13 Graduation Outfits to Shine on Your Big Day (2024)

You’ve done it! Whether you’re finishing high school, college, or graduate school, graduation is an important and one-of-a-kind event. It's a moment to look back on all you have accomplished and the time and effort you dedicated to your achievement. It's time to celebrate as you enter a new chapter and think about all the exciting things that may be next.

Not only does graduation have a huge emotional significance, but there’s also the issue of what to wear. I’m getting ready to graduate college, and all my friends and I are scrambling trying to plan our looks. With so many online and in-store retailers, there are (probably literally) a million options. So when graduation meets the style question, what do you answer?

Like those dreaded homework questions where every number has five sub-sections, the graduation outfit has lots of components to think about. The first thing to do is let go of the idea of perfection. When you find a piece or outfit that speaks to you, don’t wait around for the next best thing—there are so many options out there that you can easily end up in a vicious cycle. Instead, lean in and let yourself be excited about something you love. Let the spirit of the occasion reflect itself in what you wear: pride, joy, celebration, and overcoming.

There are some practical tips, too. Whatever you wear has to work well with your graduation gown. Some silhouettes may leave weird protruding shapes that you'd rather avoid, and when it comes to shoes, you'll want to be able to walk comfortably without falling while getting your diploma and possibly doing a lot of walking and standing. It’s best to wear something comfortable that fits your personal style in a way that feels classy and timeless.

Taking all these different components into account, I assembled 13 outfits that will give you some ideas of what to wear for graduation. Oh, and by the way, congratulations!

Easygoing Blues

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This dreamy ruffle dress features beautiful details that will help you stand out on graduation day. It’s a calm blue hue with shimmering metallic hints and an easygoing shape that makes it a stylish, comfortable choice to wear for a day that's jam-packed with events. Pair it with nude heels and a clutch for a complete look.


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While it’s common to see formal outfits and dresses for graduation, you can also maintain elegance with an air of sportiness. A Gucci polo dress paired with red flats and a statement crossbody is a great combination for achieving this effortless and sporty look.

Simple Elegance

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If you don’t want to wear a dress and tend to like minimalist styles, consider a clean-cut silk jumpsuit with beautiful accessories. The comfort and simplicity of this Silk Maison jumpsuit balances well with the minimalist gold cuff and flower-embellished stilettos.

Sharp Lines

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This dress takes a classic silhouette and mixes it up with two new details: A cutout and a sparkly waist chain for added glam. For a sharp and sleek graduation outfit, pair it with pointed heels and an accessorized low ponytail.

The Romantic

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If you like romantic details, this effortless midi dress is just what you need to wear to graduation. Its adjustable straps make it easy to fit to your body, while the bow detail accentuates your waist. To bring some color into this look, try eye-catching bangles and colorful shoes.

Boss Moves

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Why not graduate wearing a power suit? Instead of opting for classic black, look to mix lighter colors that’ll keep you cooler in the sun. A two-tone suit plus colorful heels will give the timeless look a warm-weather twist.

Free Spirit

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If you don’t like to dress overly formal for events, then try mixing different styles for a look that fits your aesthetic. This J.Crew dress comes in a timeless color and silhouette that pairs nicely with tan leather. Western-inspired heels and a bucket bag are great accessories to bring this look together.

Simply Silk

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Slip into silk for your big day and everything will look effortless. This relaxed-cut dress gives an ease of movement while being lightweight and luminescent in every picture you take. Luxurious shoes and a pearl accessory make this an outfit to remember.

Parisian Flair

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If you want your graduation outfit to be one that everyone remembers, go for chic and easygoing pieces. Really looking to go all out? It doesn't get much better than Chanel when it comes to a reliable source for all things Parisian. Pair the timeless red dress with hoops and comfortable-but-glam flats to complete the look.

Graduation Goddess

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This beautiful dress features all the details you need for an unforgettable moment. We love the panel that accentuates the waist. To complete the outfit while keeping the energy, find the right shoes and accessories. A gold necklace that drapes down and gold, gladiator-inspired heels will do just that.

