I know that many schools just finished recruitment and are probably super burnt out from the exciting yet stressful experience. At Purdue recruitment is done in the fall, so Spring and Summer are prime times for those OCD recruitment chairs to start planning. Here I will give you a basic guide on how to create a Look Book for your house for each round of recruitment, even though I’m sure all you babes don’t need the help.
1. Colors: One of the first things to choose what colors the girls should wear for each round. The first round usually consists of a house t-shirt or a shirt given to each house from Panhellenic, so this is a great starting point! Since you will be wearing casual tops and it is only the first round, I would suggest something simple and comfortable that will also help with the all day rounds. At Purdue we are given black and gold shirts so choosing a stand out piece is going to be key to helping PNMs remember your house. I would suggest colored denim (in uniform colors to avoid looking sloppy), a headband or hair accessory in a bright stand out color, unique and bold statement jewelry, or specially decorated name tags for members for this round only. Color is probably one of the easiest yet most stressful thing to decide, however choosing bold statements are what is going to help the PNMs remember you. Also, don’t be afraid to switch it up! Last year we had one round in cobalt blue and black and then the next round in pastels, this variation shows girls that you are open to different people’s style, that you are diverse, and that you do not all have to have the same taste. Don’t be afraid to have fun and try something different!
2. Shirts, Pants, Dress, or Skirt?: Usually this choice is easy for each round because the rounds get more formal as you progress. However, have you ever worn an outfit that someone told you that you look good in but you just aren’t feeling it? Then the whole night you get self-conscious and worry about how you look? When you aren’t comfortable in your clothes you are not confident, and we all know confidence is key. When girls go through recruitment they want to be somewhere comfortable and welcoming. If you are constantly worrying about your outfit, how can you give PNMs the vibe you want to? For each round choose the outfits that are most likely to promote comfort from your members, and remind girls that even if the recommended outfit is not their normal choice, to find a piece that they can be comfortable in. Comfort also goes with material, so try to choose fabrics that are not hard to move around in.
3. Sparkles: ** Jewelry is so fun to choose! I would suggest picking pieces that vary between bold during a round and simple during another. If you choose to have your girls wear very bold tops and bottoms or a bold dress, you do not need to add statement with jewelry because it will over power the outfit and might come off as gaudy or not portray the image you want for your chapter. When choosing jewelry, go for individuality. This means letting girls find what works for them, as long as they are in the color or type that you ask of them. Also don’t be afraid to switch it up! Maybe one round you wear gold tones and another round you wear silver, show some diversity but be careful which colors and fabrics you choose with which metal. Your sparkles can also be a conversation piece, so play it up! However, the key here is to not over do it. Jewelry and accessories are supposed to add to your outfit, not take it over and make it something its not.
4. Shoes: Alright I am just going to throw this out there and hopefully I am not alone…I kind of have a shoe problem. OK I feel better. I hope I’m not the only one that looks directly at the shoe section when given the look book to see what new shoes I get to buy. Go for comfort and style over flashy and extravagant. Also try to pair shoes with outfits appropriately. When researching for this article I found a picture of a chapter that wore nice white lace dresses with combat boots. Now I am sure their recruitment chair had all the best intentions, but to me this pair does not seem to flow together and has two different vibes. Along with vibe, it will be better to choose heels that are not overly high. They are not easy to walk in and do not always come across as classy. Also I would suggest telling girls to have a back-up pair of shoes for the more grueling rounds, because you never know what could happen and it is better to be prepared!
5. Money Money Money: This may come as a surprise, but most college students do not have a lot of money to spend on things other than the things that are necessary such as books, house dues, food, bar tabs, and uhh pencils? So when putting together a look book, try to take it easy on your members. Of course when putting together outfits you want to make sure you research upcoming lines from designers and trends that are going to keep your girls’ styles up to date, but they’ll thank you later if you keep the spending to a minimum. Accessories and shoes are a huge area to cut spending, but I would still buy new shoes, however, just to feed my shoe addiction. To cut spending on shoes try to choose solid colors that girls might already have, such as black or nude pumps. They may seem kind of basic but if you pair the simple accessories with bolder outfits, your girls will look more put together.
6. Is it you?: Putting together outfits for a group of girls, big or small, is a daunting task. Knowing your sisters, their personalities, and what they are comfortable with is key when putting together outfits that they will all be wearing. Almost every house has a certain vibe that makes them who they are, and while it is a great idea to try new things and experiment with certain trends, do not try to portray yourselves as something you’re not. Stay true to your sisters and who you girls are. You want your sisters to get the look book and be excited to show PNMs who they are. Now I know that who you are is not based on your clothing, but during recruitment you do not always get to talk to every girl and some will only see your smiling, or chanting, face when walking in or out of the door. When staying true to yourselves and choosing comfortability for your sisters, PNMs will notice and remember your house.
7. Putting It Together: When putting together the look book, ours is usually a PDF, make sure to give girls as much information as possible, which should cut down on the million and a half questions. My recruitment chairs usually give us a couple of swatches of fabric of the colors she has chosen and it is honestly so helpful. When shopping, girls can take the swatches to match with the gorgeous pieces they find, which will keep everyone uniform and put together. Another really helpful thing is making sure you give your girls the look book with plenty of time to shop if necessary. Also include plenty of pictures to really portray what you expect from them.
So there you have it! I know that I did not cover all the details that go into a look book, but I hope this guide was helpful. I have been so fortunate to have very organized recruitment chairs that have always put together successful recruitments, and I really hope yours go just as wonderful. One more thing, stay true to you, stay true to your sisters, and trust in the process. Best of luck to everyone!