May 4, 2018

How to Pick the Perfect Graduation Outfit

If you still don't have the perfect graduation dress picked out yet, here's some things to keep in mind plus inspiration with graduation dresses under $200. I also share what to think about when picking the perfect graduation shoes and other accessories. what to wear to law school graduation. dresses for graduation. graduation dresses for every budget. graduation dress roundup. graduation shoe inspiration. graduation outfit inspiration. what to wear to graduation. law school blog. law student blogger |

I GRADUATE IN A WEEK!!!!! Okay so a week + a day, but still! I've had my graduation dress picked out since Easter because obviously I'm excited, and my sweet boyfriend's mom bought my graduation shoes for me as a grad gift while we were out shopping together last month. So I'm pretty much all set and I'm so excited!

Related: Graduation preparation checklist

Anyways, so whether you're graduating law school along with me (heyyyy) or you're attending a friend's graduation, or you're graduating college, I have some ideas and inspiration for you.

Related: Law school bound graduation caps for college grads

The Dress

Okay so obviously this is the biggie! Most importantly, make sure your dress is comfortable because remember that we're going to be in big heavy (likely itchy) robes and sitting for a couple of hours. I actually got my dress back when I bought my Easter dress because I loved how light and breezy it was. One other thing to be mindful is exactly how much your robe will close. If your robe flashes your dress when you walk, you're going to want to keep that in mind and color-coordinate. How can you do this before you get your robe in? Either ask any of your friends who graduated last year or just creep on Instagram to see how it turned out in their pictures. 

Also, CHECK THE WEATHER! And often, because it changes. If a cold front or heat wave is coming in, adjust accordingly. Even if your ceremony is indoors, you'll likely take a lot of photos with friends and family outside so you don't want to be miserably shivering or dripping sweat. Also keep in mind the changes between if your ceremony started in the morning but you'll get done right at noon with a burning sun overhead or if it's starting while the sun's up but ending after it's set and cooled off a bit.

Now as to the style of the dress, that's completely up to you. I originally had planned on a more professional looking dress before I found the one that I'll be wearing. Personally I think sheath dresses are super flattering and look so dang polished. Pencil skirts with a top also look really classy but just realize that if your skirt starts to scooch up to your bra and show extra leg, you can't exactly pull it down without having to go all the way up your robe. And editor pants look nice too but just be mindful of how they'll look peeking out from under your robe. But the good thing about getting a professional dress for graduation is that you can wear it to your new big kid job!

But if you don't care about your dress screaming "I'm a lawyer," then you can definitely go with something more casual. The reason why I picked my dress is because I knew how cute and confident I'd feel in it at my graduation party, when that would be all that you can see. I just figured it doesn't really matter what you wear to the ceremony as long as you're comfortable because you really won't see it until after for pictures. Since graduation season is right at the start of wedding season, you can still get a lot of use out of a more "cute" option for the rest of the summer.

The Shoes

These are just as important, if not more important, as the dress because while the robe will cover your dress, your shoes are always there. Personally, I think black or nude heels are the best because they coordinate with the robe best. But if there's a lot of people graduating at once, a really colorful shoe can help your family find you in a crowd (it's how we always found my sister during cross country meets!). The shoes you pick out should be comfortable enough that you can gracefully walk without looking like a newborn giraffe, comfortable enough so that you don't die while standing up waiting in line to cross the stage, and manageable enough that you can easily tackle stairs and squat in (because remember you have to squat down a little so they can hood you). I also will warn you about getting too pointy of a heel. My best friend got a pair of those super cute studded Valentino heels for graduation, but sadly they got ruined as she walked across the parking lot to get inside for the ceremony because it was a hot day so the asphalt was melting and she ended up getting tar and rocks all stuck to the heel.

Definitely break in a new pair of shoes so that you don't get blisters. And a tip from my younger pageant days (hahaha true story), take your shoes outside to the gravel street and scuff up the bottoms (so probably not Loubs) so that there is some traction to help you not slip around on the stage. Or a quick spritz of hairspray at the last minute will help too if you don't want to ruin the bottoms.

The Accessories

Okay so personally I like to wear a necklace just so that when your robe is open your chest/neck doesn't look empty, but this is another thing you're going to want to check with your robe on. Just because it can either look really weird poking up out of the robe or might be right wear the collar is and rub, so just double check.

I feel like graduation is the time for statement earrings because it's a special occasion. Just make sure that whatever you pick will compliment your hair style for the day and won't be too distracting because remember you'll also be wearing a tam so you don't want to have too much going on up top.

Okay so that about wraps up my thoughts on what you should consider when planning what to wear either to your own graduation or to someone else's. If you have any additional tips, please share below!

let's be friends!


  1. I personally love the idea of wearing wedges during grad, only because they're so comfortable and it makes me less paranoid about potentially tripping while walking to get my diploma haha.

    - katrina // Yours Truly, Katrina