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Three girls celebrating their graduation

What to Wear Under Your Graduation Gown

| Tiffany Taffeta

Are you getting ready to walk across the stage and get a diploma? Con - grad - ulations! We’d love to help you celebrate this big milestone with something chic and sleek to wear under your graduation gown.

While you might think you can throw on any old thing because the gown will cover it all, that’s not true! Your outfit should reflect the occasion — even if you can’t see the entire thing during the ceremony. After your graduation, you’ll want to take photos, go out for a nice meal, and maybe even head out to a party!

Make sure your outfit is ready for all of the above when you dress appropriately. At TheMogan, we’re ready to help you find that perfect piece. Check out our blog and explore some of the best dresses to wear with graduation gowns to find the right pick for your ceremony and after-grad events.

Some Basic Guidelines

We know that not every graduation is the same, so these guidelines may vary according to your situation. But you should still check with them to ensure a comfortable and stylish ensemble to wear under your graduation gown.

  • Consider semi-formal looks
  • Go for classic silhouettes
  • Choose weather-appropriate styles
  • Dress for comfort — especially when it comes to shoes

Since many graduations last several hours, you want your outfit and accessories to be as comfortable as possible without sacrificing style.

1. Middle School Graduation

Middle school graduations are an exciting milestone and deserve as much celebration as high school and college ceremonies. While you might not choose tight dresses and heels to wear under your graduation gown, you can still wear something a little more formal than usual.

Elevate your normal style with extra bows, high-low hemlines, or asymmetrical necklines to make your outfit all about the details. You can also rock a kitten heel for a slight lift that will make you stand tall!

2. High School Graduation

A woman wearing a short orange dress

Graduating high school is an important occasion that marks the transition into adulthood for many students. Since you need to show that you’re ready to embark on the journey ahead, you want to choose something special to wear under your graduation gown — a piece that shows off your personality!

If you’re wondering what the best dresses to wear with graduation gowns could be for this occasion, consider a piece that you could easily wear to a dinner with your family and then to a party with your friends. You don’t want to have to change for each event!

High school graduations are also typically in the summer, so wear something lightweight with a shorter hemline and no sleeves. You’ll also want a seasonal print, pattern, or color that feels happy and celebratory, like a strappy skater dress in bright florals.

3. University Graduation

No matter what degree you’ve achieved, you want to show it off with a dress that shines — even if you wear it under your graduation gown! You might choose a tighter bodycon dress at a midi length for something sharp and professional. But you can also go a little more casual with a flowing maxi wrap dress that showcases a side of you that’s a little more fun.

Think about how your preferred dress will look with the gown closed, as well as open, to ensure a cohesive silhouette.

4. Graduation Ceremony

A woman wearing a black jumpsuit

When looking at the best dresses to wear with graduation gowns, you want to take into account the type of ceremony your school is hosting. Whether sitting on the stage or in front of it, you need something that’s comfortable for the long run.

If you’re worried about a skirt tangling between your legs as you walk, skip the dress and wear something a little less traditional — like a jumpsuit! With a structured, formal piece to wear under your graduation gown, you’ll still exude a sleek, confident vibe without all the frills and extras of a frock.

5. Graduation Photoshoot

If you’re a photoshoot queen who’s more concerned about what she’ll look like after the ceremony is over, your dress should reflect who you are a little bit more. You’ll likely be wearing your gown open and lightly draped over your dress, so choose something that works well with the gown color and your personality.

As a rule, the dress you wear under your graduation gown will look best if it’s slightly shorter than the robe. Since you’re showing off your dress and accolades, make sure that the prints and colors work well with your stole, as well as any decorations you put on your hat!

6. Winter Graduation

A woman wearing a knit dress

If you’re one of those few who are finishing school during the winter months, your university may host a smaller ceremony in your honor. But because you’re in the cold season, what you wear under your graduation gown must account for the chill. So maybe add a cardigan to your dress.

In addition to warmer materials, like knits and wool, you’ll also want to think about wearing winter colors, including navy, forest green, and burgundy. These hues also look amazing with nearly any school colors to match your graduation gown perfectly.

7. Spring Stage Walk

As a traditional grad, you can expect to walk across the stage in the spring or summer when temperatures are just starting to heat up. Your sleeves and hemline can be a little shorter, and your prints and colors can be a little bolder.

You can also complement what you wear under your graduation gown with a few other seasonal touches, including strappy wedges, sunglasses, and dangling earrings.

Shop Graduation Styles at TheMogan

Are you ready to explore a few of our favorite styles to wear under a graduation gown? TheMogan has something for everyone in our selection. Browse simple basics as well as exciting options that offer more versatility and flexible style.

Check out our spring and summer dresses, or browse our jumpsuit and romper selections to discover the perfect seasonal pieces for your graduation!