Dressing For a College Graduation Ceremony

Fashion Style for Graduation

College graduation day is an important event no matter if you are the graduate or one of the guests at the ceremony. For the graduate, it marks the end of school and the beginning of their professional career. For the guests, the ceremony is the chance to show support for the loved one. Whether you are the graduate or a guest, the question of what to wear to a college graduation ceremony is an important one with multiple answers.

The Graduate

Obviously, you are subjected to the same cap and gown as the rest of the graduating class. However, your shoes and what you wear underneath matter. Nobody wants to be remembered as the person who tripped across the stage during the ceremony. First and foremost, you will want to choose a stylish and comfortable shoe. Furthermore, you will want to look your best underneath the gown because all of your pictures that day will not include the gown. Remember that the outfit you choose to wear will haunt you in countless pictures years from now so please dress with grace and class. Understanding the dress code for a graduation ceremony can be confusing so here are some clothing options for both the graduate and the guests.

Graduate Clothing Options

  • Classic White Dress – You can’t go wrong with a classic white dress. White is a common color for weddings and other formal occasions. Furthermore, white matches any color so even the brightest or darkest cap and gown will go great with a white dress. Consider a short, pleated dress which can pair nicely with flats or high heels.
  • Bright and Colorful – Graduation occurs in spring so don’t be afraid to go bright and colorful especially if the cap and gown are a neutral color such as black or white. Therefore, bring out the aqua blue mini-dress with a pair of black sandals.
  • Floral Print – Just as bright colors are great for graduation, so are floral prints. With the trees and flowers blooming in the spring, you will look stunning in a floral ensemble for your graduation. Besides, a strapless blue and green floral pattern would stand out nicely against a blue or green gown.
  • Satin Tie Matching Trouser – Men can’t go wrong with a black satin tie and matching trousers. Throw on a long sleeve dress shirt, dress shoes and a belt for a classic look.
  • Khaki Look – Grab your favorite light blue checkered shirt and khaki pants. A matching white pair of shoes paired with an off-colored tie and belt can make your graduation ensemble stand out with a bit of flare.

Guest Clothing Options

Choosing an outfit for a graduation ceremony can seem simple but there is much to consider. You don’t want to overdress and take the attention away from the person who invited you to the ceremony. Your ensemble should not include the colors of the school in the same way that you do not attend a wedding dressed in the color scheme of the wedding party. In order to dress in a manner that appropriate without your style showing your age, consider these fashion choices:

Blazer and Slacks – A caramel colored blazer is conservative and formal but also makes a powerful statement about your personality. Add a pair of form fitting white slacks and a white, high neck, slightly cropped top for that elegant yet authoritative look.

Skater Dress – The simplicity of a skater dress is a definite way to look classy without going over the top. You can find these dresses in a smooth single color or choose one with little extra details such as a crochet top. These dresses can be worn for numerous occasions from spring into fall. Pair it with sandals, heels or even a sensible pair of flats.

Midi Skirt – It is spring so choose a brightly colored, pleated midi skirt with a strappy V-neck top and matching heels. This is the perfect outfit to wear from a graduation ceremony to the next appointment on your agenda.


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