What to Look for in a Graduation Dress

Your graduation day is around the corner! 

When you’re about to walk across the stage and (finally!) possess that diploma you worked so hard for, you naturally want to look your absolute best. 

The greatest element to consider when picking out your dress is your traditional graduation gown. While the gown may not be the most exciting thing to wear from a fashion vantage point, you can actually use it to your advantage! How? By finding the balance between the gown and your style.

Remember, you’re embarking on the next big stage in your life, so make sure you find a dress that brings out your confidence. That said, it’s now time to go graduation-dress hunting!

Important Considerations to Make 

Finding the perfect graduation dress demands a little bit of fashion research. Here’s your quick guide to go about the process:


Color is a critical factor when picking out your graduation outfit. Since graduation isn’t an entirely formal event, it’s best to stick with hues that are not too bright and not too dull. 

Some of the best color choices include black, white, peach, blue, silver, and grey. Regardless of the color you choose, remember to align it with the latest trends and your personal style. 

Make sure you consider the color of your graduation robe to ensure the color of your dress doesn’t clash with it. 


The length is another critical consideration when choosing your graduation dress. A graduation robe typically falls below your knees, ending at a mid-calf level. The dress you choose for the ceremony should be shorter than your robe but not “too short” to turn your attire into a casual one. You can go with a length that is either on knee level or falls just below the knee. 


Your graduation day is a celebration of your accomplishment and hard work. So, why let a heavy, uncomfortable dress come in the way of it? Make comfort your priority when choosing your graduation dress. The trick is to find something that will move smoothly with your graduation robe. The fabric shouldn’t restrict your movements and it must also keep you cool and comfy under all those layers. 


What’s your personal style? Are you a clean minimalist? Do you prefer pieces that are light and breezy? Or, do you often go with dresses that come with a bold touch? 

Aligning your dress type with your personal style will ensure you’re comfortable throughout the event. Go for something that fits your body like a glove. Make sure the volume of your dress doesn’t clash with your robe.


Your graduation day will be one of the most important memories of your life. Naturally, you don’t want to walk the casual walk in jeans and a Tee. If you don’t like the idea of “extra formal,” your best bet would be clean business attire or a simple dress that isn’t too loud with colors and patterns. 


You’ll have your graduation gown on throughout most of the ceremony. This will inevitably bring a lot of attention to your shoes. You will also be moving around a lot. 

This means your shoes must be a power-combo of comfortable and classy. Stilettos can be an uncomfortable option no matter how tempted you may be to wear them. The best shoe choice here would be a pair of wedges because they come with shorter heels and make it easier to be on your feet for long hours. The goal here is to hunt for a pair that fits flawlessly but isn’t too bulky. Once you make your shoe choice, practice walking in them for a few days before the event to ensure they give you no hassle on your graduation day.

Some Style Trends to Get You Started 

Your graduation day is your opportunity to shine. So, choose a dress that fits your personal style flawlessly. Here are some style inspirations to get you started!

The Bright and the Bold

Try bright and bold hues if you love the concept of color and aren’t afraid to go with something bright and eye-catching. Remember, the color of the dress depends entirely on the color of your graduation robe. For instance, if the robe is black or a neutral white color – you can go for hues such as purple, green, and pink. If the graduation gown is colorful, try wearing different hues of similar colors to create a monochromatic look. Or, go with something that brings the right contrast. 

The Retro-Futuristic

If you want to go all out on style on your big day, don’t hesitate to oscillate toward Y2K fashion. This style involves lots of shiny and metallic fabrics that exude a retro-futuristic look. You can either wear a metallic slip dress and team it with kitten heels or put on a handkerchief top with a matching skirt. 

The Minimalistic

If you love the magic of minimalism, choosing a graduation dress can be endlessly easy for you. A minimalist fashionista knows how to dress classy and look sophisticated. Two of the best options for this would be a little white dress or a little black dress! If you want to take your fashion game further, take the business-wear road by putting on a blazer and slim trousers. To heighten your elegance, go for strappy heels.

The Artistic Boho

If you are a hopeless lover of eclectic patterns, fabrics, and color, have an easygoing vibe, and love being artistic – don’t think twice before going boho! For this style option, you can choose a knit or crochet dress and team it with a pair of whimsical espadrilles to rock your graduation day. 

The Oh-So-Feminine

If you want to harness your inner fairy princess on your graduation day, a feminine dress is your best option. You can go for a piece with delicate floral prints or grab an attire featuring tiers or ruffles. Other details to consider include embroidery and lace trim. 

A Few Words of Wisdom 

When choosing your graduation dress, there are no rules set in stone. It’s often up to you to dress smartly for the ceremony. Your graduation robe is going to be bulky so find a piece that keeps you calm and comfy throughout the event and go with shoes that won’t come in the way of your convenience. 

Whether you’re getting your degree, or just finished high school – NewYorkDress offers an endless rainbow of designer dress styles and colors that would be perfect for your special day. Take a tour of our online marketplace to find your ultimate graduation dress!

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