Published on: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 02:00

Prom has passed, you’ve finished your finals, now what? Time to get yourself diploma-ready. Looking for cute and appropriate ways to style your cap and gown? On the hunt for graduation dresses so gorgeous they’ll make you want to toss your cap?  Read this tip sheet first.

These graduation dress do’s and don’ts will help you light up the stage.

DO stick to a knee-length dress or shorter with a simple cap sleeve. Off the shoulder dresses also work well and even show a bit of your décolletage from beneath your gown.

DON’T pick a skirt that’s too layered, too long, or cut on a diagonal. High-low dresses are awfully adorable but will look odd showing from the bottom of your graduation gown. Same goes for floor-length or full A-line skirts. Avoid dresses that disrupt the shape of your gown and makes you look like a sheathed cupcake. Anything that hangs below the hemline is also a no-go.


DO find a nice white or floral print dress. Think spring/summer fashion lines meets bridal shower. Once you unzip that grad gown and start snapping pics with your fam, you’ll be glad you did.

DON’T slip into anything too revealing, short, or low cut. The graduation dress you wear to your graduation dinner is very different from the graduation party dress you wear to the club.

DO go with a wedge shoe for graduation. It will add some height to that boxy over gown and keep the hem from dragging. Bonus points for seasonally appropriate open toes!

DON’T break out your nicest red bottom shoes. The higher the heel, the more likely you are to get it stuck in the grass or roll an ankle walking across the stage.

DO accessorize with your jewelry. Think classic hoop or pearl studded earrings, bangles, and rings. In other words, add some visual interest by decorating the relatively few parts you’ll be able to see over the graduation gown.

DON’T choose a dress with long sleeves. Even if the sleeves on your gown are longer, you run the risk of them peeking out from under your gown – so not cute.

DO spring for a mani-pedi. Fancy fingers and touched up toes are a noticeable detail that really polishes your look.

DON’T do a dark color that will blend in with your graduation gown. Some sparkle or a bright summer shade will pop against that drab over lay. 

DO decide in advance how you’ll fix your hair. You’re likely going to have to wear it down thanks to that unflattering cap. Still, you can experiment with ways to curl your coif.

DON’T forget to trim and recolor your hair. Even if the cap covers most of it, still best to touch up roots and tips in advance.

Hats off to you, grad! Which of these cute graduation dresses will you choose for your big reveal? 

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