What to Wear on Graduation Day

Graduation

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I graduated from Med school! My boyfriend is going to graduate this Thursday and it reminded me of this post I drafted earlier this year but never got around to finishing. I remember before the big day people weren’t quite sure what to wear for the Graduation Ceremony. Google wasn’t really helpful and this was our first time (in Australia we only have Graduation in University), so I thought I’ll put together some notes I learnt from my special day.

There are really no rules with what to wear, you can really wear anything! People have worn shorts, flip-flops or just waltzed in bare feet as they received their degree, while others are adorned in traditional garb. In my opinion, Graduation is a special occasion for yourself and your family, so spruce it up a little! :o)

Graduation

1. Research your University’s or Faculty’s colour
Each University and Faculty has a colour and this will be on your Graduation robes so it is best you look it up to ensure your outfit matches. The colours on my robe were dark blue and light blue so I went for my signature colour and safe option black which matches everything. I had friends who wore a similar light blue to the robe which looked stunning.

2. Button or pin it
To avoid choking on your robe, it is best to wear a shirt/blouse or dress which has a top button where you can loop your robe around it. If not, bring along some pins or clips to help hold it in place. I had to run to the stationery store to get some safety pins after my robe kept trying to choke me!Graduation

3. Avoid nude tones
It may make you look like you’re in the nude under those long black drapes.

4. Light clothing
It gets pretty hot under those heavy black robes (it was above 30 degrees celsius on my Graduation Day!), so light airy materials is best.

Graduation

5. Walkable shoes
Remember you’ll be strutting across a stage so if you’re not a regular heels girl (like me!), stick to comfort such as flats or kitten heels. If the idea of “no heels” is out of the question, wear your killer heels in photos (pre and post ceremony) and change over to shoes with less height during the Grad ceremony (you’ll have plenty of time).

6.  Remember you’ll be wearing a hat
Not all University’s have a hat as part of the Graduation outfit, but if you do, take this into consideration when figuring out your hairstyle. Lots of girls had their hair down, however if you want your hair up, ensure your bun or ponytail doesn’t go too far up your head as your hat won’t fit properly.

Graduation

7. Look like you!
Don’t go too overboard with your make up! For me I kept it natural because I’m not a regular make up wearer. If you never leave the house without your eyeliner or red lipstick then put that on! It’s not a day to totally change your look. Remember there will be photos of this special day around your parents’ house forever, so you want to look like you.

8. Lastly and most definitely, wear a smile!
It’s your big day and you’ve waited years (5 years for me!) for this, so enjoy it and congratulations! :o)

7 comments
  1. Miss Y said:

    I’m a long way off graduating uni but I’ll definitely keep these tips in mind for future reference.

  2. Jea said:

    I didn’t know you can wear anything during graduation day! When I graduated Elementary, we were required to wear our school uniform. And last year, when I was watching the graduation of the Seniors (now college Freshmen), they were also wearing their school uniforms. I’m jealous of the other elementary and high schools that get to wear whatever they want during graduation day. I remember my graduation robe (we call it toga here) being as hot as hell even if it was pure yellow ochre and I ended up sweating like a pig. -___-

    The tips are really useful! I hope I can still remember all these in after 2 years! ;D

  3. Jenny said:

    Such a great post! Esp. the walkable shoes part. Such a must. The walking, the spotlight, standing, sitting. Definitely can’t change your mind once on stage with them. :D

  4. What a nice and helpful post! Thanks for the tips (thought I’m not graduating any time soon T_T) Graduation is a bit different in my country, Canada, the entire robe covers your whole body so only your feet are peeking out and we also have graduation in high school too which is somewhat similar. But I can’t imagine wearing a huge robe on a hot day, I’d be mad at the school LOL Congrats to you and your bf!

  5. tiff said:

    Your dress looks DAMN good with that graduation gown! On my high school graduation, I ended up going commando and nobody knew. ><

  6. Cat said:

    These are good tips! I love your graduation dress, and it goes really well with your robe. For our high school and college graduation, we had to wear a robe that covered up everything but your feet, so it didn’t matter what you wore underneath. I wore a dress anyway since it’s such a special occasion :)

  7. Chloe Calciferol said:

    “There are really no rules with what to wear, you can really wear anything!” Thank you! I have an evening gown that I fell in love with and really wanted to wear it, but needed validation that it was okay for my med school graduation. I am glad you mentioned looking up the robe/hood colors because now at least I know what I am getting in to (black robe, green hood, blue-violet dress), and I also loved the safety pin idea! I will definitely be passing that on. You are wonderful!

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