The Sorority Girl Uniform

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Once upon a time, there was a girl shopping for Halloween costumes with her friends, and the girls were positively giddy over the prospect of dressing up like a group of Disney princesses who had fallen on hard times and found themselves in the Red Light District. They were waiting in line to pay for their treasures when one of the girls’ neighbors, a charming brother from a popular fraternity, walked up with his friends. Their arms were full of Halloween goodies, too.

“What are you going to be?” asked the girl.

Her friend didn’t immediately respond, and instead, he and his friends just looked at her with an especially mischievous smirk. This made her feel really awkward. So she asked again, the boys having been distracted by a girl wearing a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader costume.

When prompted a second time, her friend said, “You.”

She asked what he meant by that, and rather than responding, he and his friends just cocked their eyebrows, looked the girls up and down, then indicated the blonde wigs that each of them had. The girls looked at each other and it dawned on them that they were all wearing some variation of the same outfit: tie-dye or v-neck T-shirts, running shorts, grey tennis shoes, and ponytails or braids.

It suddenly all made sense. They were going to be sorority girls.

Surprise twist, y’all! That girl was me, and that bizarrely shaming yet simultaneously affirming incident got me wondering why we gravitate towards the styles we do. Unless you’re doing a semester at sea (and probably even then) you have the Internet and access to Barney’s. I realize that during college, girls tend to have a kind of pack mentality, so if you’re the sorority rebel or unfamiliar with what I refer to as the Bandana Phenomenon, here are the clothing and accessories that live in every sorority girl’s closet:

  • Bandanas, worn around the forehead, wrist, or upper arm.
  • Tank tops, preferably with neon writing and a peace sign thrown on it for good measure.
  • 1,500 Nepalese beaded bracelets that go halfway up your arm.
  • Anything made by Kendra Scott.
  • Running shorts. The brighter and more clashing of colors, the better.
  • Aviators.
  • Neon fringe bikinis.
  • Men’s v-neck cotton T-shirts–the baggier the better.
  • Tie-dye everything.
  • Men’s Polo shirts. (Bonus points if you snatched it for walk of shame attire.)
  • Hot pink, purple, turquoise, or green hair chalk.
  • Gray tennis shoes.

So the next time you see a girl rocking a bandana like she’s headed to a Springsteen concert, may you feel informed. And if you’re one of the girls who wears the items listed, keep on keepin’ on my friend. Just know that a day will come when you won’t be able to look at a tie-dye v-neck without feeling a little bit like a tool.

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social media manager by day, grown up sorority girl by night.

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