Sorority Semi-Formal Fashion & Date Planning Checklist

This wouldn’t be a decent fashion blog if we didn’t talk about Semi-Formal. Those two words create a multitude of emotions. Excitement. Fear. Anxiety. It’s the beginning of Spring Semester, so it has to be perfect. It is also probably the biggest social function on the calendar of the 2nd semester of your sorority.  It’s easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of it all and the fact that before you know it, finals are right around the corner!

Have no fear. Here is the ultimate checklist to make your life come Spring a wee bit easier:

  1.  Dress. The most important part is what you’re going to wear. Unlike every single other day of the semester when you rolled out of bed with half brushed hair and threw on an XL sorority tee. That night is your night to shine. Your outfit will make or break your night. If you are in love with your dress, you’ll be more confident as you parade around the venue that night. You have to accept that you will be cold. It’s at night in December, and there’s a big chance that you are wearing a mini dress- you’ll just have to embrace the winter for the night, goosebumps and all. Or maybe you’re feeling edgy and want to wear a romper or jumpsuit, go for it. You only get to semi-formal once (actually 4 times.)

  1. Date. This is probably the part that creates the biggest problem for a girl. Sometimes boys really are from Mars, and unless you have a current boyfriend, this can get tricky. We all know you need cute arm candy for that Facebook picture you know your Grandma is going to comment “Who’s the new cutie pie?” But if you think ahead and use your resources (aka friends) this can be much simpler. Maybe do not wait until the week of when every single male is already locked down for another sorority’s semi-formal. Use your resources; ask your friend’s friends, maybe they have brothers, or they have a boyfriend who has a friend, or it can give you an excuse to talk to that cute boy in class. Hey, it would be a cute story to tell your grandchildren one day. Another fabulous idea is just going with your gal pals. Let’s be honest sisters over misters any day. Can I get an amen????

  1. Group for the night. This can easily make or break the night. If you go with Debbie downers or crazy Carrie’s things can go downhill fast. You’re safest option is always your best friends. They’re you’re right hand women for a reason. But it can be fun rolling up 30 people deep, when everyone is having a fun time. Or maybe just yourself, a sister, and her date. It could be quainter and you might not have to yell over each other. But once you arrive at the venue for the night you are sure to see the rest of your pledge class and life will be good.


  1. Dinner. An excuse to eat a nice dinner is a few and far between chance for college students. Unless your parents are in town, it probably doesn’t happen often. It can be challenging to find a restaurant that at minimum 10 people would be happy eating. The go-to’s usually include Hibachi or quaint Italian restaurants. Even better if your date offers to pay. The biggest tip here is making reservations way in advance. These restaurants fill up fast on these nights, and you don’t want to begin your night eating Taco Bell in a mini dress and heels, that’s where you can end up at 2AM not 6PM.

  1. Shoes. Depending on your level of fashionista this can be very crucial. Most girls go with a simple black or nude stiletto. Or if your dress is on the simpler side you could make the shoes the main object of the outfit. This is hard to find fashionable and functional shoes. Not cute to break your ankle walking across the street before you even get to dance. You also don’t want to be walking like a donkey in 6-inch heels you were not prepared to wear. Or complaining the whole night to your date about your shoes. Tip: take painkillers beforehand, break your shoes in, and don’t buy shoes with outrageous height. Who knows you might end up taking them off so you can get down on the dance floor…barefoot and boogieing.

  1. The Perfect Picture. This is the point of the whole night. I mean did you even go to semi-formal if you didn’t post a picture? Probably not. This means an hour or more of your life dedicated to getting the picture. With your date, your best friend, the squad. Trying to get the right pose, the right lighting, and flash or no flash. It’s a big deal. Then after that you have to get the perfect filter- VSCO or Instagram, it could be the biggest question of the night. Then the hardest part is the caption. There is no shame in being cliché or keeping it simple. Not all of us are insta-caption geniuses

  1.  The post semi plans. Not all of us have these. Maybe some like to party until sunrise, or last call. Others might simple want to hit the hay after the night, after all it’s been a long few weeks leading up. There’s a good chance you’re hungry, fast food or breakfast is usually first choice. No shame in 3 AM pancakes or tacos. These plans are usually made spur of the moment and usually groups that came together shuffle around. It can be a great closer to an excellent night.

Semi-Formal is a great way to make lasting memories. While yes, leading up to it can be stressful, when you find yourself dancing the night away with your girls, singing Taylor Swift at the top of your lungs, it’ll be worth it. The food will be ate, the pictures will be taken, the dress will go to the dry cleaning and shoved to the back of your closet until a frantic sister calls you because “Johnny’s fraternity formal is tomorrow night and I have nothing to wear!” But semi-formal is something you won’t forget.

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