This post may contain affiliate links and we will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on our link. Read the Disclosure Policy.
Graduation is an exciting and scary moment; it’s the end of something familiar and the start of something new. You may be mourning the end of college or you may be ready to skip off campus the moment you can, but either way, with all the prep that comes with entering adulthood, figuring out what to wear to graduation may not have been at the top of your to-do list.
The best tip on what to wear to graduation: wear whatever makes you feel like a badass. You’re going to be taking a lot of pictures with friends and family, so wear something that will make you feel confident, but that you can also confidently look back at in a few years. You will likely be jumping from family event, to party, to dinner, to your friend’s rager, so you want to be dressed to rock whatever situation you’re in (multiple wardrobe changes is a fun option if your budget can swing it, but something your schedule that day might not allow for). This is the last thing you’ll ever do as an undergrad, so here’s how to go out with a bang.
How do you find a dress that fits your style, makes you feel ready to walk the runway (aka the ceremony stage) and stun the paparazzi (aka your friends and family that came to town), looks mature enough to show you’re ready for the adult world but also turns heads at all the grad parties? I can’t grant you a fairy godmother to materialize your perfect dress out of thin air, but I can search the Internet for your best options so you don’t have to. Scan this list of dresses to find your perfect one. We got you, girl.
A flattering style, this option will look great under a robe plus it’s versatile enough for almost any event. Let’s be honest: mesh inserts may be hot now, but you don’t want to cringe when your grad pics pop up on your Timehop in five years. This classic cut is sure to stand the test of time.
Staying away from complicated necklines is a good idea when there’s a robe over your shoulders and arms, but who says you can’t bend the rules a little bit? These necklines will make you stand out from the crowd while not competing with your graduation gown.
You’re going to be wearing a robe over your outfit, so now is not the time for layers or big textures to shine. Something sleek will fit much better, and owning this classic silhouette is a necessity for everything from conference rooms to date nights, so it’s well worth the investment.
Short hemlines and low necklines are great, but we don’t want Grandma to have a heart attack at the ceremony. If you’re looking for something a little more modest, these options have got you covered (literally).
If you’ve got the time and budget: pick a day dress to wow the fam, and then slip into one of these numbers after the sun goes down.
After you figure out what to wear to graduation, you need the perfect shoes to pair with your killer outfit. The right pair of shoes can take your look to a whole new level, and in a sea of matching gowns, it’s the one way you can show off your personal style. Your shoes are especially important on graduation day because it’s all people see when you walk across the stage (yes, the “priority” here is being handed your diploma and finally finishing your degree, but we all know it’s really about owning the stage).
Remember: you need to be able to stand in them for hours, you may have to walk between buildings, you shouldn’t wear shoes for the first time that day, the stage may be slippery, and you are also walking in front of hundreds of people. So choose shoes that look great, but that you can confidently walk in.
Adding some height is an instant confidence booster — your frame looks great, everything seems to fit better, and it just makes you feel like a total girl boss. Stun the crowd in these options, but keep in mind that you’ll be walking in front of tons of people, and heels have the risk of getting stuck somewhere or sinking in the grass outside.