Graduating with Style | What to Wear With A Cap and Gown

I can’t quite believe that I graduated two weeks ago. I always looked at graduating as a huge milestone in ones life and a moment which I longed for, for most of mine. It’s an opportunity to celebrate the success of finishing university and having a degree under your belt. There really is no feeling quite like the one that consumes you, as you shake hands with the presiding officer and reach out to take your degree. It’s an unforgettable moment and undoubtedly, you want everything to run smoothly.

My ceremony was with five other fashion based courses which inevitably meant that 90% of the graduants there were female and totally into trends and self-expression through what they wear. We actually had one of the chairmen comment on how incredible the array of shoes were worn in the hall that day. Almost everyone expected someone to trip and do a Lizzie McGuire but surprisingly, and thankfully might I add, no embarrassing events took place. However, this is something I’m sure everyone would want to make certain is avoided as much as possible. No one wants to remember their graduation as the time they tripped over the ten-inch heels, they couldn’t walk in and fall off stage. Or have their cap fall off and roll away- those things are not as easy-wearing as one might seem! The fact of the matter is that what you wear to your graduation can mean all the difference between having an amazing day or humiliating one.

What to Dress

It was a no brainer for me; I was going to wear a dress and that was that. If you haven’t been paying attention, dresses are my middle name. Well, not literally but they are the item of clothing I will be wearing nine times out of ten. However, there are plenty of other options if wearing a dress isn’t your thing. A tailored suit or Fitted Romper could also be appropriate to wear for a graduation ceremony. As long as the style is considered formal attire it should be suitable enough to wear. Just make sure you aren’t turning up in your sunday slacks with mysterious stains and you’ll be good to go.



Chose your colour

One of the important factors to consider when choosing your graduation outfit, is the colour of your university’s robes. Mine were navy, green and yellow. I know; Yikes! The colour combination was certainly unforgiven so I knew I had to go with something neutral and not a bold red number to avoid looking like a traffic light. Graduation Robes are always mainly black or Navy, so wearing the same coloured outfit wouldn’t be advised. It can result in you looking too heavy and your figure getting very lost amongst all that black clothing.

There’s something about wearing white, which I find to be simply stunning. It illustrates a heavenly, enchanting feel that I think offers the perfect amity for big life moments. I didn’t even need to think twice when it came to what colour I’d be in for my graduation. The stark opposite of black, my outfit wouldn’t clash with my robes and exuded the positive connotation I deeply desired.


Comfort is key!

Sure, you might look incredible in those 8 inch stilettos, but if you have to walk at the same pace as a tortoise then maybe it’s best to leave those babies at home. Whilst I was personally unfazed, I experienced a lot of the girls in my ceremony desperately trying to manage their nerves. It can be an anxious moment for some, thinking of the worst things that could happen to them as they receive their degree. Therefore, the last thing you want to be thinking about is how much you are regretting your outfit choice. You want to be at your most comfortable whilst still ticking the box on the style code. Your outfit should have you feeling self-assured and confident with in who you are. If you know you feel self-conscious in a tight mini dress or uncomfortable in high heels then don’t wear it! Just because it’s a special occasion, doesn’t mean you have to leave with blisters the size of golf balls on your feet.

Less is More

We’ve already spoken about smart footwear but the smart choices don’t stop there. In my opinion understated jewellery always looks nicer but in this case, small jewels and dainty rings are the safe choice for a graduation ceremony. The presiding officer doesn’t want to be blinded by your bling when he shakes your hand and I doubt anyone wants their jewellery to take all the limelight when they look back on their grad photos. Similarly, wearing heavy black eyeliner can look incredible but there’s a time and place for looking like a panda and graduation isn’t one of them. Keep your styling simple and let your soul do all the shining.

Be Prepared

It was actually a little surprising on how much of a nightmare the graduation caps are to wear. Few of us found it easy to get them to stay on our heads and I had the most problematic hair- silky and smooth is not a good combination for a cap, it would seem. Make sure to bring along some hair grips just in case you find your cap is slipping off your head.

Another note would be to consider bringing along a pair of flats if you’ve gone down the high heel route. Just in case you have dinner reservations with your family after the ceremony and your feet are aching.

Lastly, even if your grad date is similar to mine and lands in the summer, and you also happen to be a british babe like myself, pack an umbrella. It maybe July and the weather-lady might have told you it’s going to be sunshine and rainbows on that particular day, but when has english weather ever been predictable? Thankfully, I just missed the rain on my graduation but the thought of looking like something I pulled out my drain last Tuesday on my grad photos, was enough to having me picking up my rain-coat before leaving the house.

Your graduation should be a worry-free, unforgettable moment that you can treasure forever. Save yourself the stress and don’t leave your outfit choice last minute. This is where a new adventure begins, enjoy every moment of that special day and don’t look back.


Necklace: Gold Silver Bow Heart Necklace

Dress: Eleania scalloped lace dress

Heels:  Faith Louise White Tie Up Heels  (✕)