Imagine you just showed up to your senior prom in your sweatpants. Obviously, you’re completely underdressed. You think, “why didn’t anyone tell me I was supposed to wear a dress?”, and rightfully so. Before sorority recruitment, you may flash back to that dream you had right before you started high school, when you pictured yourself showing up to your first day stark naked. Quit worrying, we won’t let this happen to you during recruitment!
Often times your Rho Chi’s or Gamma Chi’s (See Greek Terminology) aren’t very specific when informing you about what to wear each day/night of recruitment. This isn’t because they want you to feel like the outcast in the room; it’s probably because they don’t want to make anyone feel pressured into wearing a certain type of outfit. More and more, Panhellenic tries to even the playing field for all potential new members; which is a good thing. If they tell you to wear a super nice and expensive outfit every night, then those girls who can’t afford nice outfits would stick out like a sore thumb. So, what do you wear?
If anyone tells you that sororities don’t judge you based on your appearance, then they’re lying (sort of). Are new members, you, chosen based on how much volume your hair has, the size of your waistline, or your potential to be the next super model? Absolutely not, but sororities do, and should, look at how you present yourself. It’s about confidence and looking put together. Did you take the time to iron your shirt, or did you pull it out of the hamper in a wrinkled ball 10 minutes before you had to be at recruitment? Did you touch up your hair and makeup, or did you roll out of bed that morning without looking in the mirror before you left the dorm?
At this point you may be thinking, “well who are they to judge me”, but really it’s about respect- for yourself and the sororities. For the sorority women, recruitment starts the day after the previous recruitment ends. The women in these sororities have spent countless hours, days, nights, shared laughs, joys and tears; all while planning and preparing for your arrival. If you’re considering this amazing life journey, then at least respect it enough to put a brush to your hair. And they want to see if you respect yourself enough to look put together for a big event.
Think of Recruitment as a first date with a great guy you’ve been wanting to ask you out. You want to feel and look your best. This is a great time to get out that favorite dressy top that you don’t have many places to show it off. Or a great excuse to go buy that high waisted skirt you’ve been waiting for an excuse to splurge on. Top off your outfit with some nice accessories. If you don’t normally accessorize, just know you can never go wrong in a sorority with pearls.
Don’t wear jeans. This is not necessarily a catchall. Jeans are okay, as long as they are dress jeans. Don’t show up in your tattered dirty wash pair that you know you probably should’ve given your mother the last time she took a box of clothes to Goodwill, but you’re just so happy you still fit into pants from your sophomore year of high school-jeans. Hey, we all hang on to them, just don’t bring them out that weekend.
Never wear sweatpants and T-shirts. That’s all we’ll say on that topic.
Wear a dress to the Preference Ceremony (last night of recruitment). All the sororities will be wearing dresses, so this will allow you to feel and look like one of them. Now don’t break out your old homecoming dress, it’s not quite that formal. A classy cocktail dress will do. Watch your cleavage and length of the dress. This is one of those times you don’t want to think “first date”. They’re potentially going to be your sisters. They won’t be impressed by your new push up bra.
You need to look nice every night of recruitment, but you also want to be comfortable. Not pajama comfortable, but if you are tugging, pulling and smoothing out your outfit all night the girls will notice it and may mistake it as social discomfort, extreme anxiousness or boredom. You have enough to think about, after you get dressed and leave your room, the last thing you should have on your mind is your outfit. So plan ahead, and have your best outfits ready to go!
This all may seem like a lot to you right now, but if all else fails just remember to look your best and exhibit confidence!
What is your “confidence” item that you will (did) wear during recruitment?
Casey, Kate, and Rachel
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