Thursday, February 11

Mean Girls???!!......not so much...Sorority Dress Codes

In all of my snow downtime, I was perusing the internet news while sipping a glass of Malbec. I came upon an interesting article discussing a set of dress code guidelines that were leaked online for a Cornell sorority. The dress code specifically refers to the different stages of the RUSH week process.

You can read the article here: Mean Girls.... including the entire 6 page document.

Here's an excerpt:
Some of the commentors (including the blogger who discussed it) were really offended by these "suggested" guidelines outlined in this 6 page document.

Personally, I didn't really think it was that big a deal. I was in a sorority in college and we didn't have anything this formal but we definitely had an inferred dress code. And it was made very clear to us from our first semester in the sorority that what you wore to class (ie sweats), or to go out (black pants or black "hooker" boots and glitter makeup) was NOT what you wore to the sorority formal or the chapter meeting. And going out into the world after college, I was and still am regularly subjected to written dress codes -- black tie for a wedding, business for a work meeting, business casual on a friday, elegant resort wear for a destination business trip, semi-formal for a baptism and on and on and on. So to me, this printed document presented to the prospective pledges is nothing more than a written dress code, the same as any company or professional organization would have.

Now on the other hand, some of the other comment posters said that they were offended because it "told" someone how to dress or implied that their was no option other than conformity. My opinion is that these pledges want to join this sorority, they want to conform, they want to belong, and if they didn't then they wouldn't have pledged this sorority. Perhaps they would have chosen another, or maybe greek life isn't for them at all.

I don't know, I just don't understand why this is such a big deal.....maybe because I dress "similarly" to this dress code...I don't know.

What do you think?

FYI: Cornell has made a formal statement that they don't think this is a big deal and will not pursue any disciplinary action against the Sorority in question.



  1. You wrote exactly what I was thinking - basically if the girls are aware of these rules when they pledge then they are choosing to accept and agree with these guidelines. You are exactly right when you say there are dress codes everywhere. Public schools tell kids what to wear, employers tell employees what to wear and so on. And I have to add I was never in a sorority and I still agree with you.

  2. Very funny - I'm not offended by it, it just cracks me up. I remember dress codes back when I was in college in my sorority, but it wasn't quite that Type-A written - then again, there's so much more skankier clothing available nowadays... Some of the no's weren't even around 15+ years ago. (OMG, did I just type that?)

  3. I'm with you. I too was in a sorority and still never hear the end of people (who know nothing about them) critisizing how they force conformity. You're 100% correct in pointing out that establishing a dress code or guideline within a school club is no different than how the rest of the world operates.