All of these terms have been used to describe what potential new members should wear during sorority recruitment. Usually, these phrases only create MORE questions. It’s enough to make your head spin!
Your Panhellenic officers will provide you with guidance for each day of recruitment. If those guidelines aren’t clear, ask questions. Even then, one person’s “casual” can translate into another person’s “sloppy.” What looks “dressy” to someone can seem “overdone” to others.
Head still spinning? Let’s steady your head and polish your look with some simple tips. Follow these basic do’s and don’ts, and you will look and feel your best each day of recruitment.
DO try on everything you plan to wear for Recruitment, from the skin out. Check for fit and to see if anything needs repairs. Loose buttons, dropped hems or other “wardrobe malfunctions” can make you feel less than your best, and ruin your whole day. Make sure bra straps don’t peek out (tiny safety pins can fix this), and check for VPL (visible panty lines).
DO make sure everything you plan to wear is easy to sit, stand, bend over and walk in. If you’re wearing a dress or skirt, make sure you can sit down in it – ALL the way down, because you may be sitting on the floor at some point.
Also, you may sit in a chair while a chapter woman sits on the floor, so make sure your skirt is long enough to cover what’s important. Check tops and blouses for too much visible cleavage – lean over in front of a mirror, and then have someone stand and look over your shoulder while you are sitting. Look at the backs of your outfits while sitting down, as well – make sure you aren’t displaying your undies or any “rear-view cleavage.” If you’re showing too much skin, try a layering piece, some strategic safety pins, or a different top altogether.
DO make sure your clothes are clean, fresh and pressed. Iron your clothes the night before (even a simple t-shirt or casual skirt will look nicer if you run a warm iron over it and put it on a hanger, as opposed to pulling it out of a drawer 5 minutes before you walk out the door). Dry clean items if they need it. Don’t wear the blouse you wore to a party the night before – the “party aroma” will linger.
DO dress at the top of the “scale” for what you’re told to wear. If it’s “just jeans and a top”, try trouser jeans and a crisp blouse or a simple sweater for a “stand out in a good way” look. Make sure to complete your outfit with accessories – for example, the right shoes and a belt can raise the bar.
DO plan ahead. Mom was right – bring a sweater! You never know when the air conditioning will be on full blast during a hot summer day, or the heat of many bodies crammed into a room on a chilly winter day can turn it into sauna. Have a cute sweater or jacket that goes with your outfit, just in case. If you don’t need it, tie it around your neck or waist, or ask if you can leave it with your Recruitment Counselor.
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Beth Titlow Gittons is a SureSister.com contributor. She is a former college Panhellenic president, student body president, Greek Life Advisor, and a local and national volunteer for Delta Zeta Sorority. Beth holds a bachelors degree in Political Science and a masters degree in Higher Education Administration.
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