Choosing what to wear to graduation may seem daunting, especially if you’re a fashion-forward person who wants to look their best. Of course, you’ll be donning a cap and gown during the ceremony and post-graduation pictures, but then the academic attire will come off when it’s time to celebrate. In most cases, what you wear underneath the gown will be your outfit for the evening, so some fashion planning is necessary. Below, we’ve offered a few graduation outfit ideas and style suggestions to ensure you look smart on your special day.
This might go without saying, but graduation is one of the few milestones in life where there’s really no such thing as “overdressed”. We recommend wearing something tasteful and elegant. You’re probably going to be taking tons of photos with family, friends, and favorite teachers. Many of these photos will end up in the family album! Some will get framed and hung on the wall. Keep those things in mind when brainstorming graduation outfit ideas.
On the other hand, you don’t want to dress in something so conservative or extreme that you can’t even enjoy the party. Ladies, if you’re wearing a confining dress and epic high-heels, and gentlemen, if you’re sporting a heavy suit, you may start to regret your decision later in the evening. Choosing what to wear to graduation should be a happy medium between style and comfort. Remember, you’ll have to wear it throughout the commencement ceremony as well.
After deciding on an outfit, take some steps to groom yourself for the big day. Do your hair and nails, purchase a few quality makeup products, and look your best! This step should be just as important for the scruffy men out there. If you’ve grown your hair long or have a bushy unkempt beard, you should definitely visit the barber for a trim. We know it’s your graduation, but you probably want to make your parents proud, right? Did they help with tuition? Cut that shaggy mess for them!
During commencement, your clothes will be covered by a gown, but people will still be able to see your footwear. Make sure to choose shoes that don’t clash with your school colors. Additionally, make sure they are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Depending on the size of your school, the graduation ceremony could take hours! You’ll probably have to walk long distances between the event and the parking lot. Your shoes will make all the difference. We recommend something more stylish than your average flats, but also more practical than stiletto heels.