6 Tips to Find Your Perfect Graduation Day Outfit

By Kailey Walters on April 3, 2020

With the end of the semester and graduation day fast approaching, you might be thinking about what to wear on your special day. After spending the past four years working hard, putting time and effort into your academics, joining clubs and organizations on campus, and making countless connections and memories with professors and new friends, you’re sure to want to look your best on graduation day. And while you will be wearing your cap and gown throughout the ceremony, you’ll want to have an eye-catching outfit to reveal when it’s time to take pictures with friends and family.

So if you’re at a loss for what kind of outfit to wear, there are plenty of things you can keep an eye out for to make sure you find that perfect outfit.

via Pexels

1. Dress to impress.

You want to look your best, but you also need to abide by a certain dress code. Maybe your school has given you a dress code to abide by — but if not, you should still make sure you set limits for yourself. After all, you wouldn’t dress the same way for graduation as you would for a college party or a job interview. Keeping this in mind, you may want to go with something simple and sophisticated that you can feel confident in.

2. Wear something practical.

If your graduation is happening in May or June, it’s most likely going to be pretty hot. That means you should take into account your personal comfort. You probably won’t want to wear anything bulky, heavy, or ostentatious — it will just get in the way of your mobility on graduation day, especially if you need to wear your robe on top of it. Instead, opt for something with breathable material, like cotton. That way, you’ll be able to stay relatively cool throughout the ceremony. And if you’re planning to bring along your phone, wallet, lipstick, or anything extra, you may want to search for an outfit that comes with pockets — which can definitely be difficult if you’re planning to wear a dress, but having pockets will certainly make your life a little easier.


3. Go with an appropriate dress.

As mentioned before, your goal is to dress to impress. That includes choosing a dress that’s an appropriate length (about knee-length, give or take) and an appropriate style (i.e., you don’t want to wear a dress that’s similar to the one you wore to your high school prom). Of course, you can choose whatever color you prefer, but you may want to steer clear of anything neon or too bright. And if color-matching is something you’re into, you might even want to pick a dress that complements the color of your graduation gown. Otherwise, take the chance to try on a lot of different dresses and see what looks best on you! It may require a lot of trial and error, or you could be satisfied with the first dress you put on. The important thing is that you’re happy with how it looks on you and that it’s a good fit for the occasion of graduation.

4. Pick a dress that flatters your figure.

With that being said, it’s important to choose a dress that flatters your figure. That depends on what body type you have and what you think looks best on you, and which parts of your body you want to emphasize in order to look and feel good. For example, if you want to emphasize your curves, go with a dress that has ruched fabric around the bust and hips.


5. Pick out good shoes.

Sometimes, shoes can make or break an outfit — perhaps especially during graduation, when your shoes are the only visible part of your outfit throughout the ceremony while you still have your robe on.

It’s important to pick appropriate shoes as well, so you’ll want to find a pair that complements your chosen outfit and works well for the ceremony. You should probably avoid really tall heels, as those will not be very comfortable to wear for several hours or walk with. At the same time, you might want to go a little fancier than flats or sandals (but if that’s what you’re most comfortable with, that’s no problem). As a happy medium, you might want to opt for wedges or two- to three-inch heels, as those will go well with most dresses and are practical for walking and sitting through graduation.

6. Complement your outfit.

Once you’ve got your dress and shoes picked out, you can experiment with makeup and accessories to accentuate your entire look. While you don’t want to go too heavy with the makeup and jewelry, a little can go a long way in making you look and feel ready for graduation day.

Choosing the perfect outfit for graduation shouldn’t be stressful — instead, let yourself have fun with it and pick something that will make you feel confident and proud when you walk across that stage for your diploma.

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