Trying to figure out what to wear to a graduation? Whether you’re the graduate or you’re attending a graduation, I’ve got some good outfit ideas for you!

What to wear to a graduation

A lot of graduations have been canceled or postponed this year, but you guys are still begging for outfit help for graduation So I’m sharing today what to wear to a graduation, whether you’re the grad or the guest.

If you’re the graduate, here are some tips for what to wear

1. Focus on your shoes. 

Your shoes will be the most important part of your outfit on graduation day for a few reasons. Here’s why. One, you’ll be wearing a cap and gown for your big day, so the only thing people will see as you walk across the stage to shake the dean’s hand are your shoes! So don’t leave them as an afterthought — if you ever wanted a pair of statement shoes, now is your chance.

Second, after you graduate, you’ll probably be going outside to take pictures and walking and standing on grass for those pictures and to talk to friends and family. Heels will immediately sink into the grass! So choose a block heel or a wedge. This will also give you maximum stability when you walk across the stage — no one wants to be the girl who tripped on stage!

Also, unless you’re really anti-heels, I’d really recommend wearing something with a heel, even if it’s a small heel. It’ll make you walk and stand with better posture (and graduation is all about walking and standing). Don’t choose a flatform or a flat if at all possible.

2. Why I think you should choose a bold or bright dress for graduation

First of all, you don’t have to pick a dress — you could do a skirt and top, or even a dressy jumpsuit. But I think you’re best off in a dress – you won’t feel over or underdressed.

If you’re graduating in the spring, I’d recommend choosing a dress in a spring-y or summer-y solid color, or a bright, fun floral or other print.

If you are graduating in the fall or winter, choose a dress in a darker solid color (but something still colorful — don’t just default to black!) or a darker floral print.

Why do I recommend choosing a bold color or print? To help you stand out, of course! It’s your special day, and when the cap and gown come up, you should be the focus. Don’t just blend in with something boring. It’s your chance to shine.

3. How long should you dress be for graduation?

You can choose what length you’re comfortable with, but remember, the graduate gowns are usually mid-calf to ankle length, depending on your height.

Here’s my tip: keep the length of your dress or skirt shorter than your gown length. A hemline hanging out your gown isn’t a great look. You can do midi, knee length, or mini, but don’t do a long midi length and don’t do a maxi length.

4. Don’t forget jewelry!

Again, you won’t see much jewelry under your robe, and if you receive awards or cords or flowers, they’ll instantly be covered. So skip the necklaces and bracelets.

But definitely don’t forget the earrings! They’ll be something you can see under your cap, and will help draw attention to your face. You can go simple with an oversized stud earring or a basic hoop, or you can have some fun and wear a statement earring.

Here’s an example of a good graduation outfit

Now let’s cover what to wear to a graduation as a guest

The guidelines for what to wear to a graduation as a guest are much less specific. But here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. 

If the invitation doesn’t specifically state the dress code, go with a nice dress or skirt/slacks with a blouse combination. It’s a safe bet and you’ll always feel more comfortable dressed up than dressed down. Don’t wear jeans!

2. Wear something comfortable

Choose something comfortable. Graduations are looong. You’ll want to wear something that isn’t heavy, itchy, or too tight, because you’ll be stuck in it for several hours.

3. Let the graduate shine

Remember, it’s their special day. Not yours. Just like a guest at a wedding, you don’t want to overshadow the most important person. So keep your outfit a little more understated. You can of course still wear colors or prints, but do so without becoming the center of attention.

Here’s an example of a good graduation guest outfit

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What to Wear to A Graduation (Guests + Grads)

floral dress with bougainvillea

Trying to figure out what to wear to a graduation? Whether you’re the graduate or you’re attending a graduation, I’ve got some good outfit ideas for you!

 

What to wear to a graduation

A lot of graduations have been canceled or postponed this year, but you guys are still begging for outfit help for graduation So I’m sharing today what to wear to a graduation, whether you’re the grad or the guest.

