What Do You Wear When You Graduate


What Do You Wear When You Graduate?

Graduation is a monumental milestone in one’s life. It signifies the culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. As the day approaches, one of the most common questions that students and their families ponder upon is, “What do you wear when you graduate?” With various options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the perfect outfit that reflects your achievements and personality. In this article, we will explore different attire choices for graduation and provide answers to frequently asked questions.

1. Traditional Graduation Gown:
The most common and traditional attire for graduation is the graduation gown. These gowns are typically long, black robes made of polyester or other lightweight materials. The style and design often vary based on the academic institution. Graduates usually wear a cap (mortarboard) with a tassel that is moved from one side to the other upon receiving the diploma. Underneath the gown, men typically wear a shirt, tie, and dress pants, while women wear dresses, skirts, or dress pants with an appropriate top.

2. Academic Regalia:
Academic regalia, also known as academic dress or academic costume, refers to the specific attire worn by graduates that signifies their degree or field of study. This attire includes a gown, cap, and hood. The hood is the distinguishable feature, with its colors and designs representing the graduate’s area of expertise. For example, a graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree would wear a hood with colors specific to that discipline. Academic regalia is commonly worn during university commencement ceremonies.

See also  Where to Buy Graduation Tassels

3. Business Formal Attire:
Some graduates prefer to dress in business formal attire for their graduation ceremony. Men may wear a well-fitted suit in dark or neutral colors, paired with a dress shirt and tie. Women can opt for a tailored suit, dress, or skirt with a blouse. Business formal attire exudes professionalism and elegance, making it a popular choice for those who want to make a lasting impression on their graduation day.

4. Cultural or Traditional Attire:
Many graduates choose to honor their cultural or traditional background by wearing attire that holds significance to them. This can include traditional garments, such as a kimono, sari, kilt, or other cultural dress. Wearing such attire not only adds a personal touch but also celebrates diversity and inclusivity during the graduation ceremony.

5. Comfortable and Casual:
For more relaxed graduation ceremonies, such as those held in outdoor venues or during the summer months, graduates may opt for comfortable and casual attire. This can include dress pants or slacks paired with a nice blouse or shirt. It is important to remember that even when going for a more casual look, it is essential to present oneself in a polished and put-together manner.


Q: Do I have to wear the graduation gown provided by the institution?
A: In most cases, yes. Academic institutions often have specific guidelines regarding graduation attire, and it is mandatory to wear the provided gown during the ceremony. However, you can customize your attire by adding accessories or wearing a different color stole or sash to represent your achievements or affiliations.

Q: Can I wear jeans and a t-shirt for graduation?
A: While some institutions may allow a more casual dress code, it is generally recommended to dress more formally for such a significant event. Graduation is a formal occasion, and wearing jeans and a t-shirt may not be appropriate. It is always better to err on the side of dressing up rather than dressing down.

See also  What Is Field Day in Elementary School

Q: Should I wear high heels or dress shoes?
A: Comfort should be a priority, as graduation ceremonies can be lengthy. If you prefer heels, choose ones that are comfortable and easy to walk in. Alternatively, dress shoes are a classic option that pairs well with any formal attire. Remember to consider the venue and ground conditions, as wearing stilettos on grass may not be practical.

Q: Can I wear a hat or decorate my graduation cap?
A: Many institutions allow graduates to decorate their caps, but it is essential to adhere to the guidelines set by the university. The decorations should be tasteful, respectful, and not obstruct the view of others. As for wearing a hat, it is customary to remove it during the national anthem or other significant moments of the ceremony.

In conclusion, choosing what to wear when you graduate is a personal decision that should reflect your individual style, cultural background, and the formality of the occasion. Whether you opt for a traditional gown, academic regalia, business formal attire, cultural dress, or a more casual ensemble, remember to dress in a way that makes you feel confident and proud as you celebrate your achievements on this momentous day.