If you’re participating in sorority rush, first of all, congrats! Although the process can be daunting and, to be honest, pretty draining (brace yourself for lots of walking in heels), it’s totally worth it in the end. You’re setting yourself up for plenty of new opportunities and lifelong friends.
The sorority recruitment process generally involves four separate rounds spread out over the course of a few days, where potential new members meet with each eligible house at their university. Since you only have a brief amount of time for the sorority to initially get to know you (and vice versa), it’s especially important that you dress to impress. Below, we broke down the specifics of each stage in the rush process, with styling tips for each part of recruitment.
Round 1: Welcome Round/Open House
Duration: 20-25 minutes
To kick off recruitment, you’ll be placed in a rush group with a handful of other potential new members, led by an active sorority upperclassmen (typically referred to as a Rho Gamma or Rho Chi) who will escort you from chapter to chapter. This will be your first official introduction to all the sororities, and each visit to the individual chapters is known as a party. The amount of parties you attend during this round depends on how many sororities your school has. Welcome Round may be broken up over two days.
Clothing-wise, this round is the most laid back. At some schools, you and your fellow rushees may receive a matching recruitment t-shirt to wear, which you can accessorize however you choose with jeans, fun pants, a skirt, or appropriate-length shorts. If you have the freedom to choose your entire look, then dress like you’re going out to dinner with your girlfriends, but don’t go overboard with a dress and heels just yet. Opt for a simple top with a fun skirt and sandals or flats.
What to Wear:
Round 2: Philanthropy Round
Duration: 25-30 minutes
For the rest of recruitment following Welcome Round, you’ll no longer be within your rush group, and each rushee will have her own individual schedule of parties to attend. The middle rounds of sorority recruitment tend to vary by school, but you’ll likely learn more about the chapter’s service values, which is a large priority in the Greek life community.
This round gets a bit dressier, so think more along the lines of going on a fun date. Again, you can stick with a skirt, shorts, statement pants, or a casual dress, but elevate the look with a slightly more formal top or accessories. You don’t have to wear heels during this round, but you totally can if you want to. Otherwise, flats will suffice.
What to Wear:
Round 3: Sisterhood Round
Duration: Around 40 minutes
At some campuses, round three may be considered Philanthropy Round. But, if not, the emphasis will likely be on the sisterhood of each chapter. This is when you’ll see each sorority’s recruitment video, and potentially take a tour of the sorority house (if the university has them).
Business casual is usually recommended during this round, but that doesn’t mean you have to bust out a stuffy pantsuit . You can still pull off a chic shift or midi dress, but think more formal than the previous round. Heels are more than acceptable this time around (and are probably encouraged), but keep your footwear on the comfy side so you’re not wincing mid-conversation thanks to blisters. Go bolder with jewelry to make your overall ensemble more memorable and fancy.
What to Wear:
Round 4: Preference Round
Duration: 60 minutes
Preference has the potential to be an emotional round, for both you and the sorority girls in the chapter. This is the last chance to talk to your remaining sororities before bid day. At this point, you’ll go to a maximum of three houses, where you’ll only talk to one girl (usually someone you’ve talked to during a previous round). This may be the defining moment when you realize, “Wow, I really love this sorority.” This is your shot to emphasize your interest in the chapter and prove why you would be a good fit, while also continuing to connect with your sorority girl.
Since preference night is the most serious and formal of the rounds, save your best look for last. Think cocktail dresses for sorority rush that you might sport for a family wedding and, again, let your personal style peek through. Avoid anything too fitted, super short, or low-cut. Add sleek heels and simple jewelry for the finishing touches to your preference night dress.
What to Wear:
On sorority bid day, you’ll finally open your bid card and discover which chapter will be your new home away from home. The sorority will probably have matching t-shirts with your new letters for all pledges to wear, so come prepared sporting something that you can quickly slip your new spirit wear over. You’ll officially meet your new pledge class, and get swept away for fun activities with your soon-to-be sorority sisters.
What to Wear:
From going on your first house tour and learning about each chapter, to participating in preference night and finding your perfect house, sorority recruitment is a process you’ll never forget. Your first day of recruitment may seem daunting, but just remember that by the end of this process you’ll gain lifelong friends. By following our guide, you’ll always look the part and hopefully stand out from the rest. Best of luck, potential rushees!