What to Wear to Your Graduation

Yes, you may be wearing a gown over the top for most of the day but what you wear underneath your graduation gown is still important. From choosing complementary colours to making sure the shape sits correctly underneath, read on for outfit inspiration and our top tips on graduation style.

Classic Colours

On your graduation day you’ll want to look ceremony-appropriate but not boring so let your individual style shine through with colour-popping accessories. When looking for the perfect dress, bear these points in mind…

  • Graduation hood colours vary greatly. If you’re unsure about the colour of yours, it’s best to play it safe, yet stylishly, in a white or black dress.
  • Graduation day is not the time to show off your fashion prowess by wearing the latest extreme trends head-to-toe. Photos of your big day are likely to be displayed for a long time, so keep it classic in a timeless outfit.
  • It’s best to stick to neutral colours and avoid prints as you don’t want your outfit to clash with your graduation hood and gown.
  • Introduce colour through your accessories – inject a touch of playfulness into your outfit with look-at-me heels and vibrant clutch bags.
  • Avoid A-line or full skirts as these will sit funny underneath your gown – simple silhouettes such as shift dresses work best.
  • Low cut dresses can make wearing the gown and hood rather awkward so they are best to be avoided.
  • Look to Emma Watson (above) and finish with a slick of bold lipstick.

graduation style

Get the look: Left to right – Phase Eight black dressMAC cosmetics lipstick in morangeDorothy Perkins red clutch bagMiss KG high heel court shoeRJR.John Rocha white leather watch and Warehouse lace insert shirt dress

A Perfect Pairing

Some universities are strict with their graduation dress codes – in this case a classic white shirt paired with an elegant black pencil skirt is a timeless option you can’t really go wrong with. If you do choose to go with this look, here’s a few things to remember:

  • Go for a slim fit shirt that can be easily tucked into your skirt.
  • A shirt not only looks chic but is practical too as the graduation hood is often held in place with a button.
  • Ankle straps are a good way to ensure your shoes don’t slip off mid-ceremony.
  • For post-ceremony celebrations, pep up your look with a bold statement necklace and party-perfect clutch bag.

graduation outfit

Get the look: Left to right – Oasis shirt, The Collection black tailored skirtCoast floral necklaceDune jewelled trim clutch bag and Faith strappy sandals

Pop Your Colour

If your university has a more relaxed stance when it comes to graduation dress code, then by all means have some fun with colour. But remember…

  • Find out the colour of your graduation hood to avoid colour clashing.
  • Be sure to keep shapes simple to avoid lumps and bumps underneath your gown.
  • Similarly, resist over-the-top embellishments which could catch or cause unsightly bumps beneath your gown.
  • As most graduations take place in the summer months, it should (technically) be sunny so opt for a dress in a light material to keep you as cool as possible under your gown.
  • If you’re not good with heels, your graduation ceremony is certainly not the time to try them. You’re likely to be standing for long periods of time so go for sophisticated flats or mid-heel shoes so there’s no risk of you falling over on stage.

graduation outfits

Get the look: Left to right – Coast marquess crepe dressRed Herring pearl cuff braceletDebut cream bagDune neutral sandalRavel nude pumps and Oasis shift dress

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