What To Wear For Graduation

Congratulations graduates! I am so proud of you!

Graduation is here again, and many of us will be attending some kind of ceremony and celebration.

In a society where individuality reigns, sometimes it can be hard to find common ground. Graduation is the one time of year that all of us can come together and celebrate the joyous event in our lives. Whether you’re graduating yourself or celebrating with a child, friend, or colleague, graduation is a celebration that should be recognized by all.

There are rules for what to wear to graduation, but the one golden rule is to look your best, no matter what the rules say.

Although there are no hard-and-fast rules for what you should wear to your graduation, there is one golden rule: look your best. The more effort you put into looking great on graduation day, the more it shows that you’re ready to take on the world after college. Your clothes don’t have to be formal – in fact, they can even be a bit casual, like a plain white tee shirt and jeans. But they do need to be comfortable enough so that when others try them on (especially those who haven’t worn anything similar before) they’ll find themselves feeling at home in their new outfit just as quickly as possible.

When it comes time for photos with family members or friends after graduation ceremonies end around 8 p.m., it’s important not only to look your best but also make sure everyone else looks good too! Your best bet would be wearing dark colored clothing because these will blend well against any background color behind which one might find themselves standing during group pictures; additionally wearing something dressier like

a button-down shirt, tie & pants combo ensures comfort while still looking professional enough for any occasion that comes afterward – wedding receptions/reunions perhaps? With these tips in mind now all we need now are our gowns!

The rules for dress at graduations vary from school to school.

But for many graduation ceremonies, there are no written rules about what to wear. While it’s probably safe to guess that your commencement ceremony is not a formal black tie event, in the absence of guidelines, you may be left wondering exactly how casual you should go.

Luckily a quick trip to the school’s website should reveal all the information you need to dress appropriately (or at least not embarrass yourself). If there are no guidelines, decide what sort of weather to expect on the day and choose clothes that will be comfortable and appropriate for conditions (i.e., short sleeves if it’s going to be warm out).

Alternatively, there are some schools who have strict guidelines about what graduates can wear during their ceremony and under certain circumstances may ask students to leave if they are dressed inappropriately.

Some schools have strict guidelines regarding what students should wear under their gowns for graduation day.

Before you do anything else, be sure to check the guidelines for your school’s graduation attire. Some schools have strict guidelines regarding what students should wear under their gowns for graduation day. For example, one school in Canada advises students not to wear shorts or jeans under their gowns because it can cause “unwanted exposure.” The school also recommends that all students (and guests) dress as though they were attending a job interview—meaning no jeans, flip-flops, t-shirts, etc.

Other schools are less strict about what graduates should wear under their gowns but still urge them to adhere to the same general standards of professionalism and formality. For example, one school requires that all male graduates wear a collared shirt and tie underneath their commencement gowns while female graduates are expected to wear dresses and heels (or other formal business attire).

Graduates and guests should be dressed in formal attire.

Graduates and guests should be dressed in formal attire.

As this is a formal event, dressy attire is expected for all attendees. The level of formality will depend on the type of degree you are receiving, but in most cases, graduates and guests should wear their best outfits to show respect for the ceremony and the institution granting your degree. You’ll want to look your best on this special day as well!

What does “formal attire” mean? Dressing formally means that men can wear a suit or tuxedo with a dress shirt, tie, socks and shoes (you may also choose to wear cufflinks). Women can wear a dressy skirt and blouse with heels (make sure they are not too high) or a formal dress such as a gown.

If you’re going straight from your graduation ceremony to a party, you might want to change into something more comfortable.

If you’re headed to a more upscale restaurant for your graduation celebration, it’s totally fine to wear something a little nicer than jeans and a t-shirt. Evening wear would be appropriate at many of the best restaurants in your city—you’ll want to dress up as much as you feel like to enjoy the experience fully! If it’s not quite time for petticoats and top hats, that’s fine too; just make sure you’re dressed appropriately so everyone gets treated equally by staff.

Black and dark gray are the traditional colors for graduation gowns, but schools may choose other colors as well.

You be might tempted to dress in a cap and gown that doesn’t match the rest of the graduating class—and this is not the day to make sure you stand out. Your school will have its own set of approved colors, and these may be based on your school’s traditional colors or some other historical precedence. Black and dark gray are the traditional colors for graduation gowns, but schools may choose other colors as well. While tradition holds that it is acceptable for some graduates to wear a brightly-colored or patterned tassel as a way to honor their achievements, it is best not to push the boundaries by wearing an entirely different color than what is prescribed by the school.

A full-length gown will give you the most professional look.

Your graduation day is just around the corner. Whether you’re graduating from high school or university, wearing the proper attire is important because it shows respect to the other students, your professors and the people who will be watching your graduation ceremony.

