What Do You Wear at Graduation


What Do You Wear at Graduation?

Graduation is a significant milestone in one’s life that marks the completion of an educational journey. It is a joyous occasion where students celebrate their hard work and accomplishments. One important aspect of graduation is the attire worn by graduates. In this article, we will explore the traditional outfits worn at graduation ceremonies and answer some frequently asked questions about graduation attire.

1. Caps and Gowns:
The most iconic symbol of graduation is the cap and gown. The gown is a long, flowing garment that is typically black and made of a lightweight material such as polyester. It is designed to be worn over regular clothing and is usually open in the front, with long sleeves and a square yoke. The color of the tassel worn on the cap often represents the field of study or the school colors.

2. Caps:
The cap, also known as a mortarboard, is a flat, square-shaped hat with a small, flat board on top. It is usually made of cloth and comes with a tassel attached to one side. The tassel is moved from one side to the other during the graduation ceremony to symbolize the transition from student to graduate. The cap should be worn parallel to the ground, with the tassel on the right side before the official conferring of degrees.

3. Shoes and Accessories:
Underneath the gown, graduates are expected to wear appropriate attire, such as formal clothing or business attire. For men, this usually means a dress shirt, tie, dress pants, and dress shoes. Women often opt for dresses, skirts, or dress pants with a blouse, along with closed-toe shoes. It is important to choose comfortable shoes as graduation ceremonies can be lengthy.

See also  When Did Jeremy Hunt Graduate From West Point

4. Regalia and Honors:
Some graduates may have the privilege of wearing additional regalia to signify academic honors or membership in honor societies. These regalia may include cords, stoles, or medallions. The cords are usually worn around the neck and hang down the front of the gown, while stoles are draped over the shoulders. These honors are typically earned through exceptional academic achievements or involvement in extracurricular activities.


Q1. Can I personalize my graduation regalia?
A1. While most schools have specific guidelines for graduation attire, some allow personalization within certain limits. It is best to check with your school’s administration or graduation committee for any specific rules regarding customization.

Q2. What should I wear underneath the gown?
A2. It is recommended to wear formal or business attire underneath the gown. For men, this usually means a dress shirt, tie, dress pants, and dress shoes. Women often opt for dresses, skirts, or dress pants with a blouse, along with closed-toe shoes.

Q3. Can I wear heels for graduation?
A3. While heels can add a touch of elegance to your graduation attire, it is crucial to prioritize comfort. Graduation ceremonies can be lengthy, and standing or walking in heels for an extended period may become uncomfortable. If you choose to wear heels, ensure they are comfortable and easy to walk in.

Q4. Do I have to wear the cap and gown for the entire ceremony?
A4. Generally, it is expected to wear the cap and gown for the duration of the graduation ceremony. However, some schools may allow graduates to remove their caps after receiving their diplomas. It is advisable to follow the guidelines provided by your school or institution.

See also  Why Is There So Much Emphasis on Education in the Modern World

Q5. What happens to the cap and gown after graduation?
A5. The cap and gown are usually rented or borrowed for the ceremony. After graduation, they are returned to the rental company or institution. Some graduates may choose to keep their caps and tassels as mementos, while gowns are typically returned.

In conclusion, graduation attire plays an essential role in symbolizing the achievements and accomplishments of students. Caps, gowns, and additional regalia are worn to honor the hard work put into completing an educational journey. It is important to follow the guidelines set by your school or institution and prioritize comfort while choosing your attire. Graduation is a momentous occasion, and the appropriate attire adds to the celebration and significance of the event.