Sorority Rush 101 – Party On, Party Wear?

Rush 101

Q: I’m going through sorority recruitment and we’ve been told to dress “casual” on philanthropy day, “snappy casual” on house tour day and “cocktail” dress on preference day. I’m going crazy trying to decide on outfits and I’m puzzled about whether it really matters what I’m wearing. Can you give me an idea of what these fashion terms really mean and what to expect?

Dear Puzzled PNM:

Rush Rangers you made it through the Open Houses! Congratulations! You are 1/3 of the way through the process. Now it’s party on and on, with the important questions of what to wear each day to make a memorable impression. Mimi and Mademoiselle believe that what you wear is just as crucial as acquiring your recommendations. It’s not called “rush” for nothing, you have just enough time to bond with another girl and then you are rushed to the next house. So, a little planning and effort with your outfits can give you an edge. You must strive to look your best. The goal is to make a memorable impression on your potential sisters. If you followed the advice from our prior Rush 101 posts, you will plan these outfits out ahead of time. It’s a less is more approach with bright colors, simple patterns, classic accessories, stylish shoe choices, neutral make-up and a perfect manicure.  


Greek life prioritizes community service and each sorority will showcase their local and/or national philanthropy or community service works both on campus and in the community. For this day, dress is generally termed “casual”, but the term “snappy casual” does come up in a variety of questions. This is a good time to think about what philanthropies interest you and what philanthropic activities you participated in. The discussions will center around community service and be a bit longer than your open house days. You will be introduced to more members of the sorority. My suggestion for round two is to wear a casual top and skirt, simple dress (not too patterned) and flats or low sandals. Your attire and accessories should be slightly nicer than the last round. You’ll still be doing a lot of walking, so keep in mind those comfortable shoes!


This should be a Rush Ranger’s favorite day. The day you tour all the houses and see how the girls live. These parties are interesting, informative and allow you much more time for conversation. It’s a time for the sorority to show its individuality as well as you being able to get to know your hosts a bit better. This day is also casual, but snappy casual really means smart casual, not too dressy and generally means a dress with limited accessories with an emphasis on casual dresses, nicer shoes or heels and your accessories. I would definitely wear a dress this round, or a nice skirt and top. Dressy sandals or casual wedges are perfect for this round. 


This is generally only a day for two parties. This day is where you must focus on what you want out of a sorority. At this point, the sorority is interested in having you become a member. This is your dressiest day. We all know what we would wear to a wedding, so think wedding guest attire. This is the day you pay close attention, not only to the members of the house you are visiting but also the other rushees at the parties with you. These will be the girls in your pledge class. Keep it simple and classy. Mimi’s advice is if you’d wear it out to a bar, don’t wear it to rush. Mademoiselle’s advice is don’t dress too skimpy and don’t wear over a 3 1/2 to 4″ heel on preference day.


Mimi and Mademoisellein-love



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