Style Guide: Sorority Rush

Style Guide: Sorority Rush

Calling all college bound girls! The beginning of a new school year is just around the corner, which means (for some of you) rush is even closer! With my little sister weeks away from recruitment herself, I’ve been dipping into old memories in an attempt to help guide her through this exciting adventure. When going through rush it’s super important to keep your options and mind open. Let’s face it–what you wear is just as crucial as acquiring recommendations when it comes to landing the perfect sorority. You’ll have just enough time to bond over a story with a girl and then you’ll be rushed to the next house. It’s not called “rush” for nothing, and sometimes your outfit can give you an edge that seals your bid. Walking into each chapter room looking your best is ultra important. The goal is to make a memorable impression on your potential sisters. Whether you’re wearing a dress, separates, or a required rush tee, it’s always important to look clean, fresh, and super cute. Of course the rules are different for every college, so be sure to check with your Greek Affairs office on appropriate attire beforehand. But regardless of what part of the country you’re in, you should always look conservative, classic, and polished when going through recruitment. Here are a few ways to achieve the perfect rush-friendly look:

Bright Colors

Style Guide: Sorority Rush

Jessica Simpson Sleeveless Belted Pleated Dress ($118), LC Lauren Conrad Platform Sandals ($29.97), Gretchen Pebble Cuff ($22), Eve Leaf Ring ($20), Pop of Chic Earrings, LC Lauren Conrad Sunglasses


Simple Patterns

Style Guide: Sorority Rush

BCBGenerations White Printed Dress, Giuseppe Zanotti Shoes, Pop of Chic Earrings and Bracelet, LC Lauren Conrad Gold Tone Filigree Cuff Bracelet ($20), LC Lauren Conrad Sunglasses


Below are some of my tips for looking fabulous at rush:

Colors: Bright colors are a great way to stand out from the crowd, but it’s essential to remember to choose shades that compliment your hair and skin tone. Sunny summer hues are a fabulous way to stand out from the crowd. Opt for simple accessories and a neutral shoe when wearing a bright dress to avoid looking overdone.

Dresses: As much as we all love a fabulous floral, this is the one time it’s best to opt for the less is more approach. Stick with small, delicate prints when it comes to picking your dress for rush. Remember you will be standing very close to these girls, so you want to avoid overwhelming prints. Also, stay far away from anything that’s animal print. Unfortunately a leopard print dress doesn’t scream cute college girl, no matter how chic it may be. Don’t confuse these rush parties with frat parties, it’s important to dress for the girls you will be meeting (not the boys). A sweet dress in a trendy print will make the perfect first impression.

Separates: Some schools recommend wearing separates such as a skirt and blouse, which can also be a fabulous rush outfit option. Try color blocking by pairing simple dark and light colored separates together. When selecting your separates avoid blazers and sequin pieces. If your school requires you to wear recruitment tees, cute shorts are a fun way to show off your personal style. Scalloped shorts are a fabulous and trendy option, but stick with a classic color like navy or khaki. If you opt for a khaki or white pair of shorts, go for a tailed fit and avoid anything cut off or frayed.

Style Guide: Sorority Rush
Hairstyles: Your hair is really important. Avoid getting your hair cut, highlighted, or dyed less then two weeks before rush. You’ll want enough time to fix any possible disasters. When it comes to styling, bright colored dipped tips may reflect your personality, but recruitment isn’t the time to show that much individuality. Try a half up hairstyle to keep your tresses out of your face and it will also prevent you from fidgeting with it during the parties. Keep in mind that the sororities will need to be able to see your nametag, so a side ponytail is a great alternative too.

Makeup: Stay natural. Save your bright shadows and red lip stain for girls’ night out. While you’re in the rush parties there is usually someone that will watch your purse so make sure you properly stock it with mints, a powder compact, and tinted lip gloss for touchups. It’s also a good idea to pack a pair of fast flats to change into between parties if the houses are far apart and you will be walking a lot.

Nail Polish: Since you’re going to be doing a lot of hand shaking it’s important to have a fresh manicure. Choose natural tones and light shades such as pink or nude. Remember that you want your manicure to accentuate your ensemble not distract, so try to avoid harsh colors like red and black.

Style Guide: Sorority Rush
Shoes: Let’s face it, walking is inevitable during rush week, so comfort is key. Be sure to break in any new shoes during the days leading up to rush. Try a stylish pump with a small heel or a super cute sandal. If you’re wearing a simple dress, add a dash of fash to your look with a solid colored heel.

Style Guide: Sorority Rush
Jewelry: To avoid distracting from your conversations opt for minimal accessories. Leave your stack of bangles and oversized cocktail rings at home and instead opt for dainty earrings that compliment your hairstyle and a pair of pearls to add a feminine touch to your rush attire. It’s also a good idea to stray away from wearing a watch. You’ll undoubtedly be temped to glance at the time, which could give the appearance of boredom or even disinterest.

