In the midst of all the sorority-related social media buzz, one woman is going the extra mile to ensure her sorority sisters will feel safe wearing her dress.
“I wanted to make sure they had everything in place and ready when they were going to come back from their trip,” said Sarah V. Hahn, a senior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
She decided to wear a black sorority frilly dress with black embroidery and sequins in a business casual look.
“If they want to be more open and comfortable with themselves, it would make them feel more comfortable to say, ‘I feel comfortable wearing this dress,'” she said.
Hahn said she didn’t have to do much in the dress’s design, though she had to choose the embroideries.
She also did a little research to make it look professional, she said, but it wasn’t always that easy.
“There’s a lot of stuff you can’t see that you can easily see,” she said of the black dress.
Hanss dress is not a sorority one.
But she did not think much of the attention she was receiving when it came out.
“That’s really not my point, but that was really the only way I was able to show people that I was not afraid of the things that are going on,” she added.
“But there’s also a lot that I can’t show people, because I can just be so shy and afraid to be in the public space and not feel comfortable,” she told ABC News.
Hank Gannon, who works for the company that owns the company behind the dress, said he has received thousands of messages and e-mails from sorority and frat members asking how to wear the dress.
He said they often ask if he will let them use his image in their logos and videos.
Gannon also said that he is trying to educate women about the dress so they will not be intimidated or feel ashamed by it.
He explained that a few years ago, he asked a woman in his sorority to wear his logo and he had a conversation with her about how she was wearing it.
“It’s just a way of giving people a little space, to make them comfortable, to be open and kind of comfortable and to show them that they can wear whatever they want,” Gannon said.
He hopes the company will eventually be able to offer the same protection for women and girls in their own organizations.
Hannah A. Brown, a junior at UMass, Amichamp, said she felt like the dress was a good compromise.
“We’re not trying to make people uncomfortable or upset,” she admitted.
“It’s kind of a subtle way to give people space.”
But not everyone is pleased.
“I think it’s really important to not be judgmental or mean or make assumptions about someone else’s personal feelings or their personal choices,” said Hina D’Amico, a freshman at UConn.
Brown also said she would have preferred to be able the same color as her fellow sorority girls.