For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Sep 12 2017
by Madalyn Deselem

A Wardrobe Guide to Sorority Formal Recruitment

By Madalyn Deselem - Sep 12 2017

As a freshman entering the Greek system for the first time in my family's history, I had no idea what I was getting myself into in terms of formal recruitment. When I heard that each round of recruitment had a different dress code, I immediately began researching to figure out what I could wear to each round and planning my wardrobe accordingly. In order to help you avoid the  flustered packing moment that I had, I have compiled a gallery of my outfits from my formal recruitment experience to give you a better idea of what is acceptable to wear to each round. 

Before I begin, it is necessary to explain why clothing matters so much in recruitment. During each round, you are being invited to someone's home. You want to reflect your respect for their desire to see you by dressing respectfully and appropriately. Each round becomes more personal and formal and thus the dress code is different for each one. While you should follow the dress code, your outfits should reflect who you are as a person. You only get so much time to speak with each chapter so you want to present your genuine self each time. These outfits reflect who I am, and are merely ideas for your own outfit choices. Individuality is a vital part of the recruitment process; do NOT dress in what you think a house wants you to wear. Be undeniably you!

Round One: Open House 

Dress code: Casual

Madalyn Deselem

Open house is by far the most casual of all rounds. You will likely be given a t-shirt to wear by your respective Panhellenic recruitment board. Your job for this round is to simply pick a pair of cute shorts or jeans. Boho pants or jean skirts are also a great option for open house. Keep away from booty shorts as houses could find that to be disrespectful. As far as shoes go, Birkenstocks or Chacos are totally fine. Be as comfortable as possible because you will be visiting a lot of houses during this round (I went to 18!). Do not try to be flashy or overdressed, as everyone will be wearing the same thing. It is a great idea to wear a cute necklace or watch, too, as it could help you to stand out in a member's mind or even start a conversation. 

Round Two: First Invitational

Dress code: What you might wear to a lunch date or senior pictures 

Madalyn Deselem

This round is always a favorite among rushees because you are able to show your individuality more than you could during open house. This round is more formal as some houses have cut you and a select number have decided to invite you back into their home to get to know you better. A casual maxi dress, jumpsuit, romper or sundress are all great options for first invite. Shorts and a blouse are also still acceptable in this round. Just like with open house, pay attention to the length of your shorts or skirt to ensure you do not offend anyone. You do not want to leave a bad impression at a house that could potentially be your new home. 

Round Three: Second Invitational 

Dress code: "Sunday best" or what you would wear to brunch

Madalyn Deselem

This round increases in formality yet again as your choices narrow once more. During this round, you should begin to steer away from shorts and move towards a nice dress or a romper. Now it is acceptable to begin wearing heels but should be restricted to wedges or dress sandals. Be especially careful about not showing too much cleavage during this round as houses are seriously considering you for membership. 

Round Four: Preference 

Dress code: Semi-formal or what you would wear to graduation

Madalyn Deselem

This round is incredibly special as you are entering into the final stage of recruitment. The houses you visit during this round could become your new sisters! A good rule of thumb for dressing up for preference is wearing what you wore to graduation. Heels are totally acceptable in this round, but be sure to pay attention to skirt length and cleavage again. A very nice romper could also be acceptable.

Round Five: Bid Day

Dress code: Your new letters!

Madalyn Deselem

This is the most exciting round of recruitment; receiving a bid from your new home away from home! Wear a regular t-shirt or blouse to bid reveal with shorts and comfortable shoes. You will probably be given a new t-shirt or tank top to change into by your new chapter for your bid day celebration, so do not worry about what you are wearing. Go off and enjoy your new family festivities in your new Greek letters!

Recruitment can be an exhausting and challenging process. When you dress like yourself and show chapters who you truly are, you'll not only feel confident, but look amazing too. 

Lead Image Credit: Madalyn Deselem

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Madalyn Deselem - Purdue University

Madalyn is a freshman at Purdue University studying Biology with Pre-Medical advising with the hopes of becoming a dermatologist. She enjoys her jobs as a barista and a freelance tutor, hammocking in obscure locations, growing succulent plants, singing her heart out on stage, and working out at the gym. She is passionate about philanthropy and making a difference in the realm of mental illness awareness. You can find her on Twitter using the handle @maddie_deselem and on Instagram as @maddie.deselem

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