Below I’ve pulled together some of my favorite dresses perfect to help solve your sorority rush dress dilemma:

Style Guide: Sorority Rush

1. Beach Retreat Dress
2. Mini Peplum Pencil Shift Dress
3. LC Lauren Conrad Crochet Dress
4. V-Neck Dress
5. Boardwalk with me Dress


Do you plan to rush a sorority? And for those of you already in a sorority I’d love to hear some of your rush style tips!

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Categories: Anna James, Style Guide, Wear
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  • Sarah Heckle

    Love these tips, Anna! I was a Chi Omega!! :)

    Sarah — stripes, moccs, cats & brick streets!

  • Deanne Castro

    Love both looks!

    For more Beauty & Fashion advice, please visit my blog at:

    Today’s topic: OOTD

    Perfect Work Ensemble: Feeling a Little Green!

  • Kellie Norton

    This is so cute!! The univeristy I went to, Ole Miss, is famous for its Greek Life! So many of my girlfriends were more stressed about what to wear than what sorority they would get into! hahaha :-) so this post is perfect :-) love your choices!!


  • Melissa Panici

    Excellent post Anna! I’m way past my college days but these are wonderful tips for those who are going:)

  • Amy Breckenridge

    we did not have greek life at little wheaton college in MA! anna, i love those cap toe pumps – i have been looking for a cute pair!


  • Jessica Galfo

    loveee these outfit choices- and a fresh mani/pedi is def. good advice

  • Rachel Trampel

    Great advice! My little sister is also rushing in just a few weeks, she’s not 100% sure she wants to join a sorority but wants to rush! I will have to send her this article :) I love those cap toe bright pumps!


  • Chrissy Myers

    I am wayyy past college, but these outfits still are inspiring enough for a girls day in Gettysburg for tea or wine! Perfect again, Anna. GOSH! :)

  • Melissa LaRose

    College bound or not these outfits and tips are awesome!!!! :)

    <3 Melissa

  • Cassandra Lewis

    These outfits are really cute and most of the tips are helpful, but you should refer to college age females as women not girls. Another piece of advice is to college bound women is to be yourself and add your own bit of personal style to your outfit so you stand out!

  • Meghan Conard

    Great tips for girls rushing this year! As a sorority-alumni, these outfits would make a good first impression! Simple & cute is best – wow the sisters with your personality!!


  • Closet Fix

    Hi All!

    This brings back so many memories. Trust me, the fastest way to get passed over, is to have your girls on display, or your ass cheeks playing peek-a-boo the entire time you’re trying to make a socalled good impression. I’ve seen it all during rush and I’m never quite sure what those girls are on. It’s not a rave afterall! The goal is to be memorable in a good way. Business casual is always a good rule of thumb! Less is always going to be more, and be sure to wear your best accessory, that killer smile.






    Instagram: @ClosetFix

  • Toby Trachy

    My advice: Keep it classy and wear clothes that fit well. Make sure to have a fit session with your girlfriends before recruitment starts so you know what looks good and what doesn’t.

    I always found that on the very first day of recruitment, it helps to wear a memorable accessory or purse. It’s these details that will help your potential sisters remember you when they are making their decisions.

  • Deanne Castro

    Love both looks!

    For more Beauty & Fashion advice, please visit my blog at:

    Today’s topic: OOTD

    Perfect Work Ensemble: Feeling a Little Green!

  • Stacey Parris

    I absolutely love this! My sorority recruitment is less than a month away and these outfits would make the best first impression! The part about the color dipped tips… It terrifies me that girls come to rush week with those!!! But to each their own.

    Amazing article :)

  • Jessi Reel

    I’m a sorority advisor and these are wonderful tips and spot on perfect styling suggestions. HOWEVER there is one glaring mistake here that is making me cringe! Recruitment is no longer referred to as “”rush””. Potential new members, please don’t say “”rush””. This word is almost taboo now in the sorority world, (a change reflected within the past few years.) Always call it recruitment.

    I would also add extra emphasis on comfortable shoes. Cute sandals or wedges really are best for the first days, and a nice heel could be used on the last day, for the preference round. You can’t count on carrying fast flats in your purse because some school don’t allow you to carry anything.

  • Brenna Gray

    At an all woman’s college, (Simmons College in Boston, MA) we didn’t have sororities. However, I love all these outfits and advice for anything life throws at you where you need to make a good first impression.