If you’re a bachelor student, you’ll wear a full-length gown (black) which reaches all the way down to your ankles. On top of that, you’ll wear a mortarboard.

Masters students wear a blue gown while PhDs (doctorates) wear red gowns.

Some schools choose their own colors for these full-length gowns so make sure you check with yours as soon as possible if there are any requirements regarding color.

Some women like to wear a stole or sash over their shoulders with their gown, while others prefer not to.

You can add a stole or sash to your cap and gown. This is a nice touch that adds color and interest to your outfit. A graduation stole will be included in your rental package when you order your cap and gown, so you do not need to bring one of these with you on the day of commencement. If you plan to wear the stole or sash, it should be draped over the left side of your shoulders so that it hangs down in front of the gown with equal length hanging on both sides. The section of fabric that drapes from the left shoulder down onto the chest is called a “yoke”, while the two sections hanging down from each side are called “wings”.

Many people choose to place their hands over this drape. You may also hold onto one wing, such as would happen if you were walking with someone’s arm linked through yours.

Men can dress in a suit or tuxedo, while women can wear a dressy skirt and blouse or a formal dress.

Men can dress in a suit or tuxedo, while women can wear a dressy skirt and blouse or a formal dress.

One of the most important parts of your graduation outfit is shoes. Choose comfortable shoes that are appropriate for the occasion.

The following list includes items you could include when putting together your graduation outfit:

  • Dress shirt
  • Tie
  • Belt
  • Socks (that match both your pants and your shoes)
  • Underwear (white cotton, please!)

Most universities recommend that graduates not wear high heels on commencement day because they can become caught in the hem of the gown and cause injury.

Most universities recommend that graduates not wear high heels on commencement day, because they can become caught in the hem of the gown and cause injury. However, you can wear heels while staying safe by keeping them short. Avoid wearing heels that are too high or too low. Comfortable shoes with a thick heel work best, since they’ll prevent you from getting stuck in your gown and will keep you from falling down. The graduation gown is long and heavy, so make sure your footwear accommodates its length.

Avoid wearing jewelry that is bulky or flashy since it may poke through your clothes (and could get stuck in your gown).

Jewelry can look great on you, but remember to keep it simple. Your clothes will be snug, and any necklaces or bracelets could poke through the fabric. A necklace with a large pendant could get caught in the neckline of your graduation gown, so avoid wearing jewelry that is bulky or flashy. Keep your accessories subtle—especially if you’re going for an understated look.

A watch is always a safe bet for men or women. A small ring might work too, as long as it fits comfortably inside your glove (if you opt for one).


There are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing what to wear under your graduation gown. Ultimately, you should wear something that will not attract attention away from the ceremony—a formal but respectful outfit is best. This can be as simple as a blouse and trousers for women or dress shirt and pants for men, but you should also consider factors such as the time of year and what material your clothes are made from. Additionally, many schools have rules about what you may wear under your academic gown, so it is important to check these before deciding on an ensemble.

Your choice in clothing for graduation should be both comfortable and tasteful. The last thing you want is to be constantly adjusting or repositioning yourself because of discomfort or embarrassment at how you look in pictures. It’s very possible that someone will ask if they can take a photo with you after graduating. Keep this in mind while selecting a look: will it stand up over time? Will it be representative of who I am right now?

Whatever other details you choose, like jewelry or shoes, ensure they’re not bulky or distracting. Although we understand wanting to make a statement here at Fashionista HQ, we encourage readers to keep their style understated on graduation day. Remember—the focus should be on the event itself!


The most common questions people ask about graduation attire are:

  • What should you wear under your graduation gown?

When you think about what to wear under your graduation gown, it’s important to take into account the weather and the aesthetic of your school. If you’re graduating at a state school in Arizona in June, consider wearing a sleeveless top and shorts underneath—you’ll be sweating profusely by the time you get on stage. If you’re graduating from a private liberal arts college in Maine, shorts might not be appropriate. Consider whether those around you will be wearing shorts or pants and make a decision based on that.

Your main priority should always be comfort—it’s going to be hot and uncomfortable enough as it is! Don’t make yourself more miserable by trying to look nice for your family. They love you even when you look like a sweaty mess.

  • What do I wear to graduation ceremony?

Here are some things to consider when thinking about what to wear for graduation ceremony:

How long is it? Typically, public high school graduations last less than an hour from start to finish, whereas college graduations can last anywhere from two hours to all day depending on the size of the school. With this in mind, choose something comfortable that won’t hinder your ability to sit for hours if need be. You could go with flats if necessary (though I would caution against this as there may not be somewhere nearby where you can change into them). Choose neutral colors that won’t show sweat marks if need be—black is always slimming and forgiving of sweat stains! Make sure whatever style dress or outfit it is allows space for movement so you don’t have a wardrobe malfunction while walking across the stage (we’ve all heard horror stories!).

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