A Fashion & Lifestyle blog by Tobi.com, featuring fashion inspiration, beauty tips & tricks, travel guides, delicious recipes, fitness & health routines and more!
Written by Elaine Tu
Congrats, babe! You did it—and we know it wasn’t a small feat. We’re so excited for you to embark on your new journey, entering the workforce (or continuing with that tough internship you landed), and maybe even just finding out what you really LOVE to do. We feel you. Whether your career goals are meticulously planned, or if you’re just going with the flow, graduation is something you should celebrate the best way you know how!
Depending on the school you go to or level you’re graduating from (middle school, high school, college, university, etc.), some may require more conservative options. Most schools can be pretty lax on the attire—duh, it’s your graduation! But we’ll serve up some graduation dresses and graduation outfit ideas you can get for the big day without breaking the bank (because we know you’re on that student budget)!
If you’re looking for cute summer options for graduation ceremonies that are a little casual, florals, laces, and light summery prints are perfect for a summer graduation. We’re loving these romantic and classy pieces in silhouettes that are chic and appropriate for a graduation setting. You’re going to be in the presence of your teachers, professors, parents, and relatives, after all! Tip: Keep accessories classic and minimal, not trendy. You don’t want to look back at pictures and wonder why you ever wore that clunky necklace!
One faithful style of dress for graduation is the shift dress. You’re going to see these a lot in our recommendations for graduation dresses because they are easily an appropriate and timeless option that you can dress up or down depending on how formal your ceremony is. It’s by no means a gown, but shift dresses are the perfect silhouette for a big day such as this. If you’re graduating in the fall or winter, you can even find shift dresses with sleeves and pair closed toe shoes like pumps with your graduation outfit! Wearing this dress will make you feel super comfortable and free also (essential for long grueling ceremonies).
Tip: choose a shade that you know looks good on you, and neckline that flatters your body type. Look back in your closet if you’re unsure, try on different items in different colors in your closet, and find what best suits your skin tone.
Luckily with graduations, you generally aren’t limited to wearing certain colors like white (if you’re attending a wedding) or red (if you’re attending a funeral). There aren’t any forbidden hues here, so a great option is to go with a classic LWD (little white dress) or even LBD (little black dress) for the occasion! With neutrals like these, you can get away with wearing bold shoes (hello, shoe lovers!).
If shift dresses aren’t your thing, wrap dresses and skater dresses are also perfect for graduation ceremonies! They’re styles that accentuate your curves and are classic silhouettes anyone can rock.
Tip: If you plan on wearing a fashion piece, look for little details that give nods to current trends like an off-the-shoulder neckline, or a ruffled hemline. Delicate touches in your dress are what give your dress a refined and classic look that you won’t regret 10 years from now! It’s all about subtlety when it comes to an outfit for a day like this.
If you’re more into maxi dresses these days, you’ll dig these cute maxi dresses! We’d recommend that you try them on with the shoes you’ll be wearing on grad day and with your graduation gown. You want to be sure they don’t get in the way of you stepping up to the podium—you don’t want to trip up there!
Graduation ceremonies usually call for dresses (traditionally, anyway), but if you want to get a little creative with outfit ideas using separate tops & bottoms, that’s an option too! We get it, sometimes it can be difficult to find a dress that’s just right. You shouldn’t be restricted to a dress! Easily put together a gorgeous top with a skirt that fits you just right. You can opt for short, midi or even maxi!
Tip: Separates tend to be more casual, so how do you make them dressy enough for a big shindig like graduation day? Answer: choose fabrics that elevate the look and feel of your outfit. Fabrics like lace, satin, chiffon instead of a jersey, cotton or synthetic materials will make your outfit feel dressed up. Take a white lace bell sleeve top for example and pair it with a summery chiffon floral skirt—it instantly gives off the same vibe as a dress would! Don’t be afraid to make it your own! What we’d avoid is anything that can seem too clubby. Look for higher necklines or sleeved pieces and avoid tight-fitting or bodycon skirts when doing this look. We also wouldn’t recommend plunging halters or strapless pieces unless the dress code is super casual.
Dresses may not be for everyone, so we’re also welcoming the jumpsuit, romper, and pantsuit to the party! If you’ve got the perfect matching trousers and blazer, let’s bust those babies out and wear them! What better day than graduation day to wear that super extra pantsuit that’s been sitting in your closet (or in your cart)? Jumpsuits are also perfect if again, your graduation is more casual than most graduations. Usually, this is true for public middle schools or high schools, but be sure to check on this before planning your graduation outfit! These work for both fall/winter and spring/summer graduation ceremonies. A long sleeve romper when it is colder, paired with ankle booties or heels works great for fall and winter. In the summer, you can go for a bold crochet romper that’s perfect for the heat and extra enough for a special day like graduation.
No matter what level of education you’re graduating from, we hope you enjoy every second of this grand recognition of your accomplishments! It’s not easy to hustle in school, so celebrate!
You’ve earned it!