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Four Rounds and You’re In a Sorority!!
I remember my daughters going through sorority recruitment. I don’t think they knew what to expect or what to wear for sorority recruitment. Many of us raise our daughters to accept that beauty comes from within. But we are in a battle with social media when it comes to body image and fashion. Unfortunately, recruitment is one of those times when you are judged on appearances. I am not suggesting that those going through sorority recruitment should dress in a way that does not make them feel comfortable. They can show their personality through their outfit choices and accessories.
And I don’t think you have to spend more than you are budgeted for. We have found that there are many places to shop, including online, where your daughter will be able to find great outfits for Sorority Recruitment. We turned to our interns, most of whom are in sororities to get some suggestions on what to wear and what to expect.
From the moment you register, you build up so much anticipation and excitement for rush week, believing that it will practically determine your friends and social circle for the rest of your college experience. There are a lot of things that you can’t prepare for the week, but one thing that you can plan ahead of time is the right outfit to wear. There are many rounds of recruitment and they each call for a different outfit, which can get slightly confusing and even overwhelming. Our interns help explain the days and what to prepare/expect for and how to find the perfect outfit for each occasion.
PNM refers to potential new members. They are put into groups with other young ladies going through recruitment. Each group has recruitment counselors that are there to offer advice, answer questions, and support. They go by different names depending on the university. Some are called Pi Chi’s, Rho Gamma’s, Gamma Chi’s
Orientation usually happens the day before recruitment starts. All of the girls rushing head over to a location and get their group for recruitment. You get to meet your recruitment counselor and get a quick overview of what the recruitment experience will be like. This is your chance to ask any questions and meet new girls in your group. They will give you a meeting point to go to the next morning before recruitment starts.
Round 1 consists of anywhere from 1-2 days where you go to every house and spend 15 -20 minutes there. The pi chis will line you up in alphabetical order outside the house and you will enter and meet a member of the chapter you are at. The chapter woman will offer to take your bag– let her! This may seem weird but it gives you time to relax and not hold the giant recruitment bag you brought. This round is a very surface-level round where you can talk to the members about their chapter and tell them who you are. This round is over two days and you will get to go to every house. Your recruitment counselor will be with you at every house in case you have any questions or issues.
What to wear: Day 1 and Day 2, you are provided a shirt for each day, so all you need to worry about is having a nice, appropriate pair of shorts, skorts, or a skirt. You’ll wear flats or sandals for these two days. I would recommend not wearing jeans or long pants because if you know Florida summers, they get super-hot and you’re going to be outside most of the day and you want to be as comfy as possible. Another tip is to wear the same pair of shorts. You go to different sorority houses on these days so no one will notice if you repeat outfits. You won’t know the color of the shirts until close to recruitment, so I recommend having white, black, or jean shorts or a neutral color. Some girls like to dress in flowy shorts with a comfortable flat. You don’t have to wear the same ones but it may make it a little easier unless you want to coordinate with the colors of the shirts.
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Round 2 is slightly longer than round 1. It is 30 minutes with an emphasis on philanthropy. The members will talk to you for a while and then show a video about their philanthropy. This round each chapter woman will probably ask more in-depth questions about who you are and you should ask similar questions about the chapter. This is your chance to see if this chapter is a good fit for you! This is also the round where they will give you a slip with all the finances such as dues and fees for the chapter. Round two is also two days, but you will go to fewer houses and have more breaks throughout the day depending on the number of houses you will.
What to wear: This is the first day you’re able to really show your style and wear what you want to wear. Most people usually wear nice sundresses, rompers or skirts. Again, you’re outside so I would avoid jumpsuits and long pants because it’s going to be super-hot out. Expect to be walking around a lot so I would wear sandals and flats or any other comfy pair of shoes for this day too. You don’t need heels yet either so stick to a cute pair of flats or sandals.
Round 3 is the sisterhood round. The round is 40 minutes and supposed to be more intense conversations about what you are looking for in a chapter. Each chapter will show a video about their house which usually takes up a good chunk of time. This is your chance to ask all of the questions you have to make sure that this is the right chapter for you. At the end of the day, you will decide which houses you would like to go to to attend the Preferentials. You will go back to two houses.
What to wear: It’s very similar to the second round but you can make it a little dressier. You also have the option to wear wedges today, but if you do that, I would bring a pair of flats or comfy shoes with you when you’re walking and traveling to each of the houses. You don’t want anything too fancy, so avoid the “prom dress” style or “night-out” look. Another romper or nice sundress is perfect for this day.
Round 4 – Prefs!
Your recruitment counselor will give you your schedule for the day in the morning. You go to two houses for prefs. Each round is 50 minutes. This is where you will have a more private conversation with a chapter woman. Eat the food they offer you, it is usually really food! This is the final chance to make sure it is a good fit for both houses so usually all of the questions are asked. This round can be emotional and intense. The chapters usually end with a ritual specific to their house. This is usually emotional to make you feel something. I always felt that if you feel at home when you are in the house and prefs makes you happy to be there, that is the house. After your two parties, you will decide on which chapter you would like to be a part of.
What to wear: This final round, also known as prefs, has the feel of a nice cocktail party. This night is very special so this is when you should wear your nice dresses, skirts, or a “midi” will do. It is your last impression so try to keep this in mind as well. Most people wear dress shoes, heels, or nice wedges to this night, but also bring a pair of flats or comfy shoes for when you’re walking around outside the houses.
Bid day is very exciting. All of the PNM’s will meet at a location and sit in their groups. Everyone will get a card in an envelope with their house on it. Everyone opens it at the same time and it is really fun and exciting. Each chapter will take turns rounding up its new members and take them on a bus to their house. Each house will have a party planned with dinner and activities to get to know your new sisters.
What to wear: On bid day, some campuses will give you a bid day shirt to change into. Not all campuses will but you can wear a skirt, even shorts and definitely sandals or flats and even comfy sneakers. You can even wear the flats you wore in Rounds 1 and 2. This day is probably the most exciting. When you get to your chapter, they will tell you all that you need for your own, individual bid day celebration, and this may be a fun dinner or event later that night.
Something not to forget is jewelry! Keep it to your style, whatever you feel best expresses you, or anything simple and classic. You want to make sure that you’re following your own style.
You may want to bring an emergency beauty kit and makeup with you to touch up throughout the day, along with a carry-on size deodorant, portable charger, face blots (this may sound weird, but trust me these are great), an umbrella, and mints. This will come in handy and you’ll want to be feeling and looking your best! Your rho gamma will probably have girl accessories or anything else you quickly may need for your parties. It may also not hurt to bring a rain jacket or any kind of jacket and a portable fan when you’ll be in the heat!
Also, if you are wearing heels, you may want to throw in some comfortable flats to wear while walking between each house. One thing to remember for all of your outfits is that you want to make sure you’re being yourself and wearing clothes that you want, not what you think is expected! Recruitment is right around the corner so it’s good to start preparing now! Recruitment rounds vary by university, but we’ve got some great outfit inspo.
Fashion Influencers For Inspo
IG has really been great for fashion inspo. It is a great way to check out fashion stories. A few of the ones my daughters follow are:
Retailers We Recommend
Our interns have found great outfits, shoes, and jewelry at the stores below. My daughters do really well at the retailers below when it comes to trendy and affordable outfits.
- American Eagle
- Nordstrom Rack
- Princess Polly
- Red Dress Boutique
- Show Me Your Mumu