crotch faster peeling it off everyday. Never have had a rash problem, perhaps b/c we use perfume and dye free laundry detergent and no fabric softener? I have no problem with the top fitting, but am small chested, so I imagine that makes life much easier for me.
    Anyway, just wanted to insert one woman’s voice saying I don’t have problems wearing garments – it’s not bad for everyone.

  85. glasscluster says:

    I equate wearing the temple garment with wearing the religious clothing of Islam and Judaism.
    The choice to wear the garment is personal, more than a sign of club membership.
    I stopped wearing the garment for a while, to see how I felt.

    Then I wanted to feel God’s presence more in my life. That mindset led me to wear the garment again. It’s the mindset that matters, not any “magic” in the garment. But the garment reminds me that I’m holy and worthwhile, despite how I sometimes feel.

    The ironies of the garment are not lost on me. That is why I don’t fault anyone for not wearing them. In general, I am against doing things to fit in, instead of doing things because I have faith in their value.

    By ironies I mean that the Carinessa top allows women to wear skin-tight, cap sleeve ( almost sleeveless) dresses. Great…except the fabric is skin-tight and raises your body temperature such that you feel like you’re having a constant hot flash.

    (I’m a thin woman. Don’t blame it on my weight.)

    And the more breathable garment fabrics–the sleeves on those garment tops are twice as long. Plus, they don’t fit snugly like the Carinessa sleeve.

    So if you choose to wear what I consider a much healthier fabric, you have to forego certain fashions, even though you wouldn’t have to if you were wearing the Carinessa-one-long-hot-flash-garment.

    This variance in women’s garment styles–
    one that allows for certain fashions,
    another that prohibits wearing the very same fashions–
    suggests that the garments themselves are a just a clumsy substitute for something more important.

  86. The worst part about all this is that while it is somewhat cathartic to hear that just about everyone is in the same boat, we have a thread like this just about every year and nothing fundamental ever changes or ever will change. I dutifully filled out that survey last year and there were some minute tweaks made, but I have no hope that it will ever change. And when I stopped and thought…I could be living each day of my life (like 40 or 50 more years!!!) in discomfort or I could decide to be a bit kinder to myself and less rigid about the interpretatIon of the actually pretty vague covenant, it became clear to me that it was time to let go just a bit.

  87. Reed Russell says:

    My dad still wears nothing but one-piecers. One of the highlights of my visits out there.

    And I’m totally sold on ordering straight from lds.org.

  88. Yeah, I’m with Sam. Acceptable, maybe, in a sort of retro way. But stylish? No.

  89. anon in case my bishop is reading says:

    You want to hear something really shocking? When my old garments wear out, I simply throw them away. I was always uncomfortable with the whole cutting-and-burning routine so I simply stopped doing it.

  90. Women’s fit are horrible. For all the reasons above. I assume that any women involved in the finer points of the designs are still using sanitary towels on a belt, and consider yeast infections & UTIs a badge of honour, hence the continued impractical design. Pretty much from the day I first went to the temple I figured it was between me and God and everyone else could just worry about themselves. Try wearing a J fitting bra, designed to fit flush to the skin in an attempt to hold up your 2stone funbags, over thick sloppy cotton/sweaty polyester fabric. No thank you.

    One for the ladies: have any of you ever answered the TR garment question with “I don’t feel comfortable discussing my underwear with you?”

    I’m already considered “difficult” because I categorically told my Bishopric to stop interviewing my minor children without asking parental permission and my child’s choice of 2nd adult in the room, so am not looking forward to talking about my underwear with any of them. Maybe could go for an “I’ll tell you about mine if you tell me about yours” approach…

  91. The whole “bishop asking about underwear” thing is extra odd because of the modesty angle, but seriously, why does the Bishop need to ask about each covenant? Shouldn’t it be sufficient to ask “are you keeping your covenants?” Do they think people are going to forget what the covenants are? The list makes it seem more like an interrogation.

  92. Kevin Barney says:

    anon, I’m with ya. I’ve never in my life done the cut and burn thing.

  93. I wonder if the many women’s issues with garment styles and fabric have been presented to the general relief society presidency. Of course, I also wonder if they would have enough influence to be able to do anything about the insensitive Beehive Clothing monopoly. From comments here it certainly seems like some “relief” is needed. Maybe even a recurrence of “trickle-up revelation.”

