What to Wear for Sorority Recruitment

Monday, January 09, 2012

Last week, I offered some advice for those starting formal sorority recruitment. Today I'm addressing one the most nerve-wrecking aspects of sorority rush: what to wear.

I've put together some sample outfits so you get an idea of what's appropriate for recruitment. Keep in mind that every university has its own unique procedure with varying "theme" days and different dress codes. The following outfits are ideas based on my own college's sorority rush and my knowledge of sorority recruitment at other schools. These looks are also intended for "spring" (really, winter) rush, so don't wear these in the sweltering heat of "fall" rush for your own sanity!

T-Shirt Day

On this day, everyone wears the same t-shirt, and the rest of the outfit is up to you.

Your Panhellenic-issued tee + ....

On this day, I would recommend slim or skinny bottoms to balance out the proportions of the t-shirt (those darn things are always too big!). Of course, if you're not comfortable in skinny jeans, bootcut denim is a flattering and classic choice. Go with fashionable-yet-comfortable shoes, such as flat boots, chic wedges or stylish loafers. Jazzed-up loafers are the must-have shoe of the moment: Make a statement by dressing up your t-shirt and basic jeans with a statement shoe, like the leopard flats. If you really want to stand out, wear colored denim (in a hue that complements your t-shirt color, of course) and neutral flats. Keep jewelry neutral but personal. I would wear your nice, everyday stuff, like a couple of your favorite bracelets, simple studs or a pretty cocktail ring.

The In-Between Days — 
Philanthropy Day, Skit Day, Spirit Day, etc.

These are the days when t-shirts are out and wardrobe is primary up to you. Your school will likely provide guidelines for each of these days. Here are some of my suggestions:

Dress, Leopard cardigan (Wear it unbuttoned over the dress), Skinny belt (Wear at natural waist over the cardigan), Black opaque tights, Black ballet flats

Preference Day:

Recruitment saves the best for last. On this special day, you'll experience a more intimate and heartfelt side of each chapter, and you may experience a bit of their ritual. It's an emotional day with a formal dress code to match. I would advise against wearing black, because most of the sororities will be wearing black dresses — this is your chance to wear something dazzling and stand out!

Pack Your Bag:

A small handbag that fits all your essentials is ideal, but if you must carry something more roomy, stick with a small tote. You don't want to lug around a cumbersome bag nor do you want to make rush parties even more crowded with extra bulk. Narrow down your essentials and keep your shoulder bag trim.

Essentials to Stash:

  • Small make-up bag with the basics: 
    • Powder for shine
    • Concealer to brighten under eyes
    • Eyeliner to fix smudged lines
    • Lip color (lipstick and a balm, or a double duty gloss)
  • Mints
  • Oil-absorbing blotter sheets
  • Fold-up flats (only if you're wearing heels and want a break as you walk from house to house)
  • Small mirror
  • Travel brush or small tease comb for hair touch-ups
  • Travel-size hairspray
  • Static spray (if you're wearing a static-prone garment, like a silk top)
  • Cell phone (But turn it off before each party!)
  • Umbrella
  • You won't need money, but stash your student ID and a credit card just in case

Beauty Tips:

Apply your make-up as you would for a daytime date. You want to look naturally beautiful, without the heaviness that only nighttime allows. Skip club-worthy smokey eyes, glitter or high-maintanence dark lipstick in favor of neutral flattering hues, natural contouring and warm lip color.

Wear your hair down (if there's anytime to ditch the lazy pony and take 20 extra minutes in the morning, it's now) and work with your natural texture — not against it. If your hair's straight, wear it straight. If it's curly, wear it curly. Unless you can beat your tresses into submission with reliable and time-tested products, just go with what naturally and normally works for you.

Make sure to smell fresh, but don't spray that perfume! Even a tiny spritz can be headaching-inducing when it's multiplied by the 200 girls in the room.

Remember the best accessory a girl can have is her smile!

Questions? Do you have questions about recruitment or sorority life? Feel free to ask! Leave a comment or click on the "contact" button in the left column of my blog.

You Might Also Like