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7 Frat Party Themes You’ll Def See In College & What You Need For Each

The bi-weekly trip to the frats may be the only thing keeping your head above water during the school week, and honestly, I don’t blame you. Sometimes, jumping around in a sweaty basement with your closest friends at a dilapidated house a few miles from campus is all someone needs to motivate them to turn in that assignment on time. 

Every university is different, but I can say with utmost certainty that there are certain party themes that tend to circulate around campuses a few times over. Here are seven common themes for fraternity costume parties and what to wear for them:

1. ’80s in Aspen

Out of all the themes I’ve seen, this is the one I hate the most. Seriously, who owns neon ski gear in 2022? If you’re going to want to adhere to this theme, you’re going to have to invest in a specific wardrobe – you’re probably not going to have these pieces already in your closet. 

For this theme, you could layer a neon one-piece swimsuit over some neon tights or leggings. You could also pair a neon dress with some sort of brightly colored windbreaker. This costume can’t be complete without leg warmers or ski goggles, either!

2. Country Club 

This one’s easy and can be created from things you probably already have in your wardrobe. Score! All you’re going to need is a tennis or golf skirt, a matching headband, some pearls, and a polo shirt. If you don’t own a polo, you can always find one at the thrift store for cheap.

3. White Lies

This one is my favorite! It’s cheap and definitely a good conversation starter. All you’re going to need is a white tee shirt and a sharpie. However, If you don’t want to buy a white tee, you can turn an old one inside out and write on it. No worries if you can’t think of a white lie — you can either go to TikTok for inspiration or you can ask your group chat for assistance. Warning: your feelings might get hurt if you choose the latter. 

4. Army 

Camo and eye-black, that’s it. And If you don’t want to go to your nearest sports equipment store for eye-black, you can just use some eyeliner. Don’t have camo-print clothes already? The thrift store always has some for cheap, or you can check out an army/navy store if you have one in your area. 

5. School/Academic 

All you need for this is a plaid mini skirt, a white shirt, and glasses (optional, though I wouldn’t bring your prescription lens because you’re probably going to lose them). You can also add some knee-high socks or suspenders for additional accessories!

6. Neon 

Similar to ’80s in Aspen, this one isn’t super practical unless you held on to your neon gear that was trending years ago. If you don’t have anything neon or if you don’t want to go and buy anything neon (understandable), you can do what I do: wear all black and accessorize with glow sticks. You can buy these on amazon or at the dollar store.

7. Cowboy 

All you need for this costume is a flannel and some denim! You can also accessorize with braids and a cheap cowboy hat. However, I would not recommend wearing your nice boots for these parties, some beat-up sneakers will suffice.

You’re definitely going to see a bunch of different themes throughout your years of college, but it’s always beneficial to do your research and be prepared! If you’re not too keen on dressing the theme 100% of the time, all black always works!

Katelyn Haruko Schmisseur is a senior at Chapman University pursuing a BFA in Creative Writing and a minor in Integrated Educational Studies. When she's not gallivanting around her college town in Orange County, she spends her time thrifting with her mom in her hometown, Honolulu. Follow Katelyn on social media! @Katelynharuko on Instagram, Tiktok, and Depop
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