Graduation-Inspired Outfits and Tips.

Graduation season is upon us. Last time I attended a graduation was this January. However, it has been way too long for a Spring/Summer Graduation. My first cousin's son (my nephew) will graduate high school in 3 years, rather than that I don't know of anyone graduating anytime soon. But as a style blogger and as someone who loves fashion and can hardly resist a fashion challenge, I wanted to put together this post of past looks I have worn (only one of which has been worn to a graduation), that I think are very suitable for graduations. This post was inspired by the ladies of The Blended Blog who do a themed linkup each week and this week's theme is graduations. So, I am linking up with them, naturally.

Here are some tips and suggestions I have for what to wear to a Graduation Ceremony and/or Graduation Party.

- Wear a Dress or Skirt: I think even a Romper or a Jumper is fine, as long as you dress them up a little bit. Rompers and Jumpsuits are so IN this year so go ahead and wear one but make sure you pair it with heels, wedges, pumps or dressy sandals. Go for a dressier bag, too.
- A Little White Dress: the thing I recommend the most for a graduation. They work so well for the graduate too. Actually I remember from my own graduations, when I was in high school we were told to wear pastel dresses or light colored dresses under our gowns.  For my Bachelors Graduation, we were strictly to wear white or cream dresses. And for the Master Graduation we had to wear light-colored solid dresses or white dresses and light-colored, white or nude shoes. A LWD is also the quintessential Spring and Summer piece you need. If you don't own one yet, buy one or two. Eyelet, lace and embroidery are so in this season and would all look gorgeous in a little white dress.
- A Little Black Dress: just like a LWD, the LBD can go to all places, all occasions, all times. For a graduation party, the graduate or the hostess of the party would look so chic and elegant in a black dress. Don't choose a Cocktail Dress but a T-Shirt Dress wouldn't work either. Something in between that can be dressed up and down. I suggest a wrap style or a shirt-dress, even a sheath.
- A Dress with a Summery Feel: such as one in a bright color (go for coral, turquoise, Kelly green, yellow or cobalt); or one in a fun Summery pattern like floral, summer plaid and gingham. A gingham dress is on my must-buy wishlist currently.
- No shorts, jeans, joggers or capri pants. They all are and feel a lot more casual than what a Graduation Party outfit should look like. I have seen people with cutoff denim, flip-flops and belly-baring camisoles at graduations and that's no bueno. If you have to wear pants, wear a nice pair of cropped pants like thesethesethese or these. Dress them up a little so you feel like a million bucks, in them.
- No tube tops, tank tops or camisoles. Unless you wear a jacket, blazer, cardigan, vest or scarf over your tank or cami (like I have done in one of my outfits, below). But still, I would steer clear of tube tops. You want to be polished and feel comfortable after all. Go for an off-shoulder or cold-shoulder top though. They are on trend right now but they feel both casual and dressy.
- No sneakers or shoes like Toms or Sperry's unless you pair them with a dress or pencil skirt. A pair of jeans with sneakers or shorts with sneakers is a no-no for a graduation. But you could wear a crisp pair of sneakers like thesethesethese or these with a dress or skirt (a midi, a maxi or a pencil skirt) paired with a nice blouse to create that very chic, very modern and currently on trend, polished athleisure look that is so BIG this season.
- Keep your jewelry simple and if you want to go for something bold, do only one big piece like either a statement necklace or statement earrings, not both.
- Don't forget a pair of sunglasses and just in case, bring a hat and an umbrella because most graduation ceremonies and a lot of graduation parties/dinners are outdoors so you never know what Mother Nature has in store for that day.
- Last but not least, wear minimalistic makeup but make sure you have some SPF protection (30 or higher) both in your face and the parts of the body that will be exposed. Chances are you will be outdoors for quite a while.

And here are a dozen outfits I have worn which I think would be great for Graduation Ceremonies and Graduation Parties, some of these would be perfect even for the graduate herself.

Original Post.
This is the kind of LBD you can wear to a Graduation. My LBD is actually quite casual. It is sleeveless, in a popover shirt-dress style. This one is dressed up with a Bright Blazer, Nice Leather Tote, Nude Pumps and a Classic Pearl Necklace.

Original Post (I wore this outfit originally for a casual special occasion - check out where!)
If the graduation is outside, in a really hot sunny day or if the graduation party is outdoors, opt for a Brightly-Colored Sundress like I did here with a Floppy Straw Hat and instead of sandals do Ballet Flats. I say a (closed toe) ballet flat because you want to be comfy but at the same time if you have to walk a lot on grass, there is no chance of your toes getting wet. I find ballet shoes more comfortable. Don't forget a pair of sunglasses and go for a bold, bright purse in a different color that coordinates your bright sundress.

Original Post (see where I wore this gorgeous dress, originally).
Ah this dress - love it. Black and White Plaid done right. The plaid pattern reminds me of Oversized Gingham. This is probably the Dressiest Outfit in this post but one than can work for several special occasions, including a Spring Graduation. If you are a little chilly, carry a shrug, a wrap, a kimono or a little cropped jacket with you.

Original Post
Lots of Ruffles and Bold Color-Blocking here. Both pieces are very dressy. I paired a Pencil Skirt with a Dressy Sleeveless Blouse but the Sandals keep it young, fun plus a little casual too.

A LWD is a must for all Spring and Summer and as I mentioned above, one of the things you should and could wear to a graduation is a Little White Dress. It's the perfect dress if you are a graduate yourself (under your gown), as the mom of a graduate or as a guest invited to the graduate's party. If you are the guest and the party is outdoors or at the person's house, pair it casually like I did above. You can do a denim jacket instead of a denim vest. If you want to look a little bit more dressed up, go for some sandal wedges and a blazer or more tailored jacket. 

