If anyone tells you that sororities won’t judge you based on your appearance…that is unfortunately not true. There will be hundreds of girls shuffling through the exciting yet nerve racking process that is rush, and there simply isn’t enough time to fully get to know a PNM’s (potential new member’s) personality. Sad but true, you will want to look your best in order to make a good first impression. Fortunately, we have the best guide for what to wear during sorority recruitment. Here are some tips to help you breeze through this superficial entry point for sororities so that you can join the right organization for you.
Every. School. Is. Different. (In terms of how their sorority recruitment process works, at least.) That means, (you guessed it) the dress codes for sorority recruitment are different for every school as well. BUT-don’t freak out over this. First of all, if you keep in mind that sorority recruitment attire becomes slightly more formal each day, you should be fine. Secondly, there are certain tips to keep in mind, that if you follow, will apply to every university and help you look your best for every occasion during sorority recruitment. So keep reading…
Sorority Recruitment Outfit Tips To Keep In Mind
1. Keep it classy, ladies.
Unfortunately, it is in human nature to initially judge someone based on their appearance. You will want to impress the current sorority sisters and show them that you are taking recruitment seriously and would represent their sorority well. Plunging necklines and dresses that don’t cover your butt cheeks are the biggest faux pas of recruitment. You will want to be remembered for your positive attitude and respective style, not your cleavage or risque miniskirt. Recruitment is a traditional event where you will seek to join a collegiate organization with a strong foundation in philanthropy, and you will need to look the part. This includes classy yet stylish clothing, appropriate footwear, neat hair and nails, and makeup that is not gaudy or over the top. Stay away from flashy accessories, glitter, false eyelashes, or anything too distracting.
When selecting your dresses, always go for classy over sexy. Go for pastels, neutrals, or deep dark hues. Stay away from neon and very bright bold colors. Black can be considered too formal for a day event but is perfectly acceptable for an evening/night event. White dresses work well during Fall Rush when the weather is still nice out. Either way, make sure to check if all the sisters are wearing a specific color and stay away from it (usually they will tell you if there is a specific color not to wear). The reason why they may tell you not to wear a specific color is because the Rho Gammas might be all wearing that color, and they want to avoid confusion. (If you do not know what a Rho Gamma is and want to read more about it, look here.)
Dresses to buy:
Tip: You can definitely have some fun with prints – anything from Lily Pulitzer is always a safe bet (although expensive and somewhat over done), but any floral or chevron dresses work great as well. When it comes to style, go for flowy and comfortable fabrics like chiffon, lace or cotton. Avoid tight bodycon dresses, sequins, and cutout dresses. A cute high-waisted pencil, mini or midi skirt would also be a great option but leave the crop tops in your closet.
Dresses to buy:
You also don’t have to wear a dress! A cute top with a skirt or pants, or even shorts (as long as they are not booty shorts) works great too. Always remember that your outfit needs to reflect who you are and if you’re not comfortable wearing a dress then you shouldn’t force yourself to try and fit the Hollywood stereotype.
Tip: Add a belt to any pair of shorts or pants to make them seem more professional and formal. Usually skinnier belts work best because they won’t take someone’s attention away from your whole outfit. Try for belts that are a solid brown, black, or even a soft gold.
Bottoms to buy:
2. Plan your outfits ahead of time.
Recruitment is a process that starts from informal (but always “nice”) to more dressy attire as the days progress. Make sure you study the recruitment schedule and plan your outfits ahead accordingly. If you have an older sister or friend in a sorority, don’t hesitate to ask them for help understanding what is expected of you at each event. It is a very good idea to try on all of your outfits in advance and plan for a couple of backups. Make sure you try on each pair of shoes and make sure that you are comfortable walking and standing for extended periods of time while wearing them.
Tip: Bring a sweater in case the weather becomes chilly, and possibly even a pocket umbrella in case it begins to rain. Also don’t forget to bring a cute pair of flip flops or flats to walk in between house tours. You will be doing a lot of walking. Even if you wear heels at the events, don’t try to walk all day in them!
