Don’t Dread The Date Party

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Anxiously anticipated by some and dreaded by others, the collegiate “date party” is enough to raise even the most socially competent college student’s blood pressure.  In fact, even as a date party veteran entering my senior year, waking up to that sorority-wide email several weeks ago with the subject heading “DATE PARTYYYY!!!” was enough to put a serious damper on the day.  Of course they’re always fun, but when paired together, these two words initially spark a host of stress-inducing dilemmas: What do I wear?  Who am I taking?! …Will he invite me to his date party too?  Luckily, I have a few tips and some insider advice from members of the Greek system who have mastered these date party preparation woes:

Attire:

Ladies

In order to decide which outfit to wear, it’s important to know what type of date party you will be attending.  Is it a generic date party, a semi-formal, or a formal?  For generic date parties, girls are often seen wearing the standard sorority uniform: a Pleasure Doing Business skirt, a loosely tucked-in shirt, and a pair of Pour La Victoire pumps.  For semi-formal and formal, however, the number of skirts diminishes in favor of something a bit more fancy.  Whether your preference is skin-tight and cleavage baring or flowy with a sweetheart neckline, make sure that your dress flatters your body type, rests above the knee, and please avoid floral patterns (otherwise you will most likely look like a Stepford Wife who has sewn her dress out of a Vera Bradley bag).

Gentlemen

Fortunately for boys, the manhunt for the perfect outfit to “accentuate my butt” (yes, we girls do worry about that) doesn’t really exist.  Instead, general date party attire includes jeans and a button-up shirt with a pair of shoes.  Sometimes, even clean sneakers can suffice.  Depending on the venue, semi-formal and formal wear can range from a pair of khakis and a tucked-in shirt to the whole shebang: tie, suit-jacket, and dress shoes.

Date selection:

The Hook-Up

Whether you’ve been consistently getting down with this person or you’re just keeping your fingers crossed that he or she will get drunk enough to hook up with you, “the obvious first choice in the date party world is someone you’re interested in,” said one University of Pittsburgh senior and Alpha Epsilon Pi member.

The Set-Up

Sometimes when the hook-up option falls through or is non-existent (it’s okay, we all have our dry spells), a relatively easy plan B is to have a friend set you up.  Thanks to the superb Facebook stalking skills of college students, you have the ability to learn a little bit about your date before the night approaches: browsing the profile pictures, viewing mutual friends, and checking out favorite T.V. shows and music (or is that just me who looks at that?) are a few sneaky ways to gauge compatibility with your potential date.  According to Liffman, this option is great for those who want to “play wingman” if their friend has a girl in mind that they want to take.

Taking A Friend

If this second plan proves to be a failure, another Univeristy of Michigan senior and Sigma Delta Tau member offered this idea: “taking a friend is a really fun and low-pressure option.”  Although it almost always guarantees a PG-rated night, it does ensure that you’ll have a really great time without the stress of feeling the need to impress anyone.

Photo: Lorena Cupcake at flickr.com

College Magazine Staff

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