Tips for Dressing Smart Under Your Graduation Gown

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Tips for Dressing Smart Under Your Graduation Gown

Your graduation ceremony is a huge deal, so you want to look your best! After all, most families take far more pictures than you can imagine as you walk across that stage. Here are a few tips for dressing smart under your graduation gown and looking great in those family photos.

Look Smart, Feel Comfortable

Dress clothes aren’t a part of our daily attire. When you break out your formal clothes, it’s crucial to make sure that they feel as good as they look. While a smart outfit sends a great message, obvious discomfort, shifting, or pain will make you not want to attend the ceremony. No matter what gown or uniform you wear under your robes, always try it on before your graduation rolls around. That way, you know it still feels comfortable and won’t irritate you for the often hours-long event.

Focus on Footwear

Everyone in the graduating class has the same attire from their head to slightly below their knees, save for those who earned cords and stoles. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t stand out. Your choice of pants, tights, and footwear are all visible and, with everything else matching, can become the focal point of your outfit. Remember to skip the sandals or platform boots (unless you’re looking to make a statement) and stick to dress shoes, fitted dress pants, tights, or leggings.

Find Opportunities To Express Yourself

Graduation ceremonies are a celebration of your dedication, effort, and growth. It only makes sense that you want to look like yourself at the ceremony! Luckily, there are ways to dress smart, even in formal attire, while still expressing your individuality.

For example, you can pick a boldly colored dress shirt or a unique tie. You can also practice styling your hair with the cap beforehand, so you look like yourself in photos. Finally, while you should typically wear flat colors at a formal event, patterned dresses hidden beneath the gown are a fun, expressive surprise!

However, remember to look at your school’s commencement dress code before deciding on your graduation outfit. In the same way that not every school allows for cap decorations, each graduating class is subject to unique dress codes. Defy the dress code too much, and the faculty may not let you walk across the stage.

Dressing smart under your graduation gown isn’t all there is to consider before your commencement. Some schools allow for accessorizing above the gown as well. For example, some Hawaiian students might want to consider wearing a graduation lei on the big day. Some majors even have unique traditions that impact how they look at graduation, like Notre Dame’s architecture students! Your graduation is a once-in-a-lifetime event for yourself and many other students. Do what makes you happy, what makes it yours, and what you’ll fondly look back on in the future.

Image Credit: by Adobe Stock royalty-free image #62329886

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