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mkaytay 07-31-2018 02:12 PM

Advice for PNMs - What should I wear for recruitment?!?
I wrote this in the Mom Thread, but thought I’d make a separate “fashion” post for Mom and PNM discussion (thanks @NYCMS for your tips too!). I’m a young(ish) alum, and hopefully this will help!

These are some general tips I pass to my rec gals, remember you're not hunting a boyfriend at recruitment, you're aiming for comfort and showing that you can be appropriately put together for the occasion:

  • It’s fine to err on the formal/conservative side. I've told rec girls that most actives meet so many PNMs every day that they only remember what you're wearing if it stands out in a bad way. There may be one or two PNMs with amazing style, but it's perfectly fine to be dressed perfectly fine.
  • You don’t necessarily have to go out and purchase a whole new wardrobe! You probably have a bunch of graduation and church dresses that are perfectly fine!
  • What should I wear to each party?
    1. Shorts/Skirts – Do a sit test to make sure your tush isn’t sticking out and they don’t get tucked up in a way that you’ll have to fish fabric out before you leave the party, and generally plan on tucking your t-shirt into them.
    2. Sundress- what you might wear to graduation (wedges are a good shoe choice here).
    3. Pref- what you might wear to a wedding or a night at the theater (this is the day to break out the heels).
  • Things to avoid:
    1. Distressed denim – on some campuses (SEC, ACC) denim is a no go in general (a chambray dress may be a different beast), but make sure your shorts and skirts are not distressed denim where skin in showing through.
    2. Low cut or backless – this goes with the err conservative thing, and can greatly depend on your bust.
    3. Strapless dresses – this is because most of us will futz with them when nervous and it’s annoying/distracting.
    4. Rompers - I know they are cute and stylish, but not every chapter will think it's appropriate, so err on the side of safety and save them for football games.
    5. Cutouts – Decorative/minimal can be okay (two of the dresses I link to below have them that would be fine), but as with Rompers the more sizable ones that are in right now may turn some chapters off.
    6. Bandage style/skintight dresses – it’s both a sitting/standing a lot and appropriate venue thing.
  • Halters can be okay, just make sure they aren't too low in front or back.
  • If your dress has sheer panels, make sure they are not too “nude illusion” or just covering cutouts that would otherwise be too much skin.
  • Avoid any fabrics that can 'catch' on anything, like a knit that could catch on your jewelry, etc.
  • Black and White at Pref – most chapters wear either color at pref so generally avoid doing the same, but if you do wear a black dress it’s not the end of the world (I did), just something to keep in mind.
  • Wear full coverage underwear, an active may be sitting on the floor in front of you. Also, run the sit test before committing to a dress to make sure it's not too short.
  • Have a different bra for every day. They will be sweaty and washing them in the sink at night is no fun after a long, tiring day.
  • If in doubt, go with nude colored bra so that if it shows, it matches your skin. Make sure the straps don’t constantly 'inch out' and show because you’ll end up futzing with them (see strapless dresses above).
  • If you wear a halter top/dress or a dress with semi-halter style, make sure you can wear a solid, really supportive strapless bra. I've seen girls who were just too well endowed to pull this off. Plenty of other great looks out there if you're not able to wear this style with ease.

  • BREAK IN YOUR SHOES, and bring flip flops for walking between houses.
  • Tennis Shoes – every campus is different on whether tennis shoes are okay for early rounds/philanthropy rounds. If you are worried, opting for a cute flat or sandal is always a safe bet.
  • Make sure your shoes are in good shape- it's like they say in the work world that when you interview, people immediately notice a scuffed up pair of shoes even if the outfit is sharp!

  • An interesting piece of jewelry can be a good conversation starter, but avoid jewelry (usually earrings) that are so large that they "swing" back and forth to the point of being a distraction. A noisy bracelet is also a no-no in my book.
  • This is not the time to wear every single cartier/tory burch/hermes/other expensive trendy designer bracelet you own. Tasteful selection is key guys.

