Inside: What to wear under your graduation gown? If you’re a little lost in all the options… here are16 of my favorite ideas for you.

First of all, if you’re planning what to wear for your graduation, congratulations! This is a huge accomplishment and I hope you’re celebrating accordingly. My favorite way to kick off any major celebration and life accomplishment is to dress ready to kill. Or to party. Or both.

Graduation is such a fun time in your life, celebrating closing one chapter and moving on to the next. Wearing the right outfit under is a crucial part to adding to the vibe– you can channel your new professional endeavors or wear one of your favorite party dresses to commemorate.

We’ll break down the colors and vibes you can and should throw together to figure out what to wear under your graduation gown– but no sweat! Always remember the gown is the star of the show.

After you, of course.

It’s a layering game, so let’s get into the details.

Three senior photos for graduation

What To Wear For Graduation Photos

Whether you’re going with a more fun and flirty approach or a more professional approach with your graduation photos, you can never go wrong with a white cocktail dress.

Fitted and structured dresses look flattering under a graduation gown, and look stunning with the graduation cap as your main accessory in the photo.

This is my personal favorite look!

Jumpsuits and other mini to midi length dresses are stunning options as well.

The layering with different lengths under the gown can be tricky and the pairing usually depends on the fit of the layer under the gown. Black or white are always pretty natural looking options under your graduation gown.

In grad photos, you’ll likely take a few with the graduation gown on, and mostly take photos in your dress or jumpsuit, usually with the cap. So find something you love for photos and make that your priority.

High School Graduation vs. College Graduation

High school graduations you can usually get away with a more casual dress or something more summery and flowy. A floral mini or solid colored sundress are perfect options for going under your graduation gown for a high school graduation. And for photos you’ll likely focus on college-centered gear and outfits.

For college graduations, there’s a level of professionalism expected, even if it’s pretty casual. Guys, button down and slacks, and girls a cocktail dress or romper is perfect. I prefer the look of no layers showing under the gown on girls, but that might be a personal preference.

Professional doesn’t have to mean business attire, but something a little more structured and “grown up” is a great direction to go in to ring in your future. Your future without school, that is. 😉

Unless you’re a future teacher, then check out these teacher outfit ideas.

Gown Color Pairings

White will always be a perfect color to go with any color of graduation gown! Black is great too, of course, but white is a little more of a pop once the gown is unzipped after the ceremony.

If you want to go a little more colorful, I love pairing lighter and darker shades. If you’re in a dark green graduation gown, a sage dress would be beautiful. And powder blue under a dark blue gown.

If your school is rocking a white or black graduation gown, then you can choose any color that floats your boat.

Maybe the main school color for old times sake? Neutral toned graduation gowns mean that you can go with any color dress or romper that flatters you the most. It’s your day! Wear what makes you feel the most confident and excited for your future.

Girl wearing a stole and carrying a graduation cap

Graduation Outfit Ideas

Still not sure what to wear on the big day?

Stress not, I have some ideas for you! It can really be a tough decision, because whether you’re going to dinner with the family after or if you’re going to an after party, you’re likely going to be rocking it all night long! So make it a good one.

Here are some graduation outfit ideas for you that I think would be perfect for the ceremony and all the celebrations to come.

1. Black Longsleeve
2. White Ruffles
3. White One Shoulder
4. Ruffled Romper

Two women in cocktail dresses

Cocktail Dress Ideas

Cocktail dresses will always be so classy and perfect for any professional and yet, still fun, occasion.

To my college graduation, I wore a silk cocktail dress with sleeves in a pearly white color. It was perfect under a royal blue graduation gown!

Investing in these kinds of dresses and clothing moving forward will carry you into your near future that you should be excited about! It’s a new adventure, and while you will still always have need for your college party dresses, a new one that indicates where you’re going instead of where you’ve been will always be a good idea!

5. Green Wrap
6. Black Shift Dress
7. Corset Dress
8. Classic Bodycon Midi

Jumpsuits Under Your Graduation Gown

Wearing a jumpsuit under your gown is always a cool idea! If you’ve gone through some dress options and still don’t know what to wear under your graduation gown, this may be your way to go.

Adding the layers under, you do have to be intentional that the legs of the jumpsuit aren’t too wide, so that you don’t look completely swallowed up in the outfit.

It can totally be done well, and rather than me telling you in words how it can work, check it out in these examples of jumpsuits that may work under a graduation gown.

Seeing as wide leg is a huge trend right now, you might have to trial and error the outfit under the gown itself– even if the product isn’t labeled wide leg, it still might be. Grab a friend or your mom to help you gauge if it might be too wide to work for the graduation gown.

9. Classic Black
10. Open Leg
11. Satin Details
12. Deep V

Two girls in white dresses and pink graduation accessories

What To Wear Under Your Graduation Gown

What to wear under your graduation gown is a huge question that starts rolling around a couple months away from your graduation date.

We all get stuck on it, so no stress if you feel like you haven’t figured it out yet! Here are some more great options for you.

13. White Lace
14. White Ruching
15. Bell Sleeves
16. Green Accent

Whether you’re styling your fit for graduation photos to announce to everyone that you’re finally finished with school, or if you’re getting dressed for the big ceremony, this is your guide.

Professional vibes or cocktail party, you’re going to look stunning on your graduation day, as you should. This day is about you and your besties graduating with you! Embrace it and be camera ready! Whether it’s your friends pulling out their phones for an Instagram story or your parents pulling out the camera.

Summer, spring, or winter graduation, the outfit underneath will likely be all about the same, for the sake of how the layers look under the gown. It might be a little chilly in the winter if you go with a cocktail dress, but once the gown comes off, throw a trench coat on for celebratory dinner!

While you’re making summer plans, check out these winery outfits!

Leave a Reply