The idea for the Sil’hooettes was first conceived before Winter Break in 1988 by JoEllen Constine, Laura Fleury, Karen Sherman, and Melissa Schimke, but the spring semester of 1989 was the group’s first official semester on grounds. At the time, there were only three other groups in existence, the Virginia Gentlemen, the Virginia Belles, and the Hullabahoos – who had had their inception less than a year before. Initially almost named "The Double-Breasted Jackets", the Sils' original uniform consisted of multi-colored double-breasted jackets (DBJs), but in the fall of 1995, the group made the switch to the current black and silver.
The Sils celebrate 25 years of "shockingly good" a cappella music!
The Sil'hooettes typically range between 13 and 19 members, though the exact number varies from year to year, and the group holds auditions for new members every fall and occasionally in the spring. The group posts relevant information regarding auditions to their website as auditions approach.
On October 1st, 2012, USA Today named The Virginia Sil'hooettes one of the Top 5 Collegiate A Cappella groups in the country.
On November 18th, 2013, HerCampus named The Virginia Sil'hooettes the #1 Female Collegiate A Cappella group in the country.
Every semester, the Sil'hooettes host at least one concert performance, usually held at the University of Virginia's McLeod Hall on a Friday or Saturday evening. The Sils' official website posts relevant information and online ticket sales as the date of the concerts approach. Concert titles are different every semester but typically employ a pun on the word "Sil" (e.g. Natural Sil'ection, Get Sil'ly, Sil'verware Featuring the 'Forks). The Sil'hooettes invite a guest group to perform at these concerts before intermission, usually a male group from another school, and concert performances are typically followed by Sil'hooettes hosted after-parties, advertised to the audience at the show.
Every five years, the Sil'hooettes host an anniversary concert, inviting the Sil'umnae back to relive their glory years. The Sils celebrated their 20th anniversary in April 2009  and just recently celebrated their 25th Sil'ver Anniversary as well (April 2014).
Sil'hooettes of past and present getting sil'ly at the 20th Anniversary Brunch at Boar's Head Inn
Along with concerts and gigs throughout the semester, the Sil'hooettes reserve their Fall Break at the University of Virginia for a tour of the East Coast called Fall Roll, visiting and performing at various colleges and groups (e.g. Tufts University Beelzebubs, Dartmouth College Aires, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Clef Hangers, Duke University Pitchforks, etc.) along the way.
The Sil'hooettes produce a new studio album every three semesters. Their most recent album, Playing with Lightning, was released April 2012, and is already receiving praise from the a cappella community.
Upon achieving acceptance into the Sil'hooettes, a new member is affectionately called a "Homer" and often referred to by "Homer" followed by their last name until the rest of the membership deems said member ready to shed her "Homer title". The Homer period is a kind of rite of passage for the Sil'hooettes and is a long-standing group tradition.