What Are You Supposed to Wear to Graduation


What Are You Supposed to Wear to Graduation?

Graduation day is a momentous occasion in every student’s life. It is a day of celebration, achievement, and pride. As you prepare to walk across the stage and receive your hard-earned diploma, one question often arises: what are you supposed to wear to graduation? In this article, we will delve into the various attire options available for both graduates and attendees, providing you with useful tips and guidelines for this special day.

For Graduates:

1. Cap and Gown: The quintessential graduation outfit is the cap and gown. Typically, these are provided by your educational institution and are usually in the school’s colors. The cap is worn on your head, while the gown covers your body. It is important to wear the cap correctly, with the mortarboard flat on your head. The tassel should be placed on the right side and moved to the left after you receive your diploma.

2. Underneath the Gown: While the cap and gown are the main focus of your graduation attire, what you wear underneath is equally important. For men, a collared shirt, tie, dress pants, and dress shoes are appropriate. Women can opt for a dress, skirt, or dress pants paired with a blouse or a nice top. It is advisable to choose attire that is comfortable and appropriate for the weather, as graduation ceremonies can be lengthy.

3. Shoes and Accessories: When it comes to shoes, both men and women should opt for closed-toe footwear. Comfortable shoes are essential since you will be walking, standing, and potentially climbing stairs during the ceremony. Accessories should be kept minimal and tasteful. Avoid large, distracting jewelry or accessories that could detract from the significance of the occasion.

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For Attendees:

1. Guests: Graduation ceremonies are often formal events, and guests are expected to dress accordingly. Men can wear dress pants, a collared shirt, tie, and dress shoes. Women have more flexibility, as they can choose between a dress, skirt, or dress pants with a blouse or a nice top. It is advisable to avoid wearing jeans, casual attire, or anything too revealing.

2. Color Coordination: A common tradition is for attendees to wear clothing that matches or complements the school’s colors. This demonstrates support and solidarity with the graduate. However, if you are unsure about the school’s colors, it is best to opt for neutral or classic colors that will not clash with the ceremony’s atmosphere.

3. Comfort: Graduation ceremonies can be lengthy, so it is important to dress comfortably. Consider the weather conditions and choose clothing that will keep you cool or warm enough throughout the event. Avoid high heels or uncomfortable shoes that may lead to discomfort or pain.


Q: Can I personalize my cap and gown?
A: Some schools allow personalization, such as adding patches, cords, or decorations, while others have strict guidelines. Check with your institution for any specific rules regarding personalization.

Q: Can I wear a hat or sunglasses?
A: It is generally not recommended to wear a hat or sunglasses during the graduation ceremony, as it may obstruct the view of those seated behind you.

Q: Are there any restrictions on what I can wear underneath the gown?
A: It is best to avoid wearing anything too casual or revealing. Remember that you will be in a formal setting, and it is important to dress appropriately.

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Q: Can I wear a traditional cultural attire?
A: Many institutions embrace diversity and welcome graduates to wear traditional cultural attire, as long as it is respectful and does not detract from the overall formality of the event. However, it is always a good idea to check with your school prior to the ceremony.

In conclusion, graduation is a momentous occasion that calls for appropriate attire. Whether you are a graduate or an attendee, dressing in a manner that reflects the significance of the event is crucial. Following the guidelines provided above will ensure that you are appropriately dressed for this milestone in your academic journey. Congratulations on your achievement, and enjoy your graduation day!