    Some, I think, feel free to make modifications that do not show any more skin than another style or even the same style on another person. Such modifications, however, cannot hope to solve all the mentioned problems. They probably work best for men. Perhaps someday the Church/Beehive Clothing will be able to “comfort those in need of comfort” but it seems unlikely to happen unless there is first a trickle up to authorities and then a direction down to Beehive admin.

  94. JR, if they let the General Relief Society presidency members participate in the design, they’d have to change the name to Beehive Clothing and Family. ;)

  95. Pete, Name changes have been de rigueur for the Church in the past. I’m in favor of your proposal. :)

  96. JR, what would be the method to present this to the RS presidency? There’s no reporting chain from ward/stake RS to regional/general women’s leaders and I don’t see Bishops or stake presidents putting this topic at the top of their reports – think of their blushes having to mention women’s unmentionables.

    I love the idea, but the lack of direct reporting within the largest/oldest/most perfect women’s organisation is lamentable and the reason why this discussion comes around time and time again. Shouting into the virtual void about it is a pointless activity, except where there’s a glimmer of hope that church HQ bots are monitoring these discussions and hear it frequently enough as a topic.

  97. I think it’s cut *or* burn. Once you cut, you can throw them away.

  98. Of all the terrible things written on BCC over the years, visible crew necks not being stylish is the most blasphemous.

  99. Regarding the destruction of used garments, the declassified Handbook has this to say: “To dispose of worn-out temple garments, members should cut out AND destroy the marks.” (emphasis mine) So the cutting and the destruction appear to be separate actions. They don’t specify what means of destruction are acceptable: do I have to burn them, or can I dissolve them in acid or feed them through a shredder or what? There are sure to be times when burning (especially synthetics) is impractical.

    The handbook also says this:
    “Once the marks are removed, the fabric is not considered sacred.”
    Which brings up a couple of questions: considered sacred by whom? I certainly don’t. (I see you, sneaky passive voice.) And how does the sacredness get IN the fabric in the first place?

  100. Holy Ghost memories says:

    I cut out the marks, then snip the marks up into little smaller bits to “destroy” them. No burning necessary! I also cut apart the old garments a bit, because it is just weird, the little faces made by the cut out holes, like the Charlie Brown ghost costume. My mom used to use my dad’s old cut up cotton onesie garments as rags and dust cloths. She said they were the best, and why throw away perfectly good fabric. Etc. I guess that really drove home to me the “no longer sacred” thing.

  101. Kevin Barney says:

    Yeah, my parents also used old garments as rags. I think that used to be very common, especially for that generation of Depression babies, where you don’t just throw away something that is actually useful.

  102. They really are awful says:

    If you were to send a letter to the general RS president/cy, *someone* would read it. Definitely the secretary, and it might get passed along. You’d just have to google the address for the RS building. (Just don’t come across as crazy, or it’ll wind up with Investigations.)

  103. Anon,
    All bras are designed to be worn directly against the skin. That’s why I have never worn my garment top under a bra. (And I can’t believe I’m discussing this, even anonymously, on the internet!)

    Our current garment top comes to us from the 19th century camisole, which was designed to be worn under a corset. Yes, a CORSET!!

    I find it interesting that mens garments have largely kept up with the times. They fit right in 21st century locker rooms. Womens garments not so much. You could time travel back to 1860 and except for the fabrics, feel right at home. And, yes, there’s lots of symbolism here.

    If I were cynical I would say this had something to do with the aforementioned lack of female voices in the church. Or the fact that our organization, the Relief Society has been stripped of authority over the years. (There used to be a direct chain of command from the Stake RS right up to the General RS Pres.)

    Underwear styles changed over the years for very good reasons, a lot of them having to do with health, as more information became available. I struggle to find the rationale for clinging to 19th century clothing, especially when it impacts women so adversely.

    But what do I know? I want to wear 21st century underwear. I’m just a trollop. A Mormon hussy.

  104. I’ve never cut up old garments to use as cleaning rags. By the time we are finally willing to spend the $$$ (and time and frustration) to replace them, those things are NASTY.

