How to choose the ultimate graduation outfit, from shoes to stoles

By Faith Molitor

Elm Staff Writer

With finals coming up and Senior Capstone Experience presentations underway, it is finally time for graduating seniors to celebrate all of their accomplishments.

While it is undoubtedly an exciting time, many might be grappling with the emotions that come from closing one chapter and moving onto another. In order to savor the moment without any stress, here are a few tips about what to wear on graduation day.

Prepare accessories ahead of time

Get your cords ahead of time. Make sure to pick them up from your organization as soon as they arrive on campus in order to avoid scrambling at the last minute.

Furthermore, understand what is most important to you when deciding what you will be wearing. If you have multiple cords, decide which you want to layer. Additionally, some clubs offer pins that you can place on your gown.

Know what is most comfortable for you

Make sure to wear something breathable and comfortable, yet fashionable, underneath your graduation gown. Pick what kinds of hues and shades fit your aesthetic and build your outfit around that. Florals and pastels might be a nice choice to compliment outdoor pictures.

Also, pay attention to the length of your dress — a longer dress might look awkward underneath a long gown.

Mix up the traditional graduate look

For those looking to wear pants, a variation on the traditional suit combination, like a patterned button-down and slacks, allows graduates to mix up their look. To accessorize, a nice watch or chain can add dimension to the ensemble.

Plan your hairstyle ahead of time

To keep your head cool underneath your graduation cap, hair can be pinned into a bun or braid. It can also be styled half up to ensure that your hairstyle can still be seen. If you are unsure about how to wear your hair, Pinterest is a great way to find trendy hairstyles and create a look that is solely your own.

Additionally, if your hair is dyed, make sure to keep it as healthy as possible before graduation. Ask your hairstylist what products work best and use shampoos and conditioners that will preserve the color.

Honor your family through your outfit

If you can, wear something from the generations before you, especially if there is someone that is not able to be there with you in person. This can be a locket, a bracelet, a pin, or a photo to keep in your pocket for good luck. These people may be gone, but by honoring their lives, they can be present in spirit.

Choose your jewelry carefully

For jewelry, opt for dainty pieces that add a little sparkle but do not cause a reflection in cameras. That goes for shimmery makeup as well; keep looks on the simple side so you do not smudge or sweat anything off after a long day.

Above all else — wear comfortable shoes

Last of all, make sure that your shoes are comfortable. If you want to wear high heels, wear a block heel or wedge to ensure that you do not sink into the grass.

It is your last time as an undergraduate student at Washington College, so do not ruin it by wearing shoes that will make your feet sore.

Everyone celebrates in their own way, but make sure you do so in a style that makes you feel ready to take on the day before you throw your cap in the sky.

Photo caption: Because WC’s graduation is outside, make sure to pay attention to the weather to ensure that your outfit will not be uncomfortable to wear in the heat.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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