3. Try to stand out while also fitting in.
Easier said than done, you might be thinking. But in reality, this isn’t that hard. Just keep in mind that the sororities meet hundreds and hundreds of girls during sorority recruitment, and in the same way that you couldn’t possibly remember all of their names and faces, chances are they won’t remember yours. So, you have to stand out. But in a good way.
You have to make sure that you are remembered in a positive light, especially since you may be discussed and described afterwards depending on your hairstyle, accessories, jewelry, or outfit. (It seems superficial, but how else do you describe a person to your friends if they don’t remember who you are talking about? By the way their voice sounds? Eye color? I doubt it…)
They will describe you by what you were wearing that day. Do not wear something forgettable or bland and be lost in the masses. But do NOT wear something that will make you stand out so much in a bad way. There is a huge difference between “Remember her? She was wearing that cute navy romper we both liked…” and “Remember her? She was wearing that handmade paper flower on her headband that kept falling out?”… You get the difference.
You can look polished while giving off an extra sparkle, like a colorful dress, a pretty pattern, a bold statement necklace, headband, or shoe. Wearing something personal like a scarf you brought back from a trip, or your mother’s necklace is also a great conversation starter.
4. Above all, be yourself.
While there is a dress code to abide by during sorority recruitment, don’t try to fit into a mold if it doesn’t feel like yourself. Never cared much for preppy? Don’t wear a Lily dress just because you feel like that’s what sorority girls are looking for. If you look awkward and uncomfortable, girls will notice and it will not work in your favor. When in doubt, stick to a basic skater dress and let your personality shine through your accessories.
Sorority Recruitment Outfits Ideas For Each Day
Rush week usually starts out with orientation where you will meet your recruitment counselor (Rho Gamma) and learn about the process. At some schools, you will be provided with a t-shirt to wear to your first day(s) of recruitment. This is actually to help give current sisters a sense of who you are through your personality rather than what you are wearing. But, you won’t be wearing this t-shirt throughout the entire sorority recruitment, so make sure to plan for everything just in case. Wear shorts, (pants if it’s cold) with the t-shirt tucked in. If the sleeves are too long, you can roll them a couple times to make it look less baggy. Make sure your makeup and hair looks presentable.
Tip: Do NOT try to get crafty and alter your t-shirt in anyway. No cut outs, slits, or tying.
Cute Casual. Even though it’s a relaxed environment, you still want to look polished. Wear the given T-Shirt if you are provided with one. If not, opt for the examples below.
Casual shorts, skirt, pants, or jeans with the given t-shirt (if provided with one) or your own blouse or top. Dress or skirt with a blouse or top if you are not given a t-shirt.
Flats, sandals, Toms, Converse sneakers, flip flops (not too casual or beachy). Avoid heels or wedges for orientation.
You most likely won’t need a bag for orientation if you aren’t visiting the houses yet. You should bring a folder for all your sheets and information you get. Maybe wear a statement necklace, cute earrings, or a belt so you stand out from the rest in your t-shirt.
Tip: Chances are you won’t know what the color of the shirt will be because they change every year. So wear a neutral color pair of bottoms (black, white, beige, grey) so you don’t end up looking like a rainbow.
2. Open House
For the next round you will visit every sorority house. This is sometimes called the “sundress round” and most PNM’s wear a sundress and sandals. Other ideas include white jeans and a cute top, or a cute skirt and top. Many of the sorority girls will wear matching tanks/tee shirts to display unity to their sorority and differentiate between others. Embrace the opportunity to wear flats today! If you feel more comfortable wearing heels, go with wedges or a low heel. But keep in mind you will be walking a lot.
Dress Code: cute and casual.
Shorts and top, skirt and top, romper or sundress. (Obviously if your school calls Open House ‘Sundress Round” wear a sundress.)
Wear shoes that you are comfortable walking in, but not sneakers. You might be able to get away with Converse style sneakers and nice flip flops for this round, but I wouldn’t always risk it. Wear sandals, Toms, flats, or wedges.
