Although being invited to a graduation by a friend or family member is a great honour as there are only limited tickets available, selecting the right outfit can be a bit tricky. Although you are there to support a recent graduate and want to look your best for the photos, you don’t want to turn up looking like you are going to a wedding.
We all want to look our best, but the graduates are the centre of attention on the big day, so you don’t want to be stealing the spotlight by being overdressed. At the same time, nobody wants their graduation day photos to feature a relative or friend who has thrown on an old hoodie and pair of jeans. It is all about finding the right balance. A good outfit for a graduation guest should be smart enough so you are looking your best, but not too much to draw attention away from the graduates. Today we will be going through graduation outfit for guests ideas that offer the perfect balance.
Graduation outfits for men
When it comes to the actual ceremony, you could be sat around for quite a while listening to a long list of names being called, which might not seem like the most fun way to spend your time, but the amount of pride you will feel when the person you are there to support gets called will make it all worth it. As you will be sat around for a while, it is important to consider comfort as well as style. We recommend you go for the smarter end of smart casual for your outfit, leave the full formal outfits to the graduates.
If it is a summer graduation, you might want to avoid anything too thick, a linen-cotton mix shirt would be ideal to keep you cool, but also looking smart. Full linen shirts would be a lot cooler, but they are notorious for creasing, so it is something that is best avoided. If you cannot find a linen shirt, an oxford shirt or smart checked shirt would be a great alternative. The basket weave allows air to circulate freely to keep yourself cool without sacrificing any of the smart aspects of your outfit. A pair of cotton chinos are ideal for such an occasion, offering a much smarter option than denim jeans, but a bit more casual than a pair of suit trousers.
A blazer would finish the look nicely, as you could be sat around for a while, our Duncombe lightweight tweed blazer is a good choice, it will keep you looking smart in true country style but is light enough to keep you comfortable. Tweed offers a timeless country gent look, whilst adding a bit of subtle colour.
For shoes, you can’t beat a nice comfortable pair of brogues for most occasions and a graduation is no different. The smart-casual go to shoe, a brogue is the perfect pair to keep you looking smart, but not too formal. Not only will this outfit see you through the graduation in style and comfort but will see you through a meal or a trip to the bar after without the need to change.
Graduation outfits for ladies
Once again, it is important you consider comfort when selecting your outfit. You will be sat around for several hours, so it is best not to wear anything that may be too warm, itchy, or tight. You don’t want to be the one sat in the crowd constantly adjusting your outfit to get comfortable.
If you are wanting to add a bit of country flair to show off your personality, try one of our ladies’ wool tweed skirts, designed to look great and be comfortable, they would be ideal for sitting through a graduation. Pair this with a smart tie neck blouse, plain or small checked blouses would work best, this way they don’t overpower the tweed design of the skirt.
If it isn’t too warm, you can always get a matching tweed blazer to go with your skirt. This gives a full, confident, put together outfit feel without being too dressy. If a blazer isn’t your style, you can always try a nice cardigan instead. Either way, you will want something you feel as confident with it on then you do with it off. Pictures will be taken all day, so you want to look your best whatever the weather.
If you want something a little less smart, a dress is always a suitable alternative. You do need to look smart at these events, but for some people, a skirt and blazer could feel a bit too much like work clothing. A simple, yet still smart and stylish option would be a nice summer dress. These would have the advantage of being a little more comfortable than the tweed offering above, but still provide a suitable look, especially in summer.
Our Cayton Bay striped dress with a lightweight navy blazer over the top would be a great style. This might be a more conservative style to what you are used to, but graduation day is for the graduates. Besides, you can always make up for it with your accessories, although we don’t suggest you go over the top, but something to add your own splash of personality to your outfit is always encouraged. A statement hat is always a go-to when accessorising your outfit.
When picking your shoes, remember you will be in them for a while and there will be a lot of standing around before and after the ceremony, so go for something that prioritises comfort. We recommend some low heeled boots or even flats such as loafers. These will be easier to walk into and most likely be more comfortable than a pair of high heels. Also, if you head on to any grass surface for pictures, you won’t be spending your time digging your heel out of the ground.
Hopefully you have enjoyed reading our blog about what to wear as a graduation guest and it has given you many ideas for your children or loved one’s big day. If you usually don’t make much of an effort, surprise them by turning up in one of our recommended outfits, just make sure you don’t steal the show.
Of course, if you have any questions, or need any help or advise then please do not hesitate to give our friendly customer care team a call or email.