Shop The Look

Low-Key Linen

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If you love the feeling and simplicity of a jumpsuit, look no further than this linen version, which features a tie-knot front to add a playful flair. The neutral color makes this easy to pair with accessories, plus its pockets make it a lot easier to go hands-free.

Exquisite Grace

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This structured dress beautifully contours your body for a look with the most elegance. Its pleated skirt also allows you to move with ease and a sense of grace. Since it comes with a belt, that makes accessorizing much easier. Instead of worrying about details to accentuate the waist, think about statement earrings and shoes to bring the look to life.

All-White Affair

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Thinking about wearing all white for graduation day? It’s a popular choice, so it’s extra important to figure out how to make the look your own. With its asymmetrical cut and ruffle detail, this dress is sure to stand out. Plus, if you’re likely going to be sitting outside in the sun for hours, this is an ideal choice for staying cool.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert in fashion and styling, I can provide you with information related to all the concepts used in this article. I have a deep understanding of fashion trends, clothing styles, and outfit coordination.

Graduation Outfits: Choosing the Perfect Look

Graduation is a significant milestone in one's life, whether it's high school, college, or graduate school. It's a time to reflect on your accomplishments and celebrate the hard work you've put into achieving your goals. One important aspect of graduation is deciding what to wear. The article highlights different outfit options and provides tips for choosing the perfect look for your special day.

Components of a Graduation Outfit

The article mentions that a graduation outfit consists of several components to consider. These include the overall silhouette, shoes, and the ability to comfortably wear the outfit with the graduation gown.

  • The silhouette: When selecting a dress or jumpsuit, it's important to choose a silhouette that complements your body type and fits well with your graduation gown. Avoid shapes that create awkward protrusions or restrict movement while walking or standing.

  • Shoes: Comfortable footwear is essential for a day filled with walking and standing. Choose shoes that you can comfortably wear throughout the day without the risk of falling. It's also important to consider the color and style of the shoes, ensuring they match your outfit.

Outfit Ideas

The article provides 13 outfit ideas to inspire your graduation look. Here's a breakdown of the concepts used in each outfit:

  1. Easygoing Blues: A calm blue ruffle dress with metallic hints, paired with nude heels and a clutch.

  2. Polo-Inspired: A sporty yet elegant Gucci polo dress paired with red flats and a statement crossbody bag.

  3. Simple Elegance: A clean-cut silk jumpsuit with minimalist gold cuff accessories and flower-embellished stilettos.

  4. Sharp Lines: A classic silhouette dress with a cutout and a sparkly waist chain, paired with pointed heels and an accessorized low ponytail.

  5. The Romantic: An adjustable strap midi dress with a bow detail, paired with eye-catching bangles and colorful shoes.

  6. Boss Moves: A power suit in lighter colors, paired with colorful heels for a timeless yet summery look.

  7. Free Spirit: Mixing different styles, such as a timeless J.Crew dress with tan leather accessories, western-inspired heels, and a bucket bag.

  8. Simply Silk: A relaxed-cut silk dress with luxurious shoes and a pearl accessory for effortless elegance.

  9. Parisian Flair: A chic red dress from Chanel, paired with hoops and comfortable-yet-glam flats for a memorable look.

  10. Graduation Goddess: A beautiful dress with waist accentuating details, paired with gold accessories and gladiator-inspired heels.

  11. Low-Key Linen: A linen jumpsuit with a tie-knot front, neutral color, and pockets for a playful yet practical outfit.

  12. Exquisite Grace: A structured dress with a pleated skirt for elegance and ease of movement, accessorized with statement earrings and shoes.

  13. All-White Affair: An asymmetrical white dress with ruffle details for a standout look, ideal for staying cool in the sun.


Graduation is a special occasion that deserves careful consideration when choosing an outfit. By understanding the different components of a graduation outfit and exploring various outfit ideas, you can select a look that reflects your personal style and makes you feel confident and comfortable on your big day. Congratulations on your graduation!