  105. Poly-cotton is great for me during our mild winters. Mesh during our hot, humid summers.

    I try to avoid buying them at the Distribution Centers. Their personnel are just insensitive a-holes. That’s why I cherish the blessing of having an Online Store. Bless their hearts.

  106. The cleaning rags idea is weird to me. Who uses old panties to clean the house?

  107. Thanks to this thread. I culled through mine, choosing only my favorites. And I only wear them on select occasions. They are mine. I respect their intent. It’s between me and my God.

  108. Rigel Hawthorne says:

    Cleaning rags is as natural to me as is CTR rings and Targeteer flags. The shirt portions are not like cleaning with crotch material. I’ve dusted with them, wiped grease and tossed them, wiped off shoe polish with them. I do try to cut them up so they don’t resemble ‘Charlie brown ghost costumes’, like mentioned above.

  109. A few quick thoughts. I blogged pretty comprehensively about the women’s issues here: https://bycommonconsent.com/2013/05/13/female-garments-the-underwear-business/ After that, whether coincidentally or not, they did some style and size changes, some good, some meh. And since then, I’ve noticed three additional changes: 1) they took the feedback to kill the utterly ridiculous lacey bottom on the 3/4 length drisylque (whoever thought that was a good idea should be forced to listen to a month of High Council talks), 2) the underarm in the sleeves was lengthened (?) inexplicably which bears zero resemblance to any actual women’s clothing and looks like a short elephant’s trunk, resulting in a phenomenon we in our house call “garmpit” and 3) the sizes were reset at the original change and the actually more or less fit, but now they’ve begun to grow again, like a candle melting down your body.

    They really are terrible for most women I know. When I lived in a hot humid climate, I was soaking all the time. Now that I live in a hot dry climate I’m still soaking all the time. The carinessa are great in theory, but absolutely unworkable in a hot climate, and in any climate they increase yeast infections and UTIs. This is not a fabric for everyday wear for women. (Likewise, my doctor laments the trend of women wearing yoga pants for everyday wear because they cause UTIs and yeast infections).

  110. I assume the purpose of the ‘garmpit’ (great word btw) is to prevent me from distracting the brethren with my sexy sexy underarms. Which I totally shaved today. Or at least, sometime this week. Rrowr.

  111. Some garment fabrics lend themselves to odor. Just sayin’….

  112. So here’s a question: Do we actually covenant to wear garments in the temple? I don’t remember covenanting to wear garments (but my first session was sooo long ago it’s possible I just forgot how things really went down). I understand they’re supposed to remind us of our temple covenants and I remember being “instructed” in how to wear them. I have no memory of covenanting to wear them.

    I might be mistaken though…

  113. Kevin Barney says:

    That was a fantastic post, Angela. I love that you gave specific, constructive suggestions for improvement.

  114. Kevin Barney says:

    Angela, rereading your post reminded me of the funniest thing I have ever heard over a church pulpit in testimony meeting. A middle aged woman who had long been married to a nonmember had recently received her endowment and so had started to wear garments. She reported her husband’s reaction: “It’s like sleeping next to a sack of potatoes.” Zing!

  115. Anon, from lds.org : Relief Society General Office, 76 North Main, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150
    Linda K. Burton, Relief Society General President; Carole M. Stephens, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency; Linda S. Reeves, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency If you try looking up home addresses through one of the internet services you may need their husbands’ names also. Also from lds.org: Craig P. Burton; Martin R. Stephens; Mel (Melvyn Kemp) Reeves.

    Good luck. Be warned: standard procedure with letters to GAs seems to be to send them back to the writer’s stake president to “take appropriate action.” (There are reported exceptions.) I have no idea, of course, whether in that one way the General Relief Society Presidency might be treated as GAs.

  116. Onemorethought says:

    All the endowed women in my area under 40 years old wear their athletic clothes all day garment free. Most of the attire could not be worn with garments anyway. I guess this is their way of dealing with it. Garments on Sundays only. I live outside Morridor.

  117. I don’t recall whether we’ve covenanted in the temple to wear the garment, but I do know it’s a question asked as part of the temple recommend interview, and the question was not inserted by my bishop or my stake president. I know I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing the question was inserted at the direction of the First Presidency. I’m not going to judge others for what they do, but I do have to answer for myself, and since the First Presidency is a little closer to the Ultimate Source of Truth I guess I’ll go ahead and just accept the question as legitimate. If I’m wrong I’m sure I’ll suffer the consequences of a poor decision.

