What to Wear With A Cap and Gown
Graduation is undeniably a special time in any distinguished women’s life.
Considering that less than a century ago, the female population was severely oppressed- with their dreams to work and desire to be treated equally in regards of education entirely ignored- the moment any woman is handed her diploma should not be taken lightly. Unfortunately, this is still an issue in today’s modern times and, as such, each time a female graduates, she is standing with women around the world, alongside a multitude of generations whom fought vigorously for her.
If the above statements feel heavy for a fashion blog, this is because I believe that what one wears goes far beyond the superficial stereotype. Not only can personal style elevate the wearer’s confidence but it can become a strong form of female empowerment and a woman’s Graduation is but one important day that truly requires ultimate power-dressing.
Graduation no longer feels like an important milestone due to the fact that it now seems so attainable. Almost everyone in the U.K has a degree. However, this is not something to overlook. It is still as significant as Annie Mary Anne Henley Rogers- The first woman to gain honours in a University examination. For these reasons, I encourage all women to dress the part on her Graduation Day. Here is my sartorial guide on what to wear with a cap and gown…
The vibe– Conservative, Comfortable, Refined
Your graduation should be a worry-free, unforgettable moment that you can treasure forever. Save yourself the stress and don’t leave your outfit choice last minute.
Embrace feminine finesse
Nothing makes a more powerful statement than a woman sporting a tailored suit. However, there is something equally as compelling about wearing a dress. In a time when feminism is rapidly growing, the mythical notion that a woman cannot be taken seriously in traditionally feminine attire is increasing tenfold. The true message of feminism is that all women should be free to choose who she wants to be and how she lives her life and treated equally for these choices- not only with the opposite gender but with her own gender also. Therefore, wearing a dress is just as empowering and forward-thinking as a suit. It is simply about perception.
Choosing to wear a dress for Graduation is an admirable choice as it brings a new dimension to feminism whilst also celebrating the female form. Standing on a stage in a darling dress and accepting a diploma is quite an exciting and
powerful statement and there are many breath-taking designs that will promise to be your sartorial champion.
I would advise against choosing a long length. Talking from personal experience, graduation robes are surprisingly heavy and drape your body. Not only would a maxi dress throw out proportions and look a little odd, but it will also make it more difficult to walk up the stage steps. The walk to accept your diploma can be a nerve-wracking moment – with all eyes on you- without adding the unnecessary stress a floor-sweeping style. This also goes for midi lengths. Whilst some designs are easy to walk in, midi styles can also be limiting in terms of how far you can take each step. If you adore longer lengthen dresses, ensure you haven’t underestimated its limits when walking. You need to feel confident in your dress of choice and this doesn’t only correlate to how you look but also how you feel.
Put your best foot forward
Regardless of where your style preferences lie, comfortable shoe choices are essential. The last thing anyone wants is a re-enactment of Lizzie McGuire and falling on stage in front of everyone because you can’t walk in your 5-inch heels. Moreover, you are going to be walking, sitting, striding and poising and you don’t want your special day ruined because you are suffering from aching feet.
If you have yet to find a pair of high heels that feel comfortable but desire a height-boost, I suggest opting for wedges as a safer alternative that will still elevate your ensemble. If however, flats are your one true love, a pair of low-cut polished pumps ensures both elegance and supreme comfort.
Whilst my shoe of choice may look anything by wise, these are actually some of my most comfortable heels and I can wear them for hours without any fuss. Moreover, the seductively strappy profile lends coveted leg-lengthening credentials, exuding timeless opulence that is both perfect for my petite frame and sophisticated outfit choice. In addition, their classic appeal indicates that I will not regret my footwear choice in the future.
It is worth noting that amongst your robes, the only part of your ensemble anyone will actually see is your shoes. If you are looking to make a statement, this is the accessory to focus on.
Colour me Classy
A sartorial option that is often underestimated is colour choices. However, when it comes to styling up a robe and cap, this is a very important factor to consider in your outfit choices.
The chosen colour palette of a garment can dramatically alter the mood of an outfit. Moreover, this mood may be perceived differently between each individual and this goes for certain celebratory days as well. Graduation may feel like a huge celebration of one’s self accomplishments and as such a bold colour that makes a statement may feel like the right choice. Contrariwise, neutral tones to match the sophisticated, formal occasion may feel like a more appropriate choice.
Whilst conveying the appropriate mood that speaks to your personal style, it is vital that you work with your University’s grad colours. As mine were mustard yellow, bottle green and navy, (I know, great colours every woman adores) I knew that I had to steer clear of bright colours that would clash with my robes- particularly red to avoid looking like a traffic light. Find out what colour your robes will be in advance and try and choose a colour you adore wearing, which also compliments your graduation attire.
Prep and Polish
With any busy day, it can be easy to forget certain necessities.
What many don’t know about Graduation caps, is that they may not fit your head well. If you share the same silky hair type as myself, I highly recommend packing some hair grips to attach your graduation cap. Whilst it certainly didn’t spoil my day, it was annoying having to constantly hold my cap because it kept on falling off. ( Note: I was wearing the correctly measured size)
It is also worth mentioning that an umbrella may be a good idea. Any British lady knows that the weather here is unpredictable, however, so many people forgot to pack an umbrella and despite it being the middle of summer- it still rained. Looking like a drowned rat on your graduation photos is less than ideal. Similarly, waterproof mascara may is highly recommended for beauty aficionados. The day can be very emotional.
A final flourish
A delicate addition to your ensemble, finishing your outfit with a little luxury elevates occasionwear to no avail. Look through your jewellery box and find a set that will compliment your outfit without stealing the spotlight. Whilst a statement necklace exudes power and sartorial confidence with a plethora of ensembles, it may become too eye-catching in your graduation photos. Therefore, I recommend careful consideration with your accessory repertoire. I would also advise you avoid anything that is loose and makes noise as you will probably be shaking hands, waving, and giving hugs all day.
Graduation marks the end of a life chapter; it’s a ceremony that recognizes your hard work and achievements of the past few years. It is a day that will be filled with tears, joy, relief and a plethora of photos to remember the moment. As the old saying goes: ‘a picture last’s forever’ and you will undoubtedly be looking back on this day for years to come. For this reason, it is import to choose your outfit wisely so that you can enjoy your day without regretting your sartorial decisions.