Original Post (check it out to see Vivian as a tiny baby, coordinating with mommy).
Go for a Birght Outfit made of separates. Here I paired Blush Pink, Baby Blue, Yellow and Lavender and I loved the results. Though I am wearing an above-the-knee pencil skirt with a tank top, my blazer keeps it polished and dresses it up.

Original Post (check out the post to see all the fun details in this outfit).
Another option for a Bright-Colored Dress. This one is dressier. The dress itself is 100% Silk Charmeusse and I love the drop-kick waist or that oversized ruffle on the bottom. I dressed this up with some Low Peep-Toe Wedges, Statement Earrings and a Wristlet Bow Clutch. This is the perfect outfit where you are slightly dressed up and put together yet totally comfortable and casual.

Original Post (see how I remixed this sleeveless, white popover shirt 7 ways).
Instead of a dress, once again you can go for separates by dressing up a Bright Pencil Skirt with Pumps. I chose a monochrome look of Pink and White. Love this outfit - needs to be repeated.

Original Post (out and about with Vivian in her own pretty floral dress).
A Pleated Red Rose Dress is perfect for Graduation. I brought out the little green from the leaves by wearing Bright Kelly Green Sandals and dressed it up with a White Pearl Necklace and some Cobalt Circle Studs while my hair is in a Bun. Love this dress and I have also worn it to a Graduation, a couple of years ago (no pictures sorry). For the graduation look, I paired it with black, tall wedge, closed-toe espadrille sling-back shoes, a white cross-body bag and a white statement necklace with my hair half-way down.

Original Post (check out two ways I styled this LBD, originally).
One last LBD. The Fit+Flare Silhouette on this one makes it Dressy as do the Nude Pumps and that Gold Leather Tote. I still kept it super simple though because when you have a Great Dress on, no need to fuss over the extras.

Original Post (super fun accessories here).
Another thing you could wear to graduation is a Jumpsuit or a Romper. Usually they are both more casual, so make sure if you wear one - dress it up a little, just like I did. I wore Beaded Wedge Sandals with mine (you could go for stilettos or pumps, too) and I belted it to make it more tailored. I also added a Fun Statement Necklace and a Bold Wristlet Clutch. I kept my hair chic and out of the way in a chignon.

Original Post (is this a dress, is it separates?! find out by clicking the original post).
One last Elegant/Dressy Look, this time I paired Black+White which is popped up with some Fuchsia and Red pieces. Because Red Shoes are perfect for celebrations - graduations included. Once again, for a Graduation I say go for either a Dress or a Skirt especially in a pencil silhouette.

Last but not least, below are three looks I am absolutely loving that some of the ladies from "The Blended Blog" posted today for their Graduation challenge. Make sure you link up with these ladies, today.

Whitney a la Mode.

patterned dress for graduation
Simply Shaunacey.

grad look dress
A Lovely Little Wardrobe.

Shop Graduation Dresses Rompers and Jumpsuits, below. I selected all of these for your upcoming events and Summer vacations. As you can tell, these are all from stores I love and shop at all the time. 

Come back tomorrow to see another Graduation-inspired Look and also to linkup with Thursday Moda. Thank you.

P.S. Linking up with Alice, Allison, Amanda, Brenna with Grace + Jenna, Brooke with Erica, Carrie with Jill, Claire, Elle with Jacqueline, Elizabeth, Grace, 

Also linking up with Michelle and Anna Luiza.

Image Map


  1. that last graduation I went to was actually my husband's from grad school last year and I wore a wrap dress which was very comfy! Love the plaid dress you wore! xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  2. What a surprise to scroll down and see my picture! Thank you! You made my afternoon :) I think that you are spot on in your graduation tips! I know I've graduated in at least one LWD. I think my favorite of your looks are the two with the black and white dresses.

  3. Completely agree with your graduation tips!! :)


  4. hi dear, how many lovely outfits..i like the first and those with purple dress

  5. Love all your looks! That plaid dress is my fave. So chic and sophisticated but playful. Perfect for a graduation!

  6. For me graduation requires a nice dress - here there are some great options.

  7. I love graduation or really any excuse to dress up! Great ideas and inspiration.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

  8. I agree a LWD is a must!! Love all of your looks and your new blog design!

    Pumps and Push-Ups

  9. So many great looks!! Love all the black and white dresses the best! And I might just have three LWD's!! LOL Thanks for showing TBB so much love today!!

  10. your tips are sooooooo accurate! One thing I don't have is a LWD!! Gotta get on that!
    Thanks so much for linking up AND for showing my look some love today :)

  11. Such great tips! I am loving all of these dresses on you! Of course agreeing with you on the LWD!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  12. Great possible graduation looks! And great tips!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

  13. These are all such pretty looks--love that red and turquoise combination! So interesting that you had a dress code for your graduations, I've never heard of that. I still have the dress I wore to my high school graduation :)

  14. I love that plaid halter dress! So many fun bright looks! Perfect for Spring and Summer!

  15. Love the pretty plaid dress!

    Thank you for joining TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you next week. Have a great weekend!


  16. I want that plaid dress! Great looks, Ada! Thanks so much for joining in the fun for Fun Fashion Friday!

    Dawn Lucy

  17. Thanks for linking up to Top of the World Style

  18. So many beautiful looks! I am drooling over your black and white plaid dress. The print and style are simply fabulous.

  19. These are great ideas! Love the idea of a jumpsuit for a graduation. I went to my sister's grad last week and wore a maxi dress


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