Hair and Makeup
  • Rush is not the time to try out a new hairstyle or makeup look- go with what's already working. Do not try false lashes or contouring for the first time at recruitment. **On that note, make sure at the first round your hair and makeup look close to the photo you submitted with your recruitment information, as that is what actives are looking for to identify you. You can change it up a bit more as the week goes along.
  • You do not have to go full glam makeup for recruitment if that is not your normal look! Some mascara, brow pencil, eyeliner and lipgloss is fine if that is more your speed. If you do want to go full glam, then go for it!
  • Give your makeup a test run out in the humidity. Also, a primer and makeup setting spray will be your best friend if you want to do foundation and concealer.
  • Some of the ladies of GC (myself included) swear by keratin treatments to protect hair from the humidity. Just note that it reduces the curliness of your hair and could significantly change how it looks vs. your picture. Mine is wavy if I air dry naturally but is straight with a little end curl after keratin.

What to bring with you on the day
**most campuses will not let you take your bag into the party with you, so a tote of some sort is a good one to bring, and it's going to sit outside on the ground so leave your designer stuff in the dorm**
  • Carry a travel size deodorant with you - and don't wear the kind that leave a white 'film.'
  • Blotting sheets (coffee filters work too)
  • Tide pen
  • Battery controlled fan
  • Powder
  • Lipstick/gloss/chapstick
  • Other makeup you might want to touch up – PLEASE NOTE you will not have time for a full face redo so don’t bring your full kit, but a couple of items like eyeliner/brow pencil or concealer to touch up are fine
  • Bring a claw clip to gently pin your hair up between houses and a brush to comb it back out, that way it doesn't get too sweaty
  • Something to sit on in your bag so you don't stain your clothes sitting outside houses
  • Notebook and pen for notes between parties (some schools give you something at convocation)
  • Flip flops
  • Tampons/pads if there is any possibility of needing one
  • A bandana or something to wipe sweat

Here are some examples of clothes to use as a reference, sorry it's so long, I tried to be size inclsive:

**If you are worried if denim is okay on your campus, just be safe and go with linen/chino**



Some of the sundresses could work for pref as well, depending on the cut and the fabric. Number one rule is be comfortable in your dress, undergarments, shoes, jewelry, hair, makeup because you're in them for a long time!

Good luck with recruitment, feel free to ask any questions, and remember that it only takes one chapter on your schedule to join greek life!

KSUViolet06 07-31-2018 02:28 PM








AnchorAlumna 07-31-2018 02:58 PM

Or only wear them for pref.
Lower heels (or none) on the days with many more parties.

ChioLu 07-31-2018 04:01 PM

If you live in or near ANY city (or visiting) where there’s a store called Name Brand Clothing, SHOP THERE for your recruitment wardrobe!
They mark everything 75% off retail. Most items have the price tags from the big named stores still attached. I’ve purchased several dresses (brands that Macy’s carries) for a steal. My god-daughter borrowed a few dresses (Ralph Lauren, Thalia, INC, etc.) when she went through Recruitment a couple of years ago. They have every kind of attire and more — casual, cocktail, shoes, swimwear, lingerie, pjs, coats, jewelry, accessories, kids clothes, menswear, a further marked down section, even household items.
I got Coach boots there for 40 bucks! Some locations have Lilly Pulitzer and Tory Burch!
Oklahoma - Tulsa (the “mothership” — about half a football field in size), OKC (3 stores), Lawton
Arkansas - Ft. Smith, Little Rock, Hot Springs, Springdale
Missouri - St. Louis, Springfield, Joplin
Texas - Fort Worth, Irving, Richardson, Lewisville, Mesquite, Arlington (I went to 4 locations when I was in the Dallas area for a wedding a few years back! Purchased about $750 in retail for less tha $225!)
Kansas - Wichita, Lexena
Nebraska - Omaha
Tennesee - Bartlett (Memphis area)

I’ve been shopping there for so long that I even purchased some items I wore to Recruitment at NBC! Even found a glittery black and gold pin case for my Theta God-daughter for her initiation.

mkaytay 07-31-2018 04:36 PM

Where do you ladies fall on the fake nails question? I still remember being stabbed (accidentally) by some long ones when picking up a PNM my junior year, but they were common at my school, and I know at some schools they are fairly standard?

