Dress to impress: What to wear for sorority recruitment

Photo courtesy LSU PHC

It seems like for every occasion in our lives, we are faced with the same daunting question: What should I wear? And as if picking an outfit for one party isn’t enough, sorority recruitment brings on a week full of parties and chances for “potential new members” (PNMs) to make a lasting impression.

PNMs want their outfits to allow their individual style and personality to shine, while also being appropriate. What you wear and how you present yourself during recruitment parties is pretty important since time is limited during each round.

Generally, each round of recruitment gets a little bit dressier. However, it’s important to stay comfortable since the Louisiana days are long and hot. From personal experience, packing a change of flip-flops to put on between each party can be a life saver.

“The most important thing is to wear outfits that you feel confident in,” says Macy Bartow, a current LSU panhellenic council (PHC) executive member. “Also, comfortable shoes are essential, since you will be walking a bunch in them!”

For some recruitment recommendations and inspiration, we visited local boutique Frock Candy and had them put together outfits that are bound to help PNMs feel confident and stand out.


Round One: Ice Water

Length: Two Days

What to Wear: A cute sundress or romper–something you could wear to church or on a first date. Comfy flats or sandals are encouraged during ice water since you’re on your feet the entire time. Bring the look together with simple jewelry or a cute pair of earrings.

“While this round is more casual, you want to go for items that are eye-catching so that the PNM can stand out among the rest,” says Alysia DesCoteaux, Frock Candy manager.


Round Two: Philanthropy

Length: Two Days

What to Wear: PHC provides PNMs with a cute graphic tee to wear for both days of philanthropy. Pair the tee with a cute skirt, skort or pair of shorts. Like ice water, you’re on your feet quite a bit during this round, so its important to wear comfortable shoes–cute sneakers and sandals are a popular choice amongst PNMs. A hair tie or colorful earrings would be fun for this more casual round.

“Philanthropy is all about wearing what you’re most confident in–you can wear trendy basics, or choose show off your girly, colorful side,” says DesCoteaux.


Round Three: Sisterhood

Length: One Day

What to Wear: A cute dress, romper or set. Sisterhood is a bit dressier than ice water, but not quite as dressy as preference. Think something you would wear to a birthday dinner or brunch. Wedges and platforms are typically worn during Sisterhood. (I recommend these OTBT wedges I wore during recruitment; they are super comfortable!) Choose jewelry that shows your personality; however, you don’t want to overdo it with too many bracelets or rings.

“Sisterhood is when most chapters really show what sets them apart from each other,” explains DesCoteaux. “By wearing a bright color or fun print, PNMs are giving the sororities a chance to see their personal style, while making a statement.”


Round Four: Preference

Length: One Day

What to Wear: A cocktail dress, jumpsuit or dressy set. Preference is the nicest round of recruitment, and also the most serious. Dress like you are going to a cocktail party or wedding. Most PNMs wear heels or wedges; however, if heels aren’t your thing, dressy sandals work too. Pair your outfit with minimal jewelry and cute earrings.

“Pref is your last chance to leave your best impression, so wear something that makes a statement and goes great with your smile,” says DesCoteaux.


Product Collage via Madeline Gwinn

During recruitment, PHC also provides PNMs with tote bags to bring to and from the row each day, so don’t worry about bringing a purse or clutch.

Keeping a few extra, yet essential supplies in your tote can come in handy when there’s not enough time to go back to your dorm between parties.

Along with your PNM journal and pen, I recommend packing a pair of flip-flops, an umbrella (it somehow always rains during rush), a portable phone charger, a phone-fan or facial blotting paper (because sweat), a water bottle, a small snack, mints and lip gloss.


If you shop any of these looks for recruitment, don’t forget to share the photo and tag us on Instagram @inregister.

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