Inside: Graduation picture outfit ideas for the almost grad getting ready for the photoshoot!

Planning your outfit for your graduation photos can go one of two ways: easy peasy because you’re layering it under your gown so it’s pretty hidden anyway, or that only makes it more difficult for you having to think about layering and stacking outfit pieces for a photoshoot.

Hopefully this post will help you narrow down what’s best to wear for graduation photos– there are a ton of options that are cute, flattering, and ready to go for a graduation photoshoot.

We can break down the different colors based on your cap and gown and the college you’re going to next if this is for a highschool graduation, and anything else that can be a factor for what you should wear in your graduation pictures!

Get ready for some of the best times of your life while wearing some of the best outfits of your life.

Four girls in graduation pictures

What Do You Wear For Graduation Pictures

Graduation pictures tend to usually include more formal looks, so that they can double as professional headshots if that’s something you need for the next season of your life.

So a professional cocktail dress, jumpsuit, or something along these lines work great!

Depending on your photographer and the photo package you’ve chosen with them, you may have the option for multiple outfit changes. If this is the case, you can always opt for a more fun second outfit if the professional vibes aren’t what you want for all of your graduation photos.

Or maybe these are a high school graduation shoot, in which case you’re likely to be choosing for more personality picture styles of outfits and college choice tee shirt vibes. Whatever you want to wear for your graduation photos are totally up to you, there’s no right or wrong answer! But these are some common themes you will find in graduation picture outfits.

What Are The Best Colors For Graduation Photos

Choosing colors is a pretty big deal when it comes to picking an outfit for pictures of any kind. Colors will make or break an outfit and make or break a picture. One color that always wins in this instance is white. White is always a great option for graduation photos!

It’s a bright neutral that will go with any color graduation gown, any backdrop of your choosing, and everyone simply looks great in white anyway.

If you want to do something a little more intentional than white, there are definitely some colors you can go with that will create a cool vibe for your photos while still keeping in mind the colors that are already present.
If your gown is black or white, any color of your choosing that is a flattering color on you is a good move! Darker colors are always flattering, while white pops. But if you have a favorite shade of blue or red, you can totally rock it in your graduation pictures.

Red graduation gowns are the most challenging– you pretty much have black or white as options. If you want to play with shades and bold colors, a light pink could be a really cute layer! But neutrals will always be a safe option for those of us that are less than bold with colors.

Blue and green gowns are a little easier because they blend with neutral tones better, so you can kind of work with them and with other colors. Baby blue is cute under any royal blue graduation gear and sage green is cool under the emerald tones. Or switch it! Play with that baby blue under the emerald green ones and vice versa. With the darker shades of green and blue that they usually use, I would generally avoid a black outfit underneath.

Any other color that your cap and gown could be all go by the same rules: white always, black sometimes, and colors and shades if you’re bold!

How To Look Natural In Photos

The biggest fear that people have when scheduling photos and getting in front of a camera is looking natural and not knowing how to work it! Especially with graduation photos, they’re usually a one-off for people that don’t generally take a lot of photos.

The good news is, most photographers are really good at getting you to be natural in front of the camera! It’s not an easy task always, but it does make for a great photo, and the more natural you are the more fun you have.

As someone who does take a lot of photos, here are some of my best tips for you to feel more natural in front of the camera.

Remember to relax your whole body. Even your forehead, lips, and hands. All the little things like these make it so much easier to look like you’re not stressed about having a camera in your face. Find any point of tension and release!

Being goofy right before taking a smiling picture always helps your smile feel less posed.

The key to a good serious face is all in the eyes. If your eyes stay engaged with the camera and have energy, it will read in the photo even through your serious expression.

You’ve got this! Don’t stress too much about the camera vibes.

High School graduation outfit ideas

High School

My high school graduation photos were definitely more of the personality picture variety– back in my majorly hippie days, so I was a total boho princess for mine! Looking back, I definitely could have chosen something a little more relaxed, but hey. My mother loves them!

1. Fun Shoes
2. College Jersey
3. Lace Dress
4. Super Casual
5. Black Mini
6. Pink Silk
7. White Mini

A girl posing for pictures with graduation stoll and cap


College graduation pictures tend to have a range of different styles, but again, usually lean to a bit more professional for all of the after-graduation uses like LinkedIn profile and resume attachments.

But even if you’re dressed more professionally, the pictures rarely come out boring! Check out these inspiration pictures for you.

8. Blazer Dress
9. White Suit
10. Varsity Vibes
11. Orange Silk
12. White Puff Sleeve
13. White Midi
14. School Merch
15. School Color Romper

All four white outfits for under a graduation gown


Curious about what I mean about white being the perfect color for your grad photos? Check all of these out that prove my point– it’s great on everyone and works in every color scenario.

16. Structured
17. Split Hem
18. Midi Dress
19. Off The Shoulder
20. Satin
21. Cut Out
22. High Neck A Line
23. Frill Sleeve

Outfit ideas for graduation

Outfit Ideas

Still need some more ideas to spark the right outfit? Here are some more outfit ideas for your graduation pictures!

Any of these are going to be great.

24. Black Midi Bodycon
25. Black And Yellow
26. Puff Dress
27. Styled Tee
28. Black Slip Dress
29. Green Dress
30. Dramatic Sleeve
31. Colored Suit

Graduation picture outfit ideas are tough, and generally around the time you’re getting ready to graduate, you don’t need one more thing on your plate! So hopefully you’ve found the right inspiration to lead you right to the perfect outfit for your photos.

Enjoy this time as you prepare to leave one space and move onto the next– every moment is so much sweeter during this time! Transition makes for some stressful moments but for some really beautiful ones too. Celebrate hard, you’ve earned it!

And sending out those graduation announcements and posting to your socials is only going to feel so much better when you know your outfit is fire too.

If you’re looking to go more of the professional photo route instead of the youthful graduation shoot, check out these 17 ideas of what to wear for a professional headshot shoot.

Either way, get shooting!

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