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Sorority recruitment time can be a massive ordeal. During rush week, prospective members need to pull out all the stops to look their best and make a lasting impression, especially at larger schools, where Greek Life is a large and highly structured facet of campus life.
How do you stand out while still keeping your look as classy as possible? Recruitment dresses can easily be adapted to the many stylistic expectations that potential new members have to deal with during rush week. Let’s explore.
The Power Of The Recruitment Dress
While it’s important to note that while the specifics of rush week dress code expectations might vary slightly from school to school, the general advice, “to always look your best”, is a near constant nationwide. Chic dresses fit that formula perfectly — as noted by BuzzFeed:
“Sunday best is always a safe bet — a cute, not-too-formal dress, or a skirt or pants with a nice top, plus booties or heels or whatever kind of fun footwear you own.”
As the days of recruitment roll on and your expected attire becomes more and more formal (in many cases), sorority rush dresses help you rise to the occasion. These dresses are easy to pair with other pieces, shoes, and other accessories, and work well in every season. Beyond that flexibility though, the dress you choose should embody these three main characteristics that are vital to rush week success…
A Dress to Set You Apart
Sorority recruitment often brings with hundreds of prospects, all looking to make an impression. With all those names and faces vying for attention, a way for you to distinguish yourself beyond your physical characteristics and charming personality is by wearing a memorable outfit.
Dresses fit the bill here, as the striking colors, patterns, cuts, and styles will help you make a great first impression. While you could just as easily make an impression wearing something garish, well-made dresses, a more understated look will help you great and stay classy.
This should be one of your main aims. You want the sorority to remember you in glowing terms, along the lines of, “she was the one in the stunning purple dress,” as opposed to, “that was the girl with the crazy sequin denim shorts.” The difference in perception is an important one.
Along similar lines, the dress you select should allow you to look striking without being overtly sexy. In a word, “elegance” is what you’ll exude with the right dress, and you’ll be able to leave a stunning impression while still wearing something that’s appropriate for dinner with the family.
A Comfortable Dress
You’ll be doing a lot over rush week, but there’s no rule that says you have to sacrifice comfort in the name of looking good. Dresses that celebrate your personal style as well as semi-professional options are ideal for maximizing both style and comfort.
Choosing a dress instead of pants makes creating an outfit fast and easy. The flowing movement of dresses look amazing on every body type, and to top it off, make it easy to layer up for fluctuating temperatures.
And that’s exactly what you’ll need during recruitment time. You’ll be moving around to multiple locations, socializing, and a variety of other requirements during rush week, so optimizing your comfort is important. Being able to dress for any weather is also vital, as rush can take place in varied climates and seasons, depending on where you’re attending college.
Express Yourself Personal Style
With all the shapes, materials, colors and styles that are available, dresses make it possible to reap their many other benefits while still tailoring the look to suit your personality. True, there’s often a dress code to abide by during rush week, but you can work within that to be yourself, and dresses provide the perfect method for maximizing your personal expression.
Maybe you’ve never been a fan of the full-length dress? You could always get something with a hemline that falls a bit higher to fit your personality. Not a fan of straps? Go strapless and give your shoulders some breathing room. The point is, there’s plenty of choice when it comes to dresses, and that level of choice is what makes them an ideal choice for recruitment attire.
The Rush Dress For (Almost) Every Occasion
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The names of the specific days throughout rush week might vary from place to place, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll go with Odyssey’s terminology: Meet & Greet, Philanthropy Day, House Tour, Pref Night, and Bid Day. Dresses can work for nearly every event.
Meet & Greet
Rush week kicks off with the Meet & Greet, where you’ll have your introduction to the various sororities on campus. You’ll be meeting a wide array of people, learning about what the sororities have to offer, and making your initial judgments on which ones appeal to you the most.
It’s the most casual day of rush week, and you’ll be doing your fair share of walking, so you’ll want to stay comfortable while still making a good impression. A formal dress isn’t a must for this day, but a casual one will most assuredly fit in, and provide a great complement to some comfortable (but stylish) footwear. Go for neutral tones and lightweight fabrics for comfortable and casual look.
Also called “Service Day,” this is when you learn about the sororities’ philanthropy — or charities they are involved with — and continue to size them all up (as they do the same in return). It’ll be more dressy than the Meet & Greet, so a slightly fancier dress will work.
The exception to this will be in those situations where the college’s Panhellenic Association mandates standardized t-shirts, in which case you’ll be wearing one of those. Otherwise, keep it cute, fun, and comfortable as you’ll be on the move for a little while.
As you zero in on which of the sororities you’re best aligned with, you’ll be touring the sorority houses and engaging in more personal conversations with the active sisters. You’ll learn about them — as people — and should prepare for a semi-formal atmosphere in most cases.
A nice dress will be suitable, and you’ll probably want to make sure that it goes well with heels or some other kind of fashionable footwear. As nearly all the other sorority girls will be donning some height-enhancing shoes, you’ll want to be on equal footing.
Pref Night, or Preference Night is generally the fanciest occasion of the bunch, when you’ve been invited to one or two sororities for a more serious affair — they want you in the group, and you’ll have to come prepared for a moody atmosphere, akin to a wedding reception.
Usually, the look for Pref Night is a black dress, though, all-white is sometimes the attire of choice, with similarly formal heels. Go fancy, and complement with some accessories to make the look your own. This will be the moment of truth.
You can spare the dress for Bid Day, as you’ll be dressing down and receiving a shirt from your chosen sorority. Generally speaking, shorts and a tank top will fit the bill, and whatever the sorority has in store for you, you’ll be able to adapt without the hassle.
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Sorority recruitment can be both a challenging and exhilarating experience, and looking your best is a must. Dresses, apart from being versatile enough to work in any scenario, offer plenty of variety so that you can express your personal style and stand out simultaneously, without appearing garish. You can wear a dress for any event during rush week, which makes a them the piece to have on hand for your entire rush week experience.