Advice for a Graduation Outfit

Graduation is all about independence—celebrating what you’ve achieved and getting ready to strike out on your own. So we sought some help from Mayka Mei, creative marketing manager at, which has its digital finger on the pulse of independent fashion.

First, even though you asked about dresses, we should broaden this answer to include accessories. Why? “For graduates, jewelry and shoes are the only things people can see in photos with Mom and Dad,”  Mei reasons—correctly. So, Mei suggests, “play up your earrings and footwear. A classic hoop like this one from Meggie is great for dressier ceremonies.”

Also, you must be mindful of your shoes. “Don’t wear heels that dig into the grass!” Mei warns. “You can take advantage of spring 2010’s hottest shoe trend and wear a wedge, adding a personal twist with a pop of bright color.

Now we can move on to your pièce de résistance—the dress.

“Remember, the sun is really hot under graduation gowns and stoles,” Mei reminds us. “Aim for lightweight dresses in lightweight fabrics such as cotton and cotton jersey. Silk and satins are pretty but may not hold up well in the heat and hot sun. Better to save that for later!”

Having said all that, our recommendations: If you must have a sundress, we really can’t blame you, not when there are dresses like this one from Top Shop. And Anthropologie’s cotton Beda dress lets you look stylish while still keeping things demure enough for your visiting grandma. But if you choose a wrap dress, like this one from Diane, you’ll be able to move from graduation ceremony to evening celebratory dinner—and, later, on to college or job interviews!—without having to change outfits.


May 7, 2010. May.

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