What to Wear to a Graduation

If you’re graduating, let’s be honest your outfit won’t be seen during the ceremony. With that said… don’t wear jeans under a graduation gown, that will be seen.

I made the mistake of wearing “challenging” shoes when I graduated from college. Because of the horrible parking situation, we walked from our apartment to graduation. Add that to the processional, going across the stage, walking to lunch, etc (thankfully my parents drove me back to my apartment!) I had a college degree AND blisters.

What to wear if you’re a graduate:

  • Sensible/comfortable dress shoes. They should look nice and give you the height you want… without giving you blisters or causing you to trip down the steps.
  • Something that won’t look crazy under a gown. If your graduation gown is white, wear white underneath. If you wear a white dress with a yellow pattern under one of the thin white gowns, your gown will look dirty. If you wear any other color underneath, it’ll look like you’ve been in a wet t-shirt grad gown contest.
  • Hair down. If you wear your hair up with a graduation cap, you run the risk of looking bald or having hat troubles. (Also bring a couple of bobby pins to pin to affix your hat to your head.)

What to wear if you’re a guest at a graduation:

  • Not jeans.
  • A dress, skirt or dress pants. If it’s a spring/summer graduation, have fun with patterns and colors. December graduations are a good time to embrace textures and jewel tones.
  • Something comfortable but still nice. Every graduation I’ve ever attended has been a long ceremony and not usually in a comfortable seat… you can’t control those things, but you can control how comfortable your clothes are.
  • Nothing too revealing or that could embarrass you during a hug or photo.
  • Avoid hats and fascinators out of respect for the people sitting behind you.
  • Comfortable but nice shoes.
  • A smile. Someone you care about is graduating! (unless you attend graduations as a hobby, but smile regardless)

I attended my brother-in-law’s high school graduation over the weekend and put together some outfit ideas on Polyvore that might be helpful for some inspiration:

I ended up wearing my new blue maxi dress with a short-sleeved white blazer.

Congratulations to the graduates of 2013!

I’m linking up for What I Wore Wednesday and Three Southern Gals Throwback Thursday

7 thoughts on “What to Wear to a Graduation

  1. Pingback: Wediquette | ProbablyRachel

  2. nice post… i love the dress you are wearing… can you please share from where you got the blazer and if possible the maxi dress.? thks

    • Absolutely, although I got these items a few years ago. The maxi dress came from Burlington Coat Factory and I picked up the blazer at Kohl’s. I have had luck finding blazers and dresses at TJ Maxx and Macy’s as well.

  3. wow.. thks for the quick reply.. 🙂 i just looked at the entire kohls site and could not find the blazer.. guess il have to try my luck elsewhere.. 🙂 thks though…

  4. Pingback: Getting the Maximum Use from a Maxi Dress {Refashion} | ProbablyRachel

  5. I will be graduating from college this year, that’s why I’m glad that I found this article; I’ll make sure to wear a white gown since you’ve mentioned that this is the perfect attire if the gown is White. I’ll keep in mind to keep my hair down during the ceremony. One more thing that I am concerned about is our stoles, I hope my school will be able to provide nicely designed sashes.

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