Dressing for Mixers in College

I like to self-proclaim myself as the queen of mixer costumes. I don’t necessarily have the most creative or best looking costume at every mixer (themed parties), but I’m going to put some damn good thought into each and every costume I step out in public in. True story: once, Julianna (my roommate/BFF/twin/PIC) and I spent at least two hours in Target searching for the perfect outfit for a Christmas party (ugly sweaters are too basic) and came out empty handed. We eventually ended up coming up with a costume from stuff we already owned (see below).

One piece of advice for anyone headed to college is to bring a costume box. I know you have a box at home full of old Halloween costume accessories, high school uniforms, etc. That box needs to come with you to college, I’m serious. After being a dancer for 15 or so years, I had my fair share of costumes. (I may or may not have acquired an extra closet at home especially for dance costumes..) Some things are probably better left in that closet, but other items are just begging me to bring them along.

My second piece of advice: sharing is caring. You didn’t join a sorority for nuthin’. Take advantage of your 200+ new closets. My pledge class’s GroupMe is actually comical on the days of mixer. Everyone wants to know if “anyone has one of those American Apparel dresses” or a masquerade mask. Maybe not everyone is willing to step up to the plate and share their treasure box, but it never hurts to ask.

My third and final piece of advice is to shop thrifty. I don’t necessarily mean hitting up your local Goodwill every weekend (unless you’re looking for a 90’s themed party- then definitely go to Goodwill), but if you’re probably going to wear this outfit only a couple of times, why put down your entire paycheck for it?! My friends and I have become notorious for shopping at children’s clothing stores for XXL leggings and tanks simply because it’s cheaper than anywhere else. So what if I’m wearing leggings from Justice? They were $5 okay?!

So now I’m going to share a few of the outfits I’ve sported these past 1.5 years of college so far. Some were for Theta mixers, some were for frat mixers, all were thoughtfully chosen.

Mixer: Sigma Chi Graffiti

White tee (cut)

Jean Shorts (owned)

Converse (owned)

Theme: America

White crop top (owned)

Jean shorts (owned)

Flannel (owned)

Beads (owned)

Sunglasses (owned)

Bandanna (owned)

Mixer: 80’s in Aspen

Jacket (Goodwill)

Leggings (owned)

Neon sports bra (owned)

Uggs (owned)

Earwarmer (owned)

Mixer: Delt Masquerade

Black shirt (owned)

Vest (owned)

Leggings (owned)

Boots (owned)

Beads (borrowed)

Mask (bought, glued feathers on)

Mixer: Bringin’ Back the 90’s

Crop (owned)

Jean Jacket (owned)

Shorts (owned)

Fanny Pack (owned)

Converse (owned)

Scrunchie (owned)

Socks (owned)

Earrings (bought)

Mixer: Hometown Throwdown

Dress (Target)

Shoes (Target)

Socks (Target)

Basket (Target)

Dog (Target)

Mixer: Stars & Stripes

Fabric (Hobby Lobby)

Foam crown (Hobby Lobby)

Flag (Hobby Lobby)

Glitter (Hobby Lobby)

Mixer: Neon Nights

Leotard (old dance costume)

Skirt (Target Children’s section)

Sports Bra (owned)

Scrunchie (owned)

Paint (owned)


Striped tank (owned)

Leggings (owned)

Hat (bought)


Leggings (bought)

Tank (owned)

Bralette (owned)

Gloves (old dance costume)

Glitter (Hobby Lobby)

Mixer: Out of this World

Vest (bought)

Black Crop (owned)

Galaxy boxers (lol) (Rue21)

Glasses (Rue21)

Glitter (Hobby Lobby)

Mixer: Christmas

Hat (bought) (see Halloween)

Tee (owned)

Leggings (owned)

Tag (DIY)

Mixer: 80’s in Aspen

Vest (see Out of this World)

Leotard (see Neon Nights)

Leggings (Target Children’s section)

Leg Warmers (Target Children’s section)

Converse (owned)

Glasses (owned)

Hat (Target Dollar section)

Fanny Pack (owned)

Ah what a great trip down memory lane… LOL. This post totally makes me look way more popular and social than I am. Let’s be real. Half of those mixers were Theta and the other half I convinced SigEps to put me on the list. No shame. 

You might have noticed that sometimes I rewore a piece or two of another costume. That’s key. Never throw away things after wearing them to a mixer. You never know when you’ll need to wear a metallic silver vest again. And you’ll compile a more well-rounded costume box, score!

A couple more tips from the Mixer Queen herself: if you wore a school uniform in high school, bring it (hello Catholic school girl parties). If you were a cheerleader, basketball player, etc., bring your uniform (hello high school heroes parties). If your parents own any cool clothes from their college days that they don’t mind you inheriting, bring that, too. Basically, if it looks ridiculous in real life, in college it’ll be perfect.

Happy Mixing, y’all! If you take my advice and pull together an Emma-worthy costume, hmu with a tweet at @seekingtsouth. And don’t forget to pin any and all of the photos above for safe-keeping! You never know when you’ll need a costume idea.



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