Two girls take a selfie on graduation day

What to Wear on Graduation Day

Even though you’ll be wearing a shapeless gown on graduation day that will cover up most of your outfit, you still need to think about what you are going to wear on your big day. Your parents will definitely want some photos afterward, and if you’re having a party, make it easy on yourself by wearing a classy outfit that will work for both the ceremony and the celebration. Business casual is the accepted level of dress at most ceremonies, unless your ceremony takes place in the evening. In that case, you will probably want to wear something a bit more formal.

Graduation Wear for Girls

Girls, you have a wide variety of options when it comes to outfits. A popular outfit choice is a nice dress and heels or wedges – just don’t wear the same dress you wore to the dance club last weekend. Keep your hemline tasteful: nothing shorter than three inches above the knee. You also need to keep your neckline appropriate. This isn’t saying that you can’t wear a v-neck dress; just ensure that it doesn’t go too low and show more skin than your teachers and parents want to see. If you don’t want to wear a dress, you can don a nice blouse and pair it with a pencil skirt, midi A-line skirt or a pair of dress slacks.

Shoes are probably the most important accessory since they will be the only part of your outfit everyone sees as you walk across the stage. Since you’ll probably be nervous while walking onstage to receive your diploma, don’t wear shoes that may cause you to trip over your own feet. Two to three-inch heels are appropriate, but probably not anything higher than that. Flats are also a perfectly acceptable and fashionable option for those of you who want to skip the heels altogether. Sandals, on the other hand, are probably a bit too casual for this kind of event; save them for the party afterwards if you really want to wear them.

Graduation Wear for Guys

Guys, there are several rules concerning what you should wear to your ceremony, but if you forget all the rest, remember this one: do not wear jeans. This is a huge milestone in your life, so dress like it! Find yourself a pair of well-fitting slacks in black, gray, navy, or even beige, and pair them with a button-down shirt and a tie. Keep your colors simple, especially if your graduation robe is colored. It’s probably a safe bet to stick to neutral colors and simple patterns, then top off your outfit with a pair of sleek black or brown dress shoes.

Last Updated: May 07, 2015