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What to wear to my graduation.

(25 Posts)
whattowear123 Sat 22-Apr-17 13:21:05

I'm due to graduate soon at the end of July...I have no idea what to wear!

Was hoping someone could help; I was thinking to go simple with blouse and trousers as the weather should be hot around that time. I think my gown is plain black, with no hood colours which makes things easier.

Has anyone recently graduated and got any general tips on what to wear?

whattowear123 Sat 22-Apr-17 17:43:45


AgathaMystery Sat 22-Apr-17 17:46:51

A dress looks better under a gown - all anyone will really see is ankles so wear some fab shoes.

Take a pack of bobby pins and also safety pins to pin your cap & gown on nicely. Makes a huge diff if it's pinned to your shoulders.


whattowear123 Sat 22-Apr-17 18:13:38

@AgathaMystery thanks for reply, and congratulations; I hope i get the marks to actually graduate in July!

I prefer blouse and trousers over a dress...I think if I can find a dressy blouse which looks smart but also not like I'm going to work, and pair with some slim trousers and heels, I'd be good to go.

Thanks for the tips about the bobby pins and safety pins; will make sure I buy some good quality ones.

Watto1 Sat 22-Apr-17 18:16:35

I would agree with trousers or skirt. I wore a dress to mine and the weight of the gown at the back kept pulling my dress up at the front. In the photos I look like I'm wearing a minidress!

QueenofLouisiana Sat 22-Apr-17 18:40:44

Something which won't date! The photos will be with you for life. MIL wore a very on trend dress for his graduation in 1997- it will be back in style in about 5 years I think...

whattowear123 Sat 22-Apr-17 19:11:16

@Watto1 that is one of the reasons I wanted a blouse and trousers as I feel the gown would make a dress ride up which is what I want to avoid!

@QueenofLouisina yes, nothing too out-there! Which is why I wanted a blouse and trousers as that is timeless and I won't feel embarrassed to look at the pictures.

I would like a blouse which has some detailing on it so it can be seen through the gown- anyone know where to look for this?

BikeRunSki Sat 22-Apr-17 19:14:47

I graduated once in a top and skirt and twice in a dress (3 times... long story of a geeky girl who got engineering scholarships) - I found the top and skirt too lumpy and fussy under the gown, much preferred dress.

YY to safety pins and Kirby grips.

BikeRunSki Sat 22-Apr-17 19:16:21

If you have bands over the gown (you probably will), then no one will see your blouse at all. You should really consider that your clothes will not be seen. Invest in awesome shoes!

therootoftheroot Sat 22-Apr-17 19:20:07

did you get a thing from uni saying what you should wear? i remeber ours saying it had to be a pale top and dark bottoms? sober tie etc?

MollyHuaCha Sat 22-Apr-17 19:22:20

Plain colour clothes might look better than a pattern or stripe.

justmeee Sat 22-Apr-17 19:26:44

I just wore a dress, your idea sounds good! Just don't wear high heels.

whattowear123 Sat 22-Apr-17 19:32:30

@BikeRunSki I really don't want a dress, as if I did, it would have to be a long (almost maxi) which I think will look weird under a gown. I would feel more comfortable in a blouse and trousers iyswim. I have asked and there is a maroon strip across the top of the gown

@therootoftheroot we didn't get anything specific just that it is a formal occasion so to wear smart dress

@MollyHuaCha I definitely will be sticking to plain colours and no patterns as it will clash and as mentioned before I will have the pictures for the rest of my life!

scaevola Sun 23-Apr-17 08:01:21

I think the most stylish is proper sub fusc, so white blouse and plain black skirt or trousers.

If you're very formal it would be with white tie or a black velvet ribbon, but in many place they're not often worn.

toffee1000 Sun 23-Apr-17 08:04:20

scaefola isn't sub fusc only worn at Oxford? Nowhere else uses subfusc.

LogonMounstuart Sun 23-Apr-17 08:28:12

I echo the point about high heels. As a person who has sat on the stage watching more graduations than I care to count the vast majority of graduands can't walk in their heels, trip up, get them stuck in the floor or just look very nervous they will fall. Go for a mid heel you can walk in and which won't date of look trashy.

Piglet208 Sun 23-Apr-17 08:35:23

I wore a dress (mid calf length) to mine 2years ago. The gown covers most of your outfit anyway so just make sure that you feel comfortable and bring pins. If you go for trousers and a blouse I would suggest a good fabric as it is a very formal occasion. Shoes need to be comfortable to walk and stand in so a mid heel is perfect.

whattowear123 Sun 23-Apr-17 10:41:06

@scaefola @toffee1000 my uni has not specified that particular dress wear, and I think it is only at Oxford.

@LoganMounstuart I am going to be wearing black mid heels. I am very comfortable in wearing and walking in high heels but I am also nervous that I will trip and fall so I will be steering clear from my very high heels.

@Piglet208 do you know where I can get a good quality blouse which has some detailing on the sleeves/cuffs? I know the gown will cover most of my outfit but if the blouse has some detailing on the sleeve, it will at least stand out.

Floisme Sun 23-Apr-17 10:57:54

I see quite a lot of graduation ceremonies through work. Most people are quite dressed up but not weddingy. Trousers and a blouse sound fine although I can't comment on the practicalities of wearing them with gowns.

I disagree that timeless is best or even possible. Hair, specs (if you wear them) shoes and trouser shapes will all date even if they look 'classic' right now. In any case I think looking at old photos and laughing at my outfits is one of the greatest joys of fashion.

Congratulations and best of luck.

whattowear123 Sun 23-Apr-17 12:04:52

@Floisme thanks for your reply. Looking online a lot of people are dressed up but as you say not like wedding outfits. With timeless, I think a simple outfit such as a blouse and black slim trousers will never go out of style which is why I'm steering towards that instead of a dress.

I am looking online at places like topshop, debenhams etc for a blouse which has a little detailing on the sleeves and front which can be seen through the gown...has anyone seen a blouse like this recently?

Judydreamsofhorses Sun 23-Apr-17 12:39:49

I'm a lecturer and our students are told to wear black and white. Most girls wear either a dress or black skirt/white blouse, and guys suits - some men wear kilts which are also allowed. The gown will be very warm, and heavy, and possibly a bit fusty smelling, so bear that in mind. The weight of it will drag whatever you wear up a bit, so if you want blouse/trousers then make sure there is enough blouse to tuck in. (For mine I wore a black and white checked midi length skirt with a white broderie anglaise blouse.) Most people arrange to have portrait type photos done before the day - they give you a fake scroll thing to hold - so there are only really family snapshots in the gown unless you specifically choose to keep it on for lunch.

whattowear123 Sun 23-Apr-17 13:24:14

@Judydreamsofhorses thanks for your insight, I am looking for a longish blouse to wear and a few people have mentioned the weight of the gown may make the blouse ride up. Your outfit sounds lovely and simple which is exactly what im going for.

scaevola Sun 23-Apr-17 20:35:54

Sub fusc might not be required.

But it is universally appropriate.

BobbinThreadbare123 Sun 23-Apr-17 20:38:00

I wore culottes and a blouse. I would check the weather very carefully, as I nearly melted due to hot weather! So glad I didn't wear a jacket. Also, smart but comfortable shoes.

whattowear123 Mon 24-Apr-17 12:19:20

@BobbinThreadbare123 your outfit sounds like what I'm planning to wear minus the culottes and just slim trousers. if i get a long-sleeve blouse (which is what i want anyway) i will probably take a thin cardigan in my bag just in case but since it is in July i feel that won't be needed anyway. will be buying a pair of black mid-heels, saw some nice ones in new look actually.

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