Why is finding a grad school graduation dress so hard?! Everything is too short, too Easter, too plain…I never even bought a dress for my PhD commencement because I was stressing over my dissertation. But now that I’m lucky enough to attend a master’s graduation ceremony every year I have decided it might be time to shop. So I’m back with some April 2023 options as more stores release spring styles!
Some basic confusing questions come up when shopping for grad school commencement: what’s the dress code? are we wearing white (a tradition at some schools)? What goes with polyester robes and funny hats?
Some general tips before we get to my current picks:
-Wear breathable fabric. Graduation robes are warm, don’t make it worse! For this reason I would also avoid sleeves.
-Consider dress length. It’s nice to be able to unzip your robe and show off your cute outfit at any post-graduation gatherings, so consider who you will see (professors? professional contacts? or not?). Also consider that robes are about midi length, so anything longer that that will stick out, which can be ok but is just something to consider!
Wearing: Old Everlane dress–here’s another bright statement from Everlane, vintage Coach purse
Onto some options!
Midi dresses are a good commencement choice because there are lots of steps and lots of sitting, so something that doesn’t ride up can be wise for comfort. But, at the same time, I don’t like when the dress is longer than my robes. Here are a few cute options:
-This Abercrombie dress ($110) comes in many bright patterns
-Love this floral dress ($75) for a versatile option if you also have summer weddings to attend
-This drapey dress is $65 and so sophisticated
Main character moments
-If you are splurging, for $250 this dress is just so cool
-I kind of love the vintage vibes here ($160)
-I’ve been obsessing over the COS laser-cut dress ($225), which is a splurge but could work for several seasons and event types (someone talk me down)
Who says graduation calls for a dress? If that’s not your thing, consider a cool pair of trousers/jumpsuit with some killer shoes:
-This has a great subtle texture ($178)
-These pants ($40) with a bodysuit and the next pair of shoes in pink?
-I just wore these platforms (below) for 8 hours, they are that good (also in black)
That’s what I have for April! I’ll be back for some procrasti-shopping May 1st!
Photos by Samantha Jacob.
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