NYCMS 07-31-2018 05:24 PM


Originally Posted by mkaytay (Post 2458453)
Where do you ladies fall on the fake nails question? I still remember being stabbed (accidentally) by some long ones when picking up a PNM my junior year, but they were common at my school, and I know at some schools they are fairly standard?

I vote no because of what you described happening or if one breaks off and then the PNM is left with one nail undone.

Get the nails polished in a pretty color, either nude if they like natural or another fun color that coordinates with their outfits. If they are nail-biters (or if they like an all-natural look), then get a good manicure but no polish.

BraveMaroon 07-31-2018 09:27 PM

Agree with all of the above.


Scented deodorant, or the scent of your soap/shampoo/hair product -those are pretty innocuous, so - go easy, but OK.

Scented lotions, eaux de toilette, cologne, body spray, perfume? NO. NO. NO. NO.

You are going to be in crowded spaces, it's going to be hot, and even though you think your Jungle Jasmine smells divine, it is tropical throat punch to anyone with scent sensitivities. I personally react to strong fragrances by getting a headache, sore throat and itchy nose.

Also, in Summer rush, you might attract flying insects while waiting outside to go into a house - and even if you aren't allergic to stings, someone near you might be.

Save the Love's Baby Soft for another time.

My other "beware" comes from a personal issue I had back in the day. Our first round was ice water at every house. I was not paying attention to the way I was fiddling with my water cup/glass and I would put my mouth on it several different places. Since I was reapplying lipstick every few houses, I ended up with a severe case of Clown Mouth - my lipstick was all over the place. I finally realized this on a break when I checked a mirror. Don't be like me.

aephi alum 07-31-2018 11:49 PM

Under jewelry, I would add: Do not wear a watch. If you do, and if you look at it during a party, the sister you're talking to may misinterpret it as "She's bored and wants to see how much more time she has to spend here because she wants out!" ... And then you don't get invited back.

If you feel naked without a watch, start wearing a bracelet on whichever wrist you normally wear your watch. Start now, so you get used to the idea that you can't see what time it is by looking at your wrist. From now until FR, if you need to check the time, use your cell phone - which you most likely won't be allowed to take into parties anyway.

Edit: mkaytay mentioned tampons and pads. You may want to carry a couple even if you're not due. If a fellow PNM finds herself suddenly in need, come to the rescue - and you may find yourself with a new good friend.

granipc 08-01-2018 09:52 AM

Awesome, concise info... I've shared with some of my fave rec girls! THANKS!!!

jolene 08-01-2018 02:46 PM

I would think fake nails would be fine as long as they're not pointy or dragon lady length. My daughter is a nail biter and in an attempt at breaking the habit, she got tips on the other day. Nothing long or weird looking, and with a neutral color. If you like the length of your nails, gel polish in a neutral or classic shade is great. It's not time to do fluorescent green or black.

KSUViolet06 08-01-2018 03:02 PM

I vote yes for fake nails because my real nails are hideous.

But keep it a low key solid polish color. Now is not the time for super long spike pointy ones in highlighter green.

honeychile 08-01-2018 06:08 PM

My usual addition is blotters or coffee filters (cut to a saner size) instead of a bandana for blotting the sweat. They will damage your makeup much, much less.

And yes, yes, yes to aephi alum's suggestion to sharing the wealth with the intimate items!

AnchorAlumna 08-01-2018 08:37 PM

If your school has a run-to-the-house on bid day, please PLEASE wear a firm, supportive bra!
Don't be the girl in the viral video!

jolene 08-01-2018 08:53 PM


Originally Posted by KSUViolet06 (Post 2458486)
I vote yes for fake nails because my real nails are hideous.

But keep it a low key solid polish color. Now is not the time for super long spike pointy ones in highlighter green.

Perfect for rush. :D:D:D:D

NYCMS 08-02-2018 02:23 PM


Originally Posted by jolene (Post 2458495)

They would for sure be a conversation starter, LOL.

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