 

If you’re the graduate, here are some tips for what to wear

1. Focus on your shoes. 

Your shoes will be the most important part of your outfit on graduation day for a few reasons. Here’s why. One, you’ll be wearing a cap and gown for your big day, so the only thing people will see as you walk across the stage to shake the dean’s hand are your shoes! So don’t leave them as an afterthought — if you ever wanted a pair of statement shoes, now is your chance.

Second, after you graduate, you’ll probably be going outside to take pictures and walking and standing on grass for those pictures and to talk to friends and family. Heels will immediately sink into the grass! So choose a block heel or a wedge. This will also give you maximum stability when you walk across the stage — no one wants to be the girl who tripped on stage!

Also, unless you’re really anti-heels, I’d really recommend wearing something with a heel, even if it’s a small heel. It’ll make you walk and stand with better posture (and graduation is all about walking and standing). Don’t choose a flatform or a flat if at all possible.

I linked some really cute ones below

 

 

2. Why I think you should choose a bold or bright dress for graduation

First of all, you don’t have to pick a dress — you could do a skirt and top, or even a dressy jumpsuit. But I think you’re best off in a dress – you won’t feel over or underdressed.

If you’re graduating in the spring, I’d recommend choosing a dress in a spring-y or summer-y solid color, or a bright, fun floral or other print.

If you are graduating in the fall or winter, choose a dress in a darker solid color (but something still colorful — don’t just default to black!) or a darker floral print.

Why do I recommend choosing a bold color or print? To help you stand out, of course! It’s your special day, and when the cap and gown come up, you should be the focus. Don’t just blend in with something boring. It’s your chance to shine.

 

3. How long should your dress be for graduation?

You can choose what length you’re comfortable with, but remember, the graduate gowns are usually mid-calf to ankle length, depending on your height.

Here’s my tip: keep the length of your dress or skirt shorter than your gown length. A hemline hanging out your gown isn’t a great look. You can do midi, knee length, or mini, but don’t do a long midi length and don’t do a maxi length.

I linked some pretty dresses below

 

 

4. Don’t forget jewelry!

Again, you won’t see much jewelry under your robe, and if you receive awards or cords or flowers, they’ll instantly be covered. So skip the necklaces and bracelets.

But definitely don’t forget the earrings! They’ll be something you can see under your cap, and will help draw attention to your face. You can go simple with an oversized stud earring or a basic hoop, or you can have some fun and wear a statement earring.

I linked some fun ones below

 

Here’s an example of a good graduation outfit

graduation outfit collage

PEARL EARRINGS, FLORAL DRESS, CLEAR WEDGE SANDALS

 

 

 

Now let’s cover what to wear to a graduation as a guest

The guidelines for what to wear to a graduation as a guest are much less specific. But here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. 

If the invitation doesn’t specifically state the dress code, go with a nice dress or skirt/slacks with a blouse combination. It’s a safe bet and you’ll always feel more comfortable dressed up than dressed down. Don’t wear jeans!

2. Wear something comfortable

Choose something comfortable. Graduations are looong. You’ll want to wear something that isn’t heavy, itchy, or too tight, because you’ll be stuck in it for several hours.

3. Let the graduate shine

Remember, it’s their special day. Not yours. Just like a guest at a wedding, you don’t want to overshadow the most important person. So keep your outfit a little more understated. You can of course still wear colors or prints, but do so without becoming the center of attention.

 

Here’s an example of a good graduation guest outfit

graduation guest outfit idea collage

POLKA DOT DRESS, LACE UP WEDGES
NAVY JUMPSUIT, SCALLOPED NUDE HEELED SANDALS
WHITE BUTTON DOWN SHIRT, LEOPARD SKIRT, MULE SANDALS

 

And if you need graduation gift ideas, CHECK OUT THIS POST!

 

 

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graduation outfit ideas

3 Comments

  1. Kaylee says:

    I have the pink block heels and the white espadrille wedges and absolutely love both! Great picks!

  2. Rhea Davis says:

    Your article is good and informative. I have learned a lot from this article. Thanks

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