My husband went to The University of Missouri, AKA: Mizzou. He was in a fraternity there back in the ’80’s. He loved Greek life and still to this day he talks to many of his fraternity brothers. We tailgate with them at Mizzou football games and get together with them when we are in St. Louis (where most of them live).
This past year Mizzou made a BOLD move and left the Big 12 for what they think will be a better life in the SEC. What an uproar this has caused the sporting world. It has been debated over and over about how these Tigers teams will fare going up against the “Big Boys”.
Being a “sorority girl” I am wondering how sorority and fraternity life will change for Mizzou’s 5,100 Greeks. Will they make the shift to the “SEC style” of recruitment? Will Game day dressing change? It’s all something to think about….
Let’s talk Game Day. Having had season football tickets for a while and spending A LOT of time tailgating in the shadows of Faurot Field I have had the privilege of observing Greek Game Day dress. There’s a good news and bad news. The good news is that I have seen a definite shift in the types of Game Day clothing sorority women have chosen to wear. Mizzou and the Big 12 have always leaned towards a “casual” approach to Game Day dressing. At the beginning of the football season when it’s hot, hot, hot (ok SEC fans settle down..I KNOW it’s nothing like an early September game at The Grove or Bear Bryant Stadium) you will see girls in shorts (hmmmm…. some too short for my liking) and tank tops or t-shirts…even some strapless tops. Flip flops, Toms or cute strappy flat sandals are on their feet. It’s pretty causal. As Fall sets in and the days grow colder , especially in October and November the dress switches to jeans, Uggs, North Face jackets, gloves and hats. Again..pretty casual but definitely going to keep these girls warm.
Now switch for a second to the SEC school of thought. Game Day attire…Dresses, heels or wedges. On a chillier day you MIGHT see leggings and a jersey but jeans, shorts, tank tops and North Faces are saved for those who have chosen not to go Greek. These gentile ladies (I am not going to even talk about the guys,,,,another post maybe??) would never be caught in anything other than a dress or skirt…or the “appropriate” Game Day dress.
Last year…as the world buzzed about Mizzou perhaps fleeing to the SEC the Game Day dress began to change. I began to notice greek women in dresses. Okay so I use the word dresses in loose terminology. They were in knit type dresses..the kind that are strapless or have spaghetti straps and are made out of t-shirt knit fabric. You know the ones I mean right? Cute…just not SEC game dress attire (I should note many of the independent women in the SEC wear this type of attire). I am not complaining or chastising the Mizzou Greek women…they just haven’t been educated or know better.
So I am wondering what I will find this year when I show up at my first tail gate?
Oh…you want to know what I wore….especially since y’all know that I love the SEC way of life and southern culture. Well…last year I wore dresses and skirts. I didn’t totally do the SEC thing (this year I will!) but I did dress up quite a bit.
We tailgate with a very large group of friends who all went to Mizzou with my husband….the guys were either former Mizzou football players or Fraternity men and a few of the women were greek but not many. I think that they truly don’t now what to make of me. When I first showed up in my black skirt and cute gold and white embroidered halter from Anthropologie I got stares. My husband was a little uncomfortable with my clothing choice but hey..I was making a point. The next time it was a yellow sundress that did have Mizzou embroidered on the bodice….I have to tell the story of this dress. So I go to Ralley House, a store here in Kansas City that sells sportswear for all the college and professional teams. I walked in and asked if they had any game day dresses. The girl had to ask the manager (I should have bolted out the door at that point) and then led me to a rack of knit dresses like I described above. They looked like shower dresses! Seriously!!!! You want a 53-year-old woman to wear this. Ummm..I wish I could say I was diplomatic but quite frankly I gave that young woman and her manager at good “talking to” about what was and was not a Game Day dress and when I was done they knew that these WERE NOT Game Day dresses. I went home VERY discouraged!! My sassy little yellow number actually came from a sporting goods store in Columbia Missouri…bought it while I was down at Mizzou helping with recruitment last year. It served it purpose last year but has officially been retired!
So what about his year?? Well…I have been spending the summer collecting “Game Day dresses, which I will wear proudly to each game at Faurot Field. I have a stack from Anthropologie and J Crew. I am really excited to wear them. am I worried about what others will think..nope! I have already started to teach my tailgating friends just what SEC game dressing looks like. We were invited to a graduation party for one of their daughters and so I broke out a dress and wore it. Everyone loved it! When I explained that this was “Game Day dressing” everyone seemed to understand :0…it was a breakthrough moment! I am excited for this football season and the opportunity to strut my stuff..as my husband calls it.
About recruitment…..I don’t think the fraternities will be over impacted at first. Their way of dress may shift to Southern Proper, PFG’s, Vineyard Vines, Polo shorts and collared shirts but the method and way that fraternities rush will still be about the same.
The BIG change is going to come in sorority recruitment. For the past several years Mizzou recruitment has moved from a school where you didn’t “NEED” a rec to a pretty competitive recruitment school. It still doesn’t rival those big SEC schools but it is definitely on its way. The last two years Mizzou has had record numbers sign up and go through recruitment. There have been deep cuts after the second round of parties (ala SEC) and lots of chatter about PNM’s dropping because of not getting their “choice” of house. LAdies get used to this..it’s only going to become more competitive.
Mizzou is now a school where it is suggested that you get a rec for each house. It’s my opinion that legacy status still is a little more in tack. what do I mean? If you have cousins, or family members in houses at Mizzou then your chances of c=getting a bid there are pretty good. Remember at SEC schools even sister sisters have been know to be cut. So my suggestion is that just to be safe..if YOU ARE GOING THROUGH RECRUITMENT AT MIZZOU..GET A REC FOR EACH HOUSE…BETER SAFE THAN SORRY.
A little blurb about recruitment dress. Just like football..recruitment dress is pretty laid back and casual. I actually had to do a double take a couple of times and both how the PNM’s and sorority women were dressed. I hope that a change is made here. When you look at the Panhelleic website they show jean shorts (jorts) and denim skirts. I am hopeful that they will dress it up a bit in the future. We will know soon since Recruitment registration open up next week July 10th..I for one am excited!!
One cute story. At one of may alum meeting for my sorority the president for the Mizzou collegiate chapter was in attendance. Her mom is a member of our group and so she was invited to attend and tell us about life at Mizzou. This was last May before the SEc shift. We were comparing Alabama to Mizzou and sharing stories about the two chapters. She was telling me that they had one Saturday during football season where they pretended to be SEC girls and wore what they thought would be “Game Day dresses. They looked like they were going to the Kentucky Derby! Hmmm…. wonder if that will change now???
I know that Greek Life at Mizzou has held several info sessions for Greek members and officers to talk about Greek Life in the SEC…change is a com’in I think.