13 Graduation Outfits to Shine on Your Big Day (2024)


What do you usually wear on a graduation day? ›

Graduation is a formal event. You should wear smart clothing beneath your gown. If you are to wear a shirt then a tie must also be worn. Smart but comfortable shoes are important; no jeans or trainers.

How do I choose a graduation outfit? ›

Since graduation isn't an entirely formal event, it's best to stick with hues that are not too bright and not too dull. Some of the best color choices include black, white, peach, blue, silver, and grey. Regardless of the color you choose, remember to align it with the latest trends and your personal style.

How can I look good on my graduation day? ›

Wear comfortable and style underneath your gown.

Most schools typically choose dark neutral colors like blue or black for your cap and gown. You'll want your outfit to match. Wear something sleek since your robe will already be bulky. A loose, free flowing dress is a great option, especially in bold, bright colors.

What color do most people wear for graduation? ›

A white dress is a popular pick for graduations. Though not required, the tradition of wearing white actually dates back to the 19th century. Add a unique touch to yours with eyelet detailing and lacy trim like Alex Drummond did when graduating from Texas A&M University.

Is it OK not to wear a dress at graduation? ›

Wear whatever you want. Congratulations on this milestone in your life and keep in mind, the choices are only going to get more difficult from now on. As you continue living your life, wearing or not wearing a dress to your graduation will seem like one of the easiest choices that you ever had to make.

Can I wear jeans to my graduation? ›

It's advisable to leave the jeans behind as they can be considered far too casual against the backdrop of a formal or semi-formal graduation ceremony. Tailored trousers or chinos paired with a dress shirt permit the comfort jeans offer, but retain the formality expected at such an event.

What should a female wear for graduation? ›

The dress code for a college graduation ceremony is typically formal. For men, this means wearing a suit or dress pants with a button-down shirt and a tie. For women, a dress or a skirt and blouse combination are both acceptable choices. Some institutions may have rules about dress length or colour restrictions.

What color to wear under graduation gown? ›

Most graduation outfits favour neutral, darker colours to avoid overshadowing the gown – which, of course, is the focus of the look – but if you prefer to have a pop of colour for contrast, look for colours that complement your institution's colours.

What color shirt should I wear to graduation? ›

The classic combination: white dress shirt, black tie. An open neckline for a clean & simple look. Almost any necktie will do, but not too bright.

What shoes should I wear to graduation? ›

You can go for comfortable flats, smart shoes, or fashionable heels - whichever you feel most confident in.

What should I wear under my graduation gown? ›

Women are best wearing either dress pants or a shorter skirt underneath the gown, while men should choose khakis or dark-colored dress pants. Avoid brightly coloured bottoms if you choose to wear dress pants or a longer skirt, as they can be seen below the hem of the gown and stick to darker colours.

What do 3 stripes on a graduation gown mean? ›

The bachelor's gown is a simple robe that covers the entire body. The master's gown has longer, closed sleeves. The doctoral robe usually is the most elaborate; it is made of velvet, has three stripes on the arms, and includes a hood.

What do 2 stripes on a graduation gown mean? ›

Bachelor's degree—one stripe. Master's degree—two stripes. Doctoral degree—three stripes. One could then instantly recognize the achievements of the wearer of the robe.

Can I wear black to graduation? ›

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.

Do parents dress up for graduation? ›

Dress Up

Many schools don't have an official graduation dress code, so don't expect to see clear dress guidelines on the invitation. All you need to know is that graduation is a formal event, so dress up, even if it's just a little.

What do students get on graduation day? ›

A graduation day is a day on which students who have completed a degree program in a college or university receive their diplomas or degrees.

Are you supposed to wear a certain color to graduation? ›

Unless your school has a strict dress code, wear whatever you like. You will probably be wearing a graduation robe, so whatever you have on underneath will likely not be seen during the ceremony. Really there is no traditional color unless your school has some kind of tradition or requests a color scheme.

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