What Are Some Basic Facts About Mormon Underwear?

Mormon underwear, or temple garments, introduced by Joseph Smith in 1842 and originally for men only, have morphed from an all-over single garment to the simple T-shirts and pants of the modern world. The original garment looked like long underwear but was made of unbleached cotton. It covered the entire body from the neck to the ankles. Long sleeves reached the wrists, and the front was closed using string ties. Ceremonial markings were added during the anointing rituals.

By the late 1800s, women were allowed to take part in the endowment ceremonies and thus expected to wear the garment. They were given the same garments as the men. Some women attempted to alter the ill-fitting underwear, but they got into trouble with Church leaders.

More than once, President Joseph F. Smith issued directives stating that women with altered garments would not be allowed into the temple. Since everyone had to change from street clothes to simple white robes to enter the temple, the alterations were evident. Finally, in 1923, a new design was approved that better suited both sexes. In 1965, women got their own temple garments.

As of 2015, the garments used are a modified T-shirt and underwear pants. Men and women's garments are similar. Traditionally, the garments are worn against the skin, so that means that bras are worn on the outside of the garment top. Since no official directive has been given, many women put the bras under the garments. In men and women, the garments also make it necessary to dress modestly. Mormon underwear in not meant to be seen.