We all know graduation is a time for celebration, and many of us will be celebrating by attending a party or two. After all the hard work you’ve put in to get your degree, it’s only natural that you want to look your absolute best.
The dress code for most graduation parties is typically nice casual.
Graduation parties are great opportunities to celebrate and socialize with the people in your life. These events are typically a bit more formal than other casual gatherings or get-togethers, so it’s important to keep that in mind when deciding what type of clothing will be appropriate for the event. If you’re unsure of what to wear, here are some things to keep in mind:
- The dress code for most graduation parties is typically nice casual. This means that jeans, shorts and T-shirts aren’t appropriate for this kind of event. Think about what you would wear if you were at an interview for your dream job—you want to look professional yet stylish and comfortable, which is exactly how you should look at the graduation party!
- If it’s warmer out, consider wearing a dress or skirt that goes down to just above the knee (or longer). You can pair this with a nice blouse or sweater depending on how cold it is outside. If it’s cooler out, consider pairing a blouse with a nice pair of slacks or khakis!
Look to the invitation for clues as to what to wear.
The key is to start with what you know.
If the invitation doesn’t give specific dress code instructions, there are still a few things you can glean from it. First, consider what kind of venue the event is taking place at. If it’s an outdoor venue in summer, you don’t want to be wearing something heavy and uncomfortable like a dressy pantsuit. If it’s an indoor celebration at a fancy hotel or restaurant, denim will look out of place. The time of day the event takes place should also influence your outfit decisions: for example, if it’s a daytime brunch with light refreshments and champagne cocktails, something more casual than a floor-length gown may be appropriate.
For women trying to get their outfit just right for grad parties, knowing how formal or informal the event will be is important for deciding on accessories like jewelry and shoes. If the dress code says “cocktail attire,” that typically means men should wear dark suits without ties and women should wear knee-length dresses (or skirts and tops) with heels—but not too high! You don’t want to tower over everyone at this celebration! Check out these guidelines on cocktail attire as well as these rules on semi-formal attire if you’re still unsure of how formal your party’s dress code really is.
When in doubt, opt for a nice dress, dressy jumpsuit or skirt and blouse combination.
When it comes to figuring out what to wear to a graduation party, you should keep in mind the venue and location of the event. If you think it will be held at a restaurant or hotel, then opt for a cocktail dress or skirt-and-blouse combination. Consider wearing a wrap dress or shirtdress if you’re not comfortable showing too much skin yet. A pair of elegant heels will also complete your look. For guys, aim for something smart casual like chinos and button down shirt with leather loafers. However, if you believe that the graduation party is going to be held at someone’s home, then casual clothing and flats are acceptable!
Don’t forget your shoes!
- Good shoes take you good places.*
Shoes can make or break an outfit, so it’s important to wear the right pair for the occasion. If you’re attending a graduation at a friend’s house, don’t wear six-inch heels because those might not be appropriate for walking around on grass. But if the ceremony is being held at something like a hotel or convention center, then go ahead and wear that fabulous pair from Steve Madden.
While it’s extremely important to wear comfortable shoes to any event, don’t sacrifice style completely. After all, this is your graduate’s big day! You want to look your best and most stylish while still maintaining comfort throughout the day. When purchasing new shoes or sandals online or in-store, keep in mind that they’ll probably need some time to be “broken in” before wearing them out in public. So if you buy a new pair of sandals online or at Nordstrom Rack just in case your feet swell up when it gets hot outside—which happens to me all the time—it’s imperative that you wear them around your home while doing chores and going about your daily activities before committing to walk around in them all day at the party. The last thing anyone wants is blisters ruining their graduation party outfit!
Another thing: socks! Make sure you bring extra pairs of socks with you wherever you go for whatever occasion life throws at you. They say “Socks are like little blankets for our feet.” I couldn’t have said it better myself!
For guys, you can never go wrong with a nice suit.
When it comes to men’s attire for graduation parties, the standard is a suit. You can never go wrong with a nice suit. It’s definitely the safest option and makes you look great if you don’t have time to do anything else. If you want to stand out, try choosing a patterned jacket or one in an interesting color.
Keep a jacket handy in case the weather turns chilly.
You’re going to want to pack a jacket in your car, regardless of the season. The weather is unpredictable and if it gets cold, you won’t want to be without one. It can get chilly out at night, even if the weather was warm during the day. That’s why it’s important to bring a light sweater or long-sleeve shirt along with you. A cardigan or blazer with a hood will allow you to keep warm without sacrificing your style or comfort. You never know when the temperature may drop at an outdoor event so having this handy will ensure that you’re prepared for anything!
If you don’t have room in your car, then bring one along in your suitcase just in case something happens while traveling there and back. This way when it does get cold outside all it takes is an extra layer which isn’t too hard considering how small jackets are when they’re folded up into their bagged state.”
Plan your outfit ahead of time so you aren’t scrambling the day of graduation!
When it comes to choosing what you will wear on your big day, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, choose something that makes you feel good about yourself. When you feel good in what you’re wearing, it shows. Wear something that is appropriate for the venue and weather. Most importantly don’t wear anything uncomfortable!
Don’t forget these quick tips:
- Wear weather-appropriate clothing
- Dress for the venue – wearing casual attire to an upscale restaurant is a no-no!
- Bring a coat or wrap – have one option that can be easily removed if needed due to heat or temperature changes
- Dress according to how your host has asked people to dress (cocktail attire, black tie formal)
Graduation is a special occasion for both you and your family. You’ll want to look your best and make them proud. You also want to be comfortable, and of course, you want to feel like yourself. Hopefully this guide has given you some good ideas of how to dress for the big day so that in every way possible, you can show off how much time, effort, thoughtfulness and care went into making it happen!
You don’t need to be a fashion guru to pick the perfect outfit for your graduation party. Just remember these few key tips:
- Have a plan. If you’re traveling somewhere, consider what you’re going to wear during your commute. If you have a whole wardrobe change planned, make sure all the pieces are clean, packed and ready to go.
- Consider the weather. Rain can ruin an entire outfit, so pack an umbrella or poncho just in case!
- Dress up, not down. The worst thing would be to show up overdressed because it shows that you weren’t confident in yourself and didn’t think through your choice of clothing enough. This could lead to embarrassment and discomfort as you try to blend in with others who are dressed more casually than your formal outfit allows for.
- Check the invitation before leaving home. See if there are any dress code restrictions or other clues as to what you should wear on this special occasion! Even subtle things like colors can hint at what other people might show up wearing, so take note of anything that seems out of place or sticks out about the invitation’s wording or design!
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