  • Smart Momma

    i love the yellow dress

  • HistoryBeauty
  • Casey Friedman

    These are all great tips! I’m about to start my senior year of college as secretary of my sorority, and I couldn’t agree more with the advice. Something that always stands out to my sisters and I is a polished look-not meaning the most expensive outfit or the highest heels, but someone that is comfortable in their own skin and exudes confidence. The manicure rule ESPECIALLY sits well with my sorority-tips and beautifully bedazzled nails are great…until they fall off and chip. Someone that takes the time to paint a nice clear coat of nail polish instead a distracting, peeling glitter blue nails will get my attention (or maybe lack there of, so I can focus on getting to know them and not their unkempt nails.)

  • Jacqueline Chan

    Hi Anna,

    I did rush my first year of college but actually ended up depledging later. However, I definitely had the full experience of scrambling about what to wear– including shoes and accessories!

    I’d highly recommend looking at the “”theme”” for each night. For me at UCSD, Panhellenic was able to specify which night was dedicated to what type of attire. These nights included Preference Night (formal attire), Party Visits (dressy-casual), Spirit Night (dressy-casual), and so on.

    It’s important to make a statement, yet still make it chic and classy. Dresses are the way to go, and I’m a huge fan of Rompers as well. Flats are always great, as well as gladiator sandals or heels. A cute jacket with a dress can give a polished look, and a broach doesn’t hurt to give that finishing touch (or sparkle!) to that outfit!

    The best advice is to be chic and comfortable. I had a great Rush experience. It’s one thing to dress cute, but it’s another to let your personality shine through the clothes you wear. :)



  • k2spitfire

    be yourself and don’t try too hard.

    you’ll know if you fit in. if you don’t, maybe you’ll get a boost if they like you. and if not, just work at it alone.

    A’s recognize A’s instantly

  • Jordan Ilarde

    I’m really glad this article emphasized the importance of going into recruitment with an open mind. I do have to agree, however, with the advisor who commented on the use of “”recruitment”” instead of “”rush.”” It does pain me… Regardless, these outfits are perfect! My best advice isn’t news: be comfortable. Don’t wear a strapless dress on Preference Day if you know you’re the kind of girl that will be hitching it up all day (I do that all the time!). Also, if you wear something like a piece of jewelry with meaning behind it, definitely showcase it! It can become a great topic of conversation and help the sorority women you talk to get an idea of what’s important to you. Best of luck with recruitment, ladies! :)

  • Cheyenne Weimer

    I want that yellow dress. You look amazing, Anna and these are great tips for everyday life too.

  • T Girl

    We still call is rush in the south. I’m rushing in a few weeks. Thanks, girl this is so helpful.

    I would add having a good tan. Nothing too orange.

  • Kathleen Wainwright

    Great explanations from The University of Alabama! One of the biggest recruitments in the country – 1,900 girls rushing this fall so far!

  • cheryl denise

    awww, i miss rush! great post – i would definitely say accessories are a girls best friend. they will stand out!“”>a peek of chic

  • My Style Diary

    I wish we had rush in my country! Nice outfits tho :)

  • Tanya’s Shopping Diet

    Great tips Anna! I missed out on the sorority experience altogether (went to school in another country), but I’m sure it is so much fun!

  • Christa Hampton

    Amazing tips, hun. You can tell you put a lot of time into this. Girl’s will be using this for years. Go Anna! lol

  • Bunhead

    Holy cow, I’d commit a crime to own those pink heels. Stylish as always. You’re such a wonderful writer girl.

    When I rushed I made sure to carry a little fan with me at all times. The heat can be terrible.

  • Elsa de Diego

    Darling, you’ve done amazingly well. Love all your tips and advices. So right on! :) Great job! xoxo

  • Beauty to Sparkle

    Aww those outfits look so cute! Its always important to look put together for any sorority rush. Thanks for the ideas :)

    Would love for everyone to check out my blog. Here is the link:

    xoxo, Dina

  • Cassidy Short

    cute! classy and simple :)



  • Linh Ly

    Anna! Great post. Love both of your outfits and the colorful heels are amazing! great choices, I’m in love with the yellow dress.


  • Sarah Lawson

    wow, Anna. You hit every point I would have made. Looking forward to rush this year. That BCBG dress is a stunner.

  • Elissa Fitzmartin

    Great tips. I’d just add that what you wear is very important because a lot of times we (the sorority girls you’re talking to) will forget your name – but we will remember what you were wearing and refer to you by that. (You don’t want to be known as “”the girl in the sweatpants”” lol)

  • Larissa Wilhelm

    This is great!! I am possibly going to rush at my school. All my friends are in a sororiety and they want me to join!

  • Varsi Stockwell

    Fabulous tips. I’m very involved with my sorority and take rush extremely seriously so it’s nice to see a guide that actually follows the greek rules. There’s so many sites out there with bad advice. Great job, Anna.

  • Shannon H

    Love this post, Anna. Your hair looks so pretty in a side ponytail. Great advice.

