I wanted to say “Thank you” to everyone of you who logs on and reads each day.  Many of you have sent wonderful comments, for those I am truly grateful!  I am glad to help shed light on so many different aspects of sorority recruitment.  I am glad it is helpful to some of you.  If there are ever topics you would like me to cover please feel free to let me know and I will do my best.

As promised yesterday…how to organized for recruitment and basci “getting” started as a new pledge and sorority girl.

Recruitment is different from campus to campus but there are some basic premises.  There will be several rounds of parties and the dress for these parties will vary from day-to-day.  Many panhellenics will offer suggestions as to the appropriate attire for these parties and you should shop and buy accordingly.  I was asked recently if you have to buy all new clothes to go through recruitment and receive a bid and the answer is “NO”. But….your clothing needs to be clean, pressed, stylish and most importantly fit well!  Most girls like to buy a few new things to wear but again it is not the deciding factor when getting a bid.

My suggestions are these.  First of all, list all of the parties for your recruitment on separate pieces of paper. Write the suggested clothing and accessories.  Make two headers, one for CLOTHING and one for ACCESSORIES.  Below those headers make three columns labeled …”HAVE”….”NEED”…..and “WANT”.  First of all survey your current clothing, shoe and accessory options and list under “HAVE” those items you already own that will be appropriate for recruitment.  Next, list under “NEED” items you must purchase in order to appropriately dressed for that party.  Finally, make a “Wish List” of sorts of items you’d really like to have but may not be necessary (you either already have an item that will do or they are extravagances).

Do this process for each day of recruitment parties.  We had a tough time with this because my daughter thought she “needed” all new items for every party. WE had already spent significant $$$ for new clothing , accessories and shoes for Preview Weekend several months earlier and so we had to have a little “come to Jesus” talk about what the words “Want” and “Need” really mean.

As I have said before , in many cases sorority life can be EXPENSIVE.  Some girls have to pick and choose.  While you want to give your very best impression (and I get that I really do ) you need to be realistic as well.  For instance if you have a dress you can wear to Ice Water Teas that might open up some $$$$ so you can buy one of the “WANT” items on your list.  My husband’s mantra is “Life is about choices”…this is one of those times.

After you have completed this process for every day of parties, then survey the list and make a shopping list.  Again the shopping list should be divided into two columns….”NEEDS” and “WANTS”.

Shopping is one of my favorite pastimes.  I LOVE to shop and that’s a fact.  When shopping for dresses for the causal days of recruitment you will need to consider the area of the country you are in, the “Style” of dress that is popular there as well as how much you want to spend.  You certainly can hit the department stores (Belk, Dillards, Macys, Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdales ) as well as places like J Crew, Anthropologie, Madewell, The Gap, Francesca’s, the local Lilly Pulitzer store ect.  There are some great discount stores online that offer fantastic savings as well.  Check out Rue La La, Brand Alley,  the RE-Lily site on Facebook, outlet variations of J Crew, BCBG, ect.  Have fun, be sensible and bring a good attitude when you shop.  Be flexible…you may not find everything on your list.  Make sure you *star* the items you think are most important….everything else is just cake at that point.

Once you have completed the list then go home and lay out the outfits days by day.  survey what you have and make a final assessment, determining if there are any missing items.  It’s kind of fun to take pictures of all of the items, upload them onto your computer and make Pinterest boards for the each day.  That give some a visual they need to feel organized.  Another great idea is to go ahead and get ready for each day of recruitment parties.  Get dressed, do you hair and makeup ect.  I would even invite friends over for a “Fashion show” of sorts.  you can almost make it a party…have some cute appetizers and desserts, little umbrellas in you virgin mai tais.  Make it a fun a dn relaxing way to get everyone’s opinions of the best look for you.  I know last year several girls did this together. Then take a picture of what you look like.  This preparation helps when it’s the week of recruitment and you have a nervous breakdown because you are trying to get ready and you don’t remember how you wanted to do your hair or what jewelry you wanted to wear.

So now you have all of your “looks” for the week.   Get hanging bags.  You can certainly go and get the kind that comes from the Dry Cleaners but you can also buy hanging bags a discount places like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Ross.  Attach to the bag labels that say “Day 1 Ice Water Tea.  In that hanging bag put your dress/clthes..anything you will need for that party.  Shoes should be labeled and in a shoe bag (we use just bags from stores like Victorias Secret and just slipped the bag over the hangar.  You will also need to bag your jewelry.  I bought darling little cloth bags that pulled like purse strings at the top form the local craft store.  I labeled these as well (ok so I’m a labeler!!) and again I attached these with ribbons at the top of the hangar.

Because my daughter is finicky we did two outfits, shoe choices and accessories for each day.  I just know her and I felt that in some instances once she got to recruitment she might not like her choices, second guess them or get another opinion and want something different so we  did two options for each day.  It’s certainly not necessary but you might want to think about it.  We mainly did this just for dresses and shoes..it’s up to you but I personally think it’s a great idea.

I know you are thinking “What about the pictures”.  So my daughter was “embarrassed” to hang the picture on the outside of the hanging bag so we slipped it in the jewelry bag so she could use it if she wanted but the “world” didn’t have to see it.  For some this system seems a little over the top but I have to tell you that every girl who has used it (including my daughter) found that it made getting ready SO MUCH easier and stress free (well at least the choices and getting dressed part).

There of course can still be glitches and problems (we had a zipper malfunction one day…thank goodness we had clothing option #2!!!…See…2 clothing options are a good idea). In addition there’s the “She has something that I can wear that I like better than what I brought” mind-set.  Yep we had that happen as well but for the most part the system works.

One final piece of advice.  My daughter and I were shopping yesterday for clothes she needed for the Fall’s date parties and events (yes…it never stops!).  A LOT of very cute dresses and shorts as well as sandals and jewelry were on sale.  I am thinking NOW would be a great time to pick up some very cute recruitment clothes if you haven’t already.  You could at least purchase “second item” clothing options at a discounted price…..just a thought.

Have fun…enjoy the shopping.  I know ya’ll will LOOK  “fabulous”!  (oh and if you haven’t already checked out our Pinterest page Sorority Girl 101…there are some suggestions for recruitment outfits there as well).

“The most important thing to remember is that you can wear all the greatest clothes and all the greatest shoes, but you’ve got to have a good spirit on the inside. That’s what’s really going to make you look like you’re ready to rock the world.”