Since we are kind of in a lull (sorry to those people who are scrambling for recommendations), it was suggested I might want to post about what types of “interesting” items you might want to bring with you when you arrive on campus for recruitment and classes in the Fall.  I know you will have mountains of clothes, shoes, accessories ect but with life as a “sorority girl” comes some unique situations that you might want to be prepared for.

Let’s just about “Swaps”.  Swaps…you know, back in the day we called them “exchanges” but basically what they are is get togethers with the fraternities on campus (don’t confuse these with date parties).  Most Swaps happen in the Fall (there have been a few this Spring) and basically what they are is a way for fraternity and sorority pledges to meet and for those two houses to forge a relationship.  Most Swaps are themed and so here comes the list.  I thought I would list some of the Swaps my daughter has participated in the last two years and suggestions for a few things you might want to pack in your suitcases so you are Swap ready.  I should tell you… usually only pledges dress up for Swaps, in some rare occasions actives do but it’s usually just the pledges.


ANYTHING BUT CLOTHES:  yep you guessed wear anything but clothes. Girls wore trash bags made into dresses with crime tape as belts and hair bands, large gift bags with bows on their heads.  My daughter took her Pottery Barn pillow case, cut neck and arm holes and used lime green duck tape to make a belt and head band. You can take a picnic tablecloth and use napkins for a glue little ants on a head band, or one girl made a dress entirely of bubble wrap (she wore a duck tape bikini on under it!

80’s GRAFFITI BIKER: tight jeans, leather pants and jacket, tie dyed t-shirts with peace signs, leather riding books, aviator sunglasses.

TOGA: Everyone has one…bring an extra white sheet or a couple of yards of great glittery fabric (my daughter used gold) and throw in a little ivy.

‘MERICA….think anything with a flag or red, white and blue.

JERSEY SHORE…..tight skits with wife beaters, colored bras peeking out and stiletto heels…need I say more????

BEACH PARTY….throw in a blow up toy or some floaties to go with your sorority tank top and bikini.

DOCTOR’S and NURSES…..any type of scrubs or cute nurse uniform…throw in a lab coat and a toy dr’s kit!

NERDS….short plaid skits, broken glasses, white or blue men’s shirts, pocket protectors.

COWBOYS AND INDIANS:  plain and simple…guys are the cowboys…girls are the Indians.

RAVE:  This was so popular last year…tie dye shirts, bandannas, high basketball socks, converse shoes….

So you get the idea….and in my daughters case she didn’t pack anything and just had moments of sheer panic followed by a great time with her sisters trying to put together some really cute and unique outfits.  At the first swaps of the year it was all about “looking cute” because she knew her big was going to “bump” her and she wanted the pledge from the fraternity she bumped with to think she was cute :).  She had a steady boy friend by the middle of October so Swaps took on another life at that time Just a short tutorial…”bumping” at Swaps is when the sorority pledges line up and the fraternity pledges line up, backs facing and the “Bigs” from each sorority and fraternity gently guide them to “bump” into each other.  They then become dates for at least part of the night.


Date Parties are just that..themed parties where you bring a date.  Where as Swaps are every week (especially during the Fall), Date Parties are themed but throughout the year.  Both Sororities and Fraternities have Date Parties.

Some Date Parties my daughter and other girls have attended:

F#$k YOU LSU:  Alabama jerseys..tight jeans and boots. No matter what school you attend you need a football jersey. This seems to be a popular one for any school with a big football rival.

RAGS to RICHES:  this was a two night affair.  They wore “bum” like clothing the first night ( the rags part) and the ball gowns, long glove and tiaras the second night (the riches part).  BRING at least 1 or more formals! You can bring ones from home….no one has seen them.

MASQUERADE BALL:  Ball gowns and Mardi Gras masks.

MALLARD BALL:  Yep you guessed it hunting clothes.  We lucked out on this one because she was able to borrow her boyfriends hunting overalls.

TACKY CHRISTMAS:  Gross, tacky Christmas sweaters….throw one in…EVERYONE does this party.

BLACK AND WHITE BALL:  Black and White ball gowns.

Most sororities will have at least 2 formals a year.  In addition they will have several “cocktail” themed date parties.  You will need at least 2 or more cocktail dresses and as I said before a couple of long dresses.  The good news many of your sisters will show up with lots of dresses and accessories to choose from so you can borrow as well.

Most fraternities have one BIG formal each year (usually in the Spring).  These are often held away from campus.  Most fraternities charter buses to take their members and dates.  They are often held in large cities, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans.  They are a weekend affair where you leave campus on Friday, arriving that evening.  The fraternity will have some sort of function (cocktail party) that night and then the main event is usually Saturday night.  Sunday is going home day.  Since these are held in the Spring you will have time to “stock up” on the clothes you will need but just be warned.   My daughter went to New Orleans for her boyfriends formal.  They had 3 separate functions that required 2 cocktail dresses (one HAD to be gold) and then of course a formal.

Goodwill, the Salvation Army and thrift shops are great sources for Swap clothes.  The reason I have suggested you throw in a few items is that between classes, new member meetings, Panhellenic required speakers and class you are not going to have a lot of time to go running around putting  together a different Swap outfit every week. some will be easier than others but better to be prepared, right?


I would definitely pack a black dressy dress and a white dressy dress.  You most likely will have some sort of “ceremony” 24-48 hours after pledging.  In most cases these ceremonies require you to either wear a white or black dress.  Just get them and pack them…I promise you will need them.

You also should pack some sort of “Business” attire.  My daughter quickly discovered ( a week after school started and she had an interview with a particular group of women on campus that gave tours to potential athletes) that she need something that resembled a suit (we actually got a great black dress and jacket).  In addition, she also need a pair of dressy black pants.  I know right now you are just scratching your heads..going, really??? But I am here to tell you that your first semester will be CRAZY busy and as much fun as my daughter had shopping for everything she needed (and girls it was EVERY WEEK!!!) she did say that she wished she had known about some of these items and had brought them along.

So that’s just a few things to “think” about as the days to “life as a sorority girl” count down.  Start a “LIST” won’t be sorry!