Deciding what to wear for graduation 2017 is a bit of a challenge. Much of the advice you’ll be able to find online is targeted to an American audience - not much help if you’re graduating in the UK! British graduation dress codes are generally more formal than those of our American cousins, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look damn stylish. Now, let’s just hope that the weather holds up…
The Classic Look
When choosing skirts or dresses, the standard advice that we’ve all heard a million times before is to choose something that sits ‘on the knee’. It’s true, pencil skirts never go out of fashion, and a well-tailored dress with a neat waist teamed with a pair of elegant heels is a go-to look for graduation. M&S often get overlooked by millennials, but you can pick up some absolute gems there (I actually bought my graduation dress from them last year) and it’s unlikely anyone will be wearing the same thing as you.
The Power Trouser
If, like me, you’re still a bit upset about the whole Clinton-not-being-president thing, then channel your inner Hillary with a pair of killer trousers. Jumpsuits are always a good go-to, because you don’t have to worry about coordinating a top and bottoms. Just be wary of having to struggle out of both graduation gown and jumpsuit if you need the loo. You don’t have to wear heels, but a shoe with a good bit of height will help the trousers to hang beautifully, especially if you go for something with a wider leg - maybe choose flatforms or a chunky heel? Check out Topshop and Oasis for some leggy inspiration.
The Midi Skirt
There are a million variations on midi skirts, and all of them are equally glorious. Whether you go for a bodycon-style with a pair of strappy heels or a pleated shiny version and elegant sandals, you can’t go wrong. Pair with a slightly cropped top to balance out the proportions. ASOS and Zara both have some decent options.
The Plus-Size Queen
I have no specific fashion tips for plus-sized ladies, because everyone can wear what they damn well please. I do, however, have some tips on where to shop for plus-size clothes that won’t make you look like you’re wearing a tablecloth (unless that’s your aesthetic, ya know). New Look have a good range that’s also bank-account friendly, as do boohoo. Asos are perfect for cutting-edge trends and whilst I’m disappointed by the M&S plus size range (only three dresses?) their standard sizes are pretty generous and go up to a 22.
The Hijabi Look
At my graduation there were loads of girls absolutely rocking their hijabi graduation looks. I’m going to defer to an expert for this one, so check out Leena Asad’s amazing guide - she even covers how to style a hijab to be worn comfortably under a graduation cap! Sania Siddiqui's also got a good guide on her blog 'Simply Covered' (her pink trousers are absolutlely to die for) with top tips such as 'dress light' - there'll be enough heavy layers going on already without a long dress or skirt making things even more complicated - or making it more likely that you'll trip up crossing the stage!
Top Graduation Fashion Tips
They suggest wearing something with a collar so your gown doesn’t slip back and strangle you (and my, those things are heavy) but if it’s hot and sunny you’ll want to keep as cool as possible and avoid collars… Everyone else will be constantly hoiking their gowns back into position too, so I don’t think this is particularly important.
Avoid black. Black is definitely my favourite colour, but when teamed with your enormous gown you’ll disappear into one large blob.
Bring fancy sandals. There’s no way you’ll want to walk all the way there and back and trot about from friend to friend to parents to professors in impractical heels, so bring fancy sandals that will keep you looking glam whilst making sure your feet don’t fall off and save the heels for the photos and actually crossing the stage.
Make sure you can walk in your shoes. The footwear for crossing the stage needs to be formalish - so choose elegant flats or chunky heels if you’re not confident in stilettos.
Wear whatever you want - but check and see if your university has any specific dress codes that you need to abide by.
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Hope you've enjoyed our guide on what to wear for graduation 2017!