Tip: Let your personality shine and don’t be afraid to wear happy colors. If you decide to wear wedges, bring flip flops in your purse to walk in between houses.
3. Philanthropy Day
This will be another day of touring the houses, except this time you will learn about each sorority’s philanthropy. Depending on your college’s Panhellenic Association (the governing body of many Greek Organizations on campus), all PNM’s may be given the same tee-shirt. Although a tee may not be the height of style, it can still pair nicely with solid shorts, flattering jeans and wedges, or with a high-waisted skirt and flats. If you are not given a t-shirt, stick to a sundress, romper, or shorts and a nice top. Again, you will be walking a lot today so be careful of wearing wedges or high heels if you don’t intend on bringing an extra pair of flats to change into.
Dress Code: Cute and casual.
Sundress, shorts and skirt and a nice top or blouse, maxi skirt and nice top, or romper.
Sandals, Toms, flats, or wedges depending on what outfit you choose. I would steer clear of Converse sneakers or flip flops at this stage in recruitment.
4. Sisterhood Day/Skit Day/Movie Day
Today is like Philanthropy day except instead of the sisters teaching you about their philanthropy, they will be teaching you all about themselves! Most likely you will continue to chat with sisters but also watch a short video they create about their sisterhood and members or perform a skit. It differs from school to school with some dress codes requiring dressier than a sundress, yet more casual than semi-formal, and others still permit rompers or shorts and a nice top. Stick to a sundress or nice romper in this round to be safe. The sorority girls will almost definitely be wearing heels, and you will want to as well (or wedges), especially since you do not want to be looking up at people while talking to them. Make sure that your heels are at least not horribly painful…you will be standing up all day in them. You’ll definitely appreciate the sorority houses that offer you seats!
Dress Code: Dressier than casual but not totally cocktail attire.
Wear a pretty dress, something that you would wear out to a nice dinner or a bridal shower. A classy romper would work too.
Heels or wedges. Be careful of wearing crazy stilettos… Remember you will still be walking quite a bit so bring a pair of flip flops or flats in your purse when your toes need a break.
Tip: Stay away from jeans or shorts. Don’t wear sneakers or cheaper flip flops. As if this couldn’t get any more confusing, also be careful not to overdress. Make sure to check how formal the event is depending on your school. Finally, avoid wearing head to toe “sorority cliches” – a Lilly print, pearls and bows is too much.
5. Preference Night
The fanciest of all of the nights, you will want to get dolled up as if you were attending a wedding or a romantic dinner. It is OK to wear black today, as many sisters probably will be. Some houses dim the lights or have candlelit mood lighting, but remember that this is not a club! Avoid body-con or tight styles or anything too short, you may be seated for the duration of your time in each house. Heels are strongly recommended.
Dress Code: Semi formal.
Fancy/cocktail dresses and heels are appropriate. Jewelry and accessories carefully selected.
Stick to heels if you can. Wedges are easier to walk in for longer periods of time than stilettos or pumps, but make sure they are formal wedges.
Tip: Try to avoid sequined/glittery/cutout dresses. Anything too sexy. No need to be too safe or preppy for this round, if your style is more high fashion don’t be afraid to flaunt it as long as it stays classy (peplum, open back, bold print or color).
6. Bid Day
You may have never experienced the same kind of excitement, relief, and happiness that you will when you open your bid day invitation from your sorority of choice! Fun-filled and full of bonding, you will want to wear a tank top and shorts because you will not know what your new house will have in store for you. You will be given a tee shirt that you will wear over your tank for reveal. You’ll want to wear sandals as you may be participating in a backyard barbeque/pool party, ice-skating event, or another activity that involves you being out and about and meeting your new sorority and pledge class.
Casual, like Day 1 of Recruitment. Converse sneakers are permitted. I would recommend against wearing heels.
What are some other great outfit ideas for sorority recruitment? Comment below for our readers and share this article with a friend!
*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own
Julie is a Parisian living in Boston. Graduated from Bentley University with a Masters in Marketing.