Graduation Dress Guide

It’s that time of year. With graduation just around the corner, we are experiencing a variety of different emotions and feelings. Though graduation is incredibly exciting, the big day itself can be looming and a little bit overwhelming. Finding the perfect dress can really take off a lot of the stress and help build up the anticipation for the day that really marks a new chapter of our lives.

I initially thought finding a graduation dress would be a piece of cake. However, after searching through what felt like a thousand dresses, I had narrowed it down. I know how tough it can be to find the perfect graduation dress. I’ve complied a list of tips and dress suggestions below!

I hope that you can find my tips & picks helpful during your search for the perfect dress:

  • DO have a price range in mind
  • DO consider what style of dress you find the most flattering on you. For me personally, I usually opt for fit/flare styles more than I do bodycons and drop hems.
  • DO ask for a second opinion. Though it’s important to find a dress you love- I think it’s not a bad idea to get a second opinion, especially if you are torn. I sent several dresses to both my mom and sister to get their feedback. They are very opinionated when it comes to fashion, so it was incredibly helpful to hear their thoughts.
  • DO wear comfortable shoes. Definitely consider the shoes you plan on wearing for graduation. For me personally, I think wedges are more comfortable than heels and they are easier to walk in. Wedges also may be the best option if you are going to be walking on grass (pointy heels + grass = bad idea). If you plan on wearing heels, consider going for some that have a chunkier heel or a lower heel!
  • DO consider what will look best under your gown. When I was looking through graduation dresses for myself, I originally picked out several ruffly, off the shoulder frocks. When I sent them to my mom, she mentioned that they may not look great under a gown. That had never even crossed my mind. Try to find options that would look nice under the gown!
  • DO consider the neckline. I love halter neck dresses. They are definitely my favorite neckline! However, they may not be the best option to wear under a graduation gown. You don’t necessarily need to opt for a plunging neckline dress, but do be mindful of how the neckline will pair with your gown. The two dresses I ordered have a higher neckline, but aren’t quite halters.
  • DO consider ordering two dresses. I was torn between two dresses (this one & this one). I decided to go ahead and order both, knowing that I will return one and keep the one that fits the best. This also is a great rule of thumb if you are stuck between sizes.
  • DON’T be scared of color. When it comes to graduation dresses, I think most people picture a white dress. I think white and black dresses are incredibly classic and versatile; you definitely can’t go wrong with a neutral. However, you can definitely still go for something colorful and bold if you want! Don’t be scared of color or prints when it comes to a graduation dress.
  • DON’T pick a dress that is uncomfortable. After the graduation ceremony, you may attend a party, go out to brunch/dinner, or take photos with your friends and fam. Don’t pick a dress that you are constantly having to pull down or up. I think it’s important to find a dress that you feel 100% comfortable and confident in.
  • DON’T think you only have to wear your dress once. Just because you wear your dress to graduation doesn’t mean it only has to hang untouched in your closet for the next ten years. When shopping for a dress, think about other ways you could wear the dress and other events it would work for (like spring weddings, work, an upcoming trip, a formal event, etc.).
  • DON’T wait until the very last second to find a dress. I am a procrastinator when it comes to these sorts of things, but finding a graduation dress at least a week in advance will really help take any stress off. I think it’s important to not wait until the night before to start searching for a dress (especially if you may have to have alterations/you’re picky like me).

In addition to the tips above, I’ve included a variety of different dress suggestions. My two favorite places to online shop are Nordstrom  and Revolve. Both have a wonderful selection of dresses and a variety of price points:

one: solid shift (under $50 + comes in a ton of colors) | two: red fit flare (under $100) | three: pink fit flare | four: solid vneck fit flare (has the coolest back + comes in four colors) | five: turquoise shift | six: lavender shift (under $100)

one: floral bodycon | two: high neck flowy (under $50) | three: floral halter fit flare | four: strapless scallop fit flare | five: strappy fit flare | six: shift

one: tropical circus dress | two: rainbow floral fit flare | three: cami swing | four: pink print | five: blue fit flare | six: red floral fit flare (I ordered this one)

I hope you can find these tips & suggestions helpful! If you’re graduating this spring, let me know what you are planning on wearing!


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