Commencement ceremonies are coming up and planning what to wear under your gown is just as important as the pomp and circumstance of the day.  The key is to be comfortable, stylish and sophisticated.  While most schools dictate a specific dress code, there are still ways to be the head of the class when it comes to style.


While it might go without saying, dressing “to the nines” is very important.  You’re the star and it’s all about looking like the center of attention.  You’ll have lots of pictures to document this joyous day. Wear a dress that is sleek and fitted. Since you’ll be wearing your ceremony gown, eliminate extra bulk of a skater dress or a full skirt. Be cute but conservative. Look for dresses that are knee to midi length.  Avoid maxi length dresses that will billow under your gown, there’s a good chance either you’ll trip on it or it will dirty from walking outdoors.  White is always a great graduation color. Experiment with bold colors that will look vibrant in pictures.

Guys, avoid suit jackets under your graduation gown. For a more formal look wear a dress shirt, slacks and tie.  Show your style and personality in your tie and suspenders.  Remember that your shirt collar, and tie will be seen under your gown, therefore be mindful of the color and pattern of both. Be sure to wear an undershirt especially if the ceremony will be held outdoors under the glaring sun.  There’s nothing unsightlier than sweat stains on a dress shirt at a formal function.  For a more casual look wear pressed khakis and a collared shirt.

Think about wearing a special piece of jewelry or engraved tie clip to commemorate the special occasion as well.


Opt for flat sandals, loafers or ballet flats. Bring a shoe bag for after graduation with your fancier heels, of course if you feel comfortable in heels, wear them! Be sure to wear heel guards like SOLEMATE heel protectors for grassy terrain.  The protectors will keep your heels from getting damaged and sinking into the grass. Under no circumstance is it a good look to wear sneakers!


Wearing a cap for graduation can put a damper on any lavish hair styles you might desire, but you can still have great style under your graduation cap.  Think about  doing a new color.  A new color for such a life-changing event might be the start of something new for you or if you’ve been dying to cut your hair into a bob now’s a good a time to go a little shorter with the warm weather approaching.  Yet, if you don’t have plans to make a drastic decision about your hair, consider cute curls or a low sleek ponytail for something a little less extreme. 

Lastly, don’t bring large handbags and if you’re going to be outside be prepared with sunblock. Remind your guest to dress their best too.  A rule of thumb when attending graduation as a guest, dress in business casual. And if you still don’t know what to wear, get styled by one of Crabtree’s personal stylists for your graduation!