  118. The negative attitude of so many toward the temple garment and its importance makes me feel sad. I won’t be reading this site anymore.

  119. I’m a woman in my early 30’s with four kids, endowed for a decade and I don’t have problems wearing my garments. (Though I don’t burden myself with the totally unnecessary judging of others. None of my business.) I don’t live in a hot environment (blessed be the PNW) and never have had a UTI (though I go up a size to have a roomy fit and nothing is tight.) I sent off my two cents when the survey stuff about garments came out and I like how they made a low rise waist. I also appreciated the ability to order by cup size change. I have about as much curve as a 12 year old boy so it used to really annoy me to have all this floppy fabric mocking my essentially non-existent chest. I’ve found what works for me and now when I wear gentile undies (totally going to use that term from now on) during that time of the month I find it annoying and I look forward to getting back into my non-wedgie garments.

  120. Angela C and Joni: Actually crying with laughter at your comments above. Thanks for brightening my Friday morning. Garmpit will be awarded “new favourite word of the week” status.

  121. Several comments have mentioned a “survey” (presumably from the Church) about garments. Does anyone know how respondents were selected? Was the survey via email, or snail mail?

  122. I was sent a survey at one point ages ago. But you don’t have to wait – the product pages of the online store have a link called ‘clothing feedback.’ You’ll find it in the right column under the description. Right below the link to the sizing chart.

  123. When I realized we don’t at any point in the temple promise to wear garments (we are just instructed to), and when I decided I didn’t want to renew my TR anyway, I stopped wearing garments.

    But before that: I had family members sit around discussing my apparent faithlessness because they could see that I wore Gentile panties (only during my period, and I can still feel the pinch of squeezing a bloated, menstruating body into an extra layer all day). I had an old lady at the distribution center tell my husband disapprovingly, “She must be a midget!” when he bought me the smallest size of garment bottom (I am 5’2″ but with disproportionately short legs; even my special-order “short” pants need hemming). I was chastised by my brother-in-law for removing the garment top to wear a tank top to walk a mile, half uphill, in 100+ weather. I told him if I wore a tee-shirt for that I’d have to throw it away for the sweat stains after just a couple of wearings. He said that was a sacrifice you have to make to keep your covenants. The attitude I’ve gathered from members over the years is you’re supposed to suffer from garments, and you’re supposed to LIKE the suffering.

    As modesty enforcers, garments are (were?) inconsistent. With my long torso, I could theoretically wear high collars with an exposed midriff, or Hollywood-style plunging necklines with a wide, bunching torso. I opted for something in between, often layering just to cover the hem showing through above my outer shirt’s hem. I would wear split-sleeve or sleeveless styles with shoulders wide enough to cover the garment, but that earned me double-takes at church. I used to wear tights to hold the bottom garment in place so I didn’t have to worry about skirts just above my knees — the most flattering length for short legs. Maybe that’s why they’ve made the sleeves and legs longer, so gals like me can’t work the system. But now that I don’t wear garments, I’m too self-conscious of being discovered to push the boundaries.

  124. How does that catchy old Gentile song go?

    “The more you suffer, the more it shows you really care! Right? Yeah!”

    And I agree with Amanda, who said, “we have a thread like this just about every year and nothing fundamental ever changes.” Yep, I’ve seen a lot of these threads over the years, and heard women in my ward talking, and although changes are made, it’s never anything big. I don’t think any of the changes have even been positive for me, either.

  125. I was excommunicated from the Church a long time ago. Had to take my garments off and I folded them up and put them in my cedar chest. They stayed there for nine years. I wore no underwear at all for nine years. When I finally did come back to the Church and got my temple blessings restored, I dug those old garments out and began wearing them everyday. They were like my old friends. The price I paid to realize that was huge. The people on this site who say they don’t recall covenanting to wear garments in the temple need to go do some Initiatory work. You will hear it there. Wearing it is not a suggestion, although it is a choice. I get that it is uncomfortable. I get that it can cause health problems. I get all that. I have experienced some of that too. The garment is meant to take you out of the secular world. Having that choice to wear it is wonderful. Wear it how you like or will, but wear it when you can. Quit complaining. Find what works for you and just do it.

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