Fall sorority recruitment is just around the corner, and a loooot of you have asked me for my help on planning what to wear for rush as well as my overall tips.
Let’s start with clothes. The most important thing to remember is to BE YOURSELF with your clothing – the sororities want to see who you are! As a former sorority girl, I PROMISE that you don’t go out and buy a wardrobe you’ll never wear again just because you think it’s what you’re *supposed* to wear. Feel free to pick up some new things, but don’t go crazy. Wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident!
ROUND ONE – OPEN HOUSE
The first round of recruitment is when you will have the opportunity to visit every single chapter on campus! This round is pretty casual, so wear something you feel comfortable in – you will be visiting A LOT of houses and therefore will be walking quite a lot. The key here is to stand out and show your personality in a sea of thousands of girls in the same exact shirt – more on that in a second.
TOP: You will likely wear a shirt provided to you by your campus Panhellenic… but so will EVERY. SINGLE. GIRL.
BOTTOM: Since you’ll be walking a lot, make sure you’re wearing comfortable bottoms (AKA no chafing). I wore denim shorts with a cute belt with my recruitment t-shirt. I would also recommend fabric shorts, an appropriate length skirt, or even jeans if it’s chilly! Like I said, comfort is key.
SHOES: You’ll likely be walking a lot, so make sure you’re wearing something comfy that won’t give you blisters. Make sure you break in any new purchases BEFORE recruitment.
JEWELRY: Since you’re 99% likely to wear a crew neck cotton t-shirt, make your jewelry choices with that in mind. The accessories are really your chance to differentiate yourself from other girls who are wearing some version of your outfit!
ROUND TWO – FIRST INVITATIONAL
The second round is called the first invitational because the sororities you met during the first round decided they like you and have extended you an invite back to their chapter! This is an exciting day because now you can see what sororities have interest in you and begin to get to know your options better. Lots of schools do a philanthropy or sisterhood round this day, as well as house tours. This round will be an opportunity to meet more girls and learn more about each chapter you are invited back to visit!
This round is still pretty casual. You get to wear whatever you’d like, there most likely isn’t a Panhellenic-provided shirt this day. A good frame of reference is to dress like you would for a dinner with friends – not super fancy, but you’re definitely wearing a cute outfit and accessorizing!
TOP: You can really go a number of ways with this outfit. I would NOT recommend wearing a dress yet, since it is so early on in the process and the girls at the chapters will likely be casual as well! A cute tank, tie up shirt, or an off the shoulder top would all be great options. Pull from your personal style – what would you wear on a Friday night dinner date with your girlfriends? If you wouldn’t wear it outside recruitment, DON’T WEAR IT! That simple 🙂
BOTTOM: I would really stick with jeans, shorts, or skirts and avoid leggings. You want to put your best foot forward! A few tasteful tears are okay, but do not be showing up with rips all down your legs.
SHOES: You’ll still be visiting quite a few chapters this round (Purdue has up to 13 houses you can visit this round!) so you want to be wearing comfortable walking shoes. I would not wear sneakers this round, but everything else is fair game. I would not do full on heels yet, but maybe some chunkier sandals!
JEWELRY: Your jewelry really depends on your outfit and personal style, but simple necklaces and chokers are best if your outfit makes a statement by itself. Statement necklaces are big this round because it shows off your style AND they will likely be a conversation starter with the girls you will talk to at the chapters!
ROUND THREE – SECOND INVITATIONAL
You’ve made it more than halfway through recruitment! Pat yourself on the back. Today, chapters decided that they made a wonderful choice inviting you back for the last round and that they want to see you back again! This is a big deal and totally okay to get excited about 🙂 This is the round where sororities will decide if they want to invite you back to the final round of recruitment, called preference. You need to make a great impression and dress a little nicer this time. I would dress like you are going to church or going to a nice dinner with your family – not FANCY but definitely wearing something nicer than you’d wear on any other day.
DRESS: I would recommend wearing a dress this day. You can wear a nice shirt and skirt, but for me, it was easier to wear one piece of clothing and not worry about my skirt riding up or my shirt coming untucked! You want to be focused on the conversations you’re having with girls, not a wardrobe malfunction 😉 make sure you are modestly dressed – keep the hemline short enough to show you’re a woman but long enough to show you’re a lady and cover up your chest. I’m not saying to wear a maxi skirt and a turtle neck, just make sure a dress you’d wear for going out is NOT what you are wearing to this round!
SHOES: You won’t be visiting as many chapters so you won’t need walking shoes. I would wear heeled sandals to be a little more dressy! Make sure you are able to walk in whatever shoes you choose.
JEWELRY: You want to wear tasteful and classy jewelry as you are looking more formal this round. I would stick to nicer jewelry and stray away from edgy pieces like chokers.
FINAL ROUND – PREFERENCE
You have made it to the final round of recruitment – these women can see you as their sister and have invited you to see what the core of their sisterhood is. The preference ceremonies you will attend are extremely meaningful and formal events, and you need to dress like you are attending a wedding or family party. This is a very exciting day and the most important of the entire recruitment process and you need to look your best! The women in the chapters you visit will be dressed in nice cocktail dresses and heels. There really is not a lot of room for negotiation on this – you, too should be wearing a nice dress and heels.
DRESS: It is CRUCIAL that your dress is not at all something you would wear out. Make sure your chest is covered, the hem line is long enough and that the fabric isn’t skin tight. However, wear something you feel your best in! If you have a nice dress that you think you look amazing in, wear it! Again, don’t be wearing something overly conservative, just be aware of the formality of the event.
SHOES: You should be wearing heels to match the formality of the girls at the chapters. Make sure you can walk in them and that they won’t give you blisters! Don’t feel the need to stick to plain black heels, either – feel free to wear bright colored, studded or tie up heels to show more personality 🙂
JEWELRY: All your jewelry should be tasteful and the “nicer” pieces you own! I would suggest sticking to pearls and diamonds. Bring out the bling!!
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR RECRUITMENT
- Stay away from the B’s (boys, booze, Buddha/religion, bucks/money, Barack/politics) (at least this is what they called it when I rushed!) to avoid awkwardness.
- WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING the second you get out of the house’s door. You normally are given a little book with all the sororities on campus for this very purpose. You will be shocked at how all of the houses blend together after a few hours, and when you go to rank, it’s hard to remember whether the girl you really enjoyed talking to is from ABC Sorority or XYZ Sorority. Avoid this by jotting down names of girls you had conversations with, your general reaction to the house, and topics you discussed at the end of each round.
- Be yourself! This is so cliche but it is true. You don’t want to be putting on a front all week only to be put into a house where you don’t feel at home or at ease. You want to be comfortable in the sorority you get placed in… so start by acting comfortably when you’re in recruitment!
- Have some fun facts about yourself ready to talk about. It’s super weird if a girl asks you, “Tell me something about yourself!” and you take a loooong time to think.
- Talk yourself up! It is not bragging to tell actives your successes in high school. Involvement and excellence are things they’re looking for in potential new sisters!
- Don’t think you have to like ABC Sorority just because everyone else in your rush group does. It may be the right fit for them, but not for you!
- You are technically not allowed to take anything out of a sorority house after a recruitment round ends. This doesn’t seem like an issue until you consider that sororities cannot give you bandaids, tissues, hair pins, medicine, etc. during the rounds. Make sure to stock up on these items in the bag you are bringing!
- Be prepared for some bumps in the road. You will be dropped from houses you love, and it will sting. Just remember to trust the process because at the end, joining a sorority is a mutual selection process (more info on that here).
Good luck during recruitment and feel free to email me with your outfits for advice or help! May the recruitment odds be ever in your favor 😉