When asking “what to wear to a graduation” a ton of other questions come to mind, and they’re questions that should be asked. If you’re a guest on the big day, you want to know exactly how formal you should be (you do NOT want to show up the graduate) and if your outfit will work for any post-graduation activities. When you’re a graduate you need to ask yourself if you want to be formal and understated or show off your personality, what will be comfortable under the gown and what works best with pictures.
There are some other MAJOR factors when considering what to wear to graduation: Is it outdoor or indoor? Is this a college or high school graduation? What time of the day will it be? With all these in mind, here are a few tips to help put together the right attire for the big day, be it guest or grad!
High School Graduation
This is one of the more formal types of graduation ceremonies as it’s the first major milestone when approaching adulthood and it’s important to do it in the classiest way possible. When determining what to wear to a graduation ceremony of this kind it’s important to keep in mind the venue; formal clothing may not be as comfortable as casual attire, and being outdoors on a sunny day can make for less than ideal experience.
- Guests: Fathers, bring out your best suit! If you’re outdoors a blazer that’s easy to take off and is of a lighter color is the best option (it IS summer). An outdoor graduation also means you don’t necessarily need a tie as you’re bound to run into less formal folks and having such a constrained item around your neck may cause you to sweat a little more. If you’re going indoors, stay as classy as possible and go full tie/blazer combo. Mothers: A dress or coordinated skirt outfit will do wonders! Semi-formal or business attire for indoors is also recommended as well as sticking to the school’s color scheme for maximum photo enhancement with your son or daughter. For everyone else, your best slacks, dress shirt, skirt combo or semi-formal dress will do so long as you don’t out-dress the parents. Siblings should stick to the parents’ plan if possible.
- Grads: Get fancy. This is your day and there will be A LOT of pictures. Figuring out what to wear to graduation can be a headache but it’s also the ultimate chance to show the world your adult self. Men, suit up and make sure at least your tie is the dominant school color. Formal shoes are a must and don’t worry: You’ll be spending more time sitting than walking. Ladies, a knee or tea-length dress will do perfectly. Stripes or a pencil skirt are also suggested as designs any more elaborate can be seen as less formal and may take away from the big day. Modest but stylish should be the mantra for any graduate!
There are three things to account for when looking at the differences between a high school and college graduation. College graduation ceremonies are usually a little less formal, often indoors and are much, much longer. You need to wear something you can be comfortable in for many hours whether you’re walking with the rest of the grads or waiting to see that diploma get handed off from afar. With that in mind, let’s get to it!
- Guests: Show some personality! With less of a need for formal attire, it’s okay to venture off the beaten path a bit. You WILL be sitting for a long time so something that allows for some breathing room is ideal. This doesn’t mean graphic T-shirts and jean shorts (a certain level of polish is expected). It’s a good idea to at least go semi-formal for parents as you will still be represented as the heads of your family but you can definitely incorporate some color in your dresses and button-ups.
- Grads: There’s one word to think of when determining what to wear to graduation: Sophistication. You are graduating from a prestigious university and ready to be a professional in the real world and with that, it’s a good idea to look the part. Something sleek to lessen the bulk of the graduation gown is great; there are plenty of dresses that fit the part. For men, ties are often the name of the game but you don’t have to go too formal beyond that. The main thing to keep in mind when dressing for graduation is absolutely fundamental for the diploma aspect of it: Shoes. Short heels or wedges for women (long heels will be a PAIN) and for guys something that gives off that sophisticated vibe that won’t trip you up when you walk to the dean!
Of course, we here at London Cleaners would like to congratulate the graduating classes at the University of California, Los Angeles on their major academic accomplishment! We wish you Bruins well in your professional lives. Make whatever outfit you pick is cleaned and tailored to fit you just right! We know a place…