  • Umbrella Drink

    Great post! I remember my sorority rush days. Check out this deal for cute sandals during rush!

  • Ally Powell

    so cute. The detail on the shoulder of the yellow dress is presh.

  • M Carlton

    Hi Anna. My mom has been leading girls through rush for almost 5 years now and this is one of the best “”guides”” I’ve come across. Do you have an email I could reach you at? I’d love to do something with this. I can’t imagine how much time you put into it.

  • Regina S

    Just reading this makes me realize just how pathetic this whole sorority thing is.

  • Giselle Escamilla

    Wow thanks Anna!! I will tell my sister about this!!!

  • Susan Westrell

    This is quite good. Too bad my school does Rush during the winter, when it’s super cold and snowy; I have the funny feeling it’ll be pretty hard to dress for that if I decide to actually go through recruitment.

  • GraceyCleo

    Blown away by this post, hun. So much information and so many killer ideas. I love your dipped toe heels. Gorg. xoxo

  • Petra Zeller

    Awesome styles Anna. Love it all. Special love the yellow dress it looks so pretty and fresh.
    xo, Petra <–summer vacation review take a look πŸ˜‰

  • Deanne Castro

    For more Fashion & Beauty advice, please visit my blog:

    Today’s topic

    Victoria Beckham: White Haute For Summer!


  • Leslie Arriaza

    Wonderful post Anna! I love that yellow dress! And your hair is amazing! Please do a hair post soon!! =)

  • Jordan Hellmuth

    Great tips! I’m a Pi Beta Phi! Best rush style advice — smile and be yourself!

  • Emilie

    Love your posts Anna! Both styles are totally perfect!

    xo Emilie

    PS please check out my latest blog post @

  • Eliza Zamora

    love your style Anna!!

    Visit my blog for OOTD’s

  • Liz Ashbaugh

    I wish I would have had this advice before I went through recruitment! I had no idea what I was doing, and this guide would have been a life saver! This is so helpful and I think its full of great tips. Thank you so much for sharing!

    If you’re considering joining a sorority in the fall, I personally recommend Alpha Xi Delta πŸ˜‰ <3

  • Katherine G

    I also wish I would’ve had a layout like this before going through rush 4 years ago. My school gave us a book that showed us a few examples but all 1,000+ girls got the same book so the chances would be pretty high that if we followed that to a “”T”” we would’ve been the most boring rush class ever! I think the dress suggesstions are great and ever since I went through recruitment I’m always thinking “”I wish I would’ve had this dress””. I didn’t know anything at all about recruitment beforehand so my style was very casual and weather friendly (August in Alabama = rain and heat!). I wouldn’t recommend heels except on the more serious days. The days of “”open house”” you never know if you’ll be sitting on a chair, on the floor or standing so I would suggest ballet flats or sandals for that. It may depend per university how dressy or casual recruitment is but for the most part I’d say its near the middle of the spectrum. As for hair, I was a part of one of the largest recruitment classes in the nation (at the time) with well over 1,000 girls and on day 1 one of my best friends was literally the one girl with her hair in a ponytail. Its a great story to laugh about now but at the time I think it bothered her (even if she wouldn’t admit it). So if you opt for hair up make sure it still looks fixed and put together.

    And if you end up in the same dress as someone else don’t make a big deal about it but just think “”hey that girl has good taste”” and maybe start talking to her. Who knows you could end up in the same house!

  • Rachel Elkins

    Great post Anna! Loved reading this!

    xo, Rachel

  • Alissa Bush

    This is such great advice! Please check out my website at for large selection of highly curated designs all at the loveable prices of being under $100!!! Tons of dresses perfect for rush, formals or everyday!!!

  • Katie is a great blog for advice too

  • TStrahlendberg

    The yellow is my favorite. Might as well flash people with happiness, right?
    xx Taty

  • PhiMuStyle

    I was so excited for recruitment my freshman year!! My school made us wear recruitment shirts for 3 out of the 6 days. With each shirt, I had a different pair of hollister print shorts to go with. Those days, I also wore a big statement necklace and chunky wedges. During the days that I got to wear sundresses I did the same as you and wore a small nautical print one day with a creme cardigan and sandals. The next day I wore a bright coral dress with wedges. On preference day, I got a new nice flowy black and white polka dot dress from a boutique downtown. I got several compliments on how well put together I was! Can’t wait to be on the other side of recruitment this year!! :)

  • Rob Willey

    A shoe is an item of footwear intended to protect and comfort the human foot while doing various activities. girls party shoes are also used as an item of decoration. The design of shoes has varied enormously through time and from culture to culture, with appearance originally being tied to function.

  • Nora J.

    Always have a fun and fabulous bracelet which goes with almost everything. These are my absolute favorite:



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