Graduation Gown How to Wear


Graduation Gown: How to Wear and FAQs

Graduation is a significant milestone in one’s life, marking the successful completion of an academic journey. Amidst the excitement and anticipation, one of the key elements of this memorable occasion is the graduation gown. The graduation gown is not just a piece of clothing; it symbolizes the years of hard work and dedication that have led to this moment. In this article, we will explore the proper way to wear a graduation gown and address some frequently asked questions regarding this timeless tradition.

How to Wear a Graduation Gown:

1. Start with the right attire: Begin by ensuring that you have the correct graduation gown. Gowns vary depending on the level of education and the institution. Make sure you have the appropriate gown designated for your degree program.

2. Dress appropriately: Before putting on the gown, wear suitable attire underneath. For men, this typically means dress pants, a collared shirt, and dress shoes. Women can opt for a dress, skirt and blouse, or dress pants with a blouse. It is advisable to avoid high heels or uncomfortable footwear as you may be required to walk or stand for extended periods during the ceremony.

3. Put on the gown: Locate the opening at the top of the gown and slide it over your head. Ensure that the gown hangs evenly on both sides and falls to the mid-calf or ankle level, depending on the gown style.

4. Secure the gown: Most graduation gowns have a zipper or buttons at the front. Fasten them to ensure the gown stays in place throughout the ceremony. It is important to be mindful of any regalia or cords that may need to be attached to the gown. These may be provided by the institution or signify academic achievements and honors.

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5. Arrange the sleeves: The sleeves of the graduation gown are typically open, allowing your arms to be visible. Some gowns have cuffs, while others do not. Adjust the sleeves so that they hang naturally and comfortably.

6. Cap placement: The graduation cap, also known as a mortarboard, is an integral part of the ensemble. Place the cap squarely on your head, with the front edge aligning with your forehead. Secure it with bobby pins or hair clips if needed. Avoid tilting the cap excessively or wearing it too far back on your head.

7. Tassel position: The tassel is usually worn on the right side of the cap before the ceremony begins. However, during the course of the graduation ceremony, there may be a designated moment to switch the tassel to the left side. This symbolic act signifies the official conferral of the degree.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Do I need to purchase or rent a graduation gown?
A: The process for obtaining a graduation gown depends on your institution. Some institutions provide gowns as part of the graduation package, while others require you to rent or purchase the gown. Check with your institution’s graduation office for specific details.

Q: Can I personalize my graduation gown?
A: While the gown itself is usually standardized, many institutions allow graduates to personalize their caps. This can be done by adding decorative elements or personal messages. However, it is essential to adhere to any guidelines provided by the institution.

Q: How do I know if I am wearing the correct graduation gown?
A: Each institution has its own specific gown design based on the level and field of study. Consult your institution’s graduation office or website for detailed information on the gown design required for your graduation.

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Q: What should I do if my graduation gown does not fit properly?
A: If the gown you receive does not fit properly, contact your institution’s graduation office immediately. They will provide guidance on how to exchange the gown for the correct size.

Q: Can I keep my graduation gown as a memento?
A: In most cases, the graduation gown is returned after the ceremony. However, some institutions allow graduates to keep the gown as a memento. Check with your institution for their policy on gown retention.


Wearing a graduation gown is an essential part of the graduation ceremony, symbolizing the completion of an academic journey. By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that you are properly attired for this momentous occasion. Remember, the graduation gown represents the years of hard work and dedication leading up to this day, making it a cherished symbol of achievement.