Monday, May 3, 2010

What to wear?


As the semester wraps up, end of year banquets take place, students take finals and our attention begins to turn to the summer months. Summertime brings inter/national organization conventions and leadership schools, as well as regional and national events geared towards fraternity and sorority student leaders and emerging leaders. Young men and women across the country also work hard to prepare for fall recruitment periods.

About this time of year, materials start to appear that have puzzled me since my freshman year of college as a new member: the list (usually with pictures, or now links!) of what to wear! This list might be for a sorority convention, or it might be for Panhellenic recruitment. I have to give the men some credit here, I've yet to see a guide to clothing for men for one of these events (although I am sure it exists somewhere).

Now, I might be a bit off base here, but I'm pretty sure I've been able to dress myself appropriately since about the age of two. I might not always be sporting the latest off -the-runway style, but for the most part, I think I manage to do ok. Yet our chapters, councils, and national organizations still spend time putting together a lovely list of things for us to wear to these events. Why? I could think of a million other productive, positive things that could be done with that time instead. How about just a simple note about the attire - i.e. business casual, formal, ritual - and call it done? I don't need pictures. Or descriptions. Think about it: Did anyone get a packet from their institution the summer before their freshman year with pictures of what was appropriate to wear?

I am 100% percent certain that I did not make my Panhellenic formal recruitment decision based on whether or not every woman in the chapter was wearing the exact same pair of black pants with matching silver jewelry. In fact, I ran far and fast from those chapters. Why? Because I think that is just a little bit scary. As our friends at PhiredUp would say, "BE MORE NORMAL". I wonder what would happen if we all just wore nice, non-matchy-matchy clothes to formal recruitment. Would our numbers drop? Or would they increase? What if we never had to have another "dress check" again? What could we do with that time?

Now I'm not saying we need to stop wearing our letters, and color coordinated t-shirts, and all that jazz - I get that some of that is an important part of your chapter or council's identity, especially during recruitment. And it helps to showcase our membership to the entire campus. I am saying that sending out detailed documents with pictures to college educated women to help them determine what to pack/wear/buy for recruitment or an organization event is just a bit silly. Let's leave the fashion advice to reality TV and focus our efforts on more substantive subjects.

4 comments:

Kathryn said...

I completely agree! I can't believe I'm going to have to spend somewhere around $400 on outfits for formal recruitment on top of the chapter dues I'll have to pay this coming year.

PorshaCoghlan梁子珠 said...
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adye said...

It is sad that some women need to be told that you shouldn't wear colored undergarments under a white dress...but they do...sad...