June is the month most of us associate with college graduations, but December, January, and February are popular months for midterm grads. If your son or daughter is receiving their degree in winter instead of summer, what should you wear to look celebratory but appropriate?
Here are a few ideas for what to wear to your child’s winter college graduation.
College graduation is like a business event, and as such, what you wear can range from business formal to business casual. In any case, you should look pulled together and professional, not glam and party-like.
You’re best to err on the side of conservative, so a suit, a lovely sheath dress, or a fit and flare dress work beautifully. Dresses can be worn with or without a jacket, and closed toes pumps look most polished.
Another option besides a dress or suit is an elegant pair of dress pants and a pretty blouse or top. Think “classy work outfit,” and you can’t go wrong. Ann Taylor is an excellent place to find business-type dresses, pants, and jackets that are classic with a modern twist.
Keep Color and Pattern Elegant and Understated
Like weddings, graduations are one of those important times when family photos are a big deal. Be sure to plan out what you will be wearing, so the pictures are timeless. Choose solid colors, or wear a classic print. Florals are the most obvious and always look right. Choose small to medium floral prints that don’t overpower.
This blue and white dress, above, is a sweater dress which is a little less formal than a non-knit dress but works well for less formal graduations.
Lower Heels Will Be Comfier
Unless you don’t mind standing for hours in high heels, I’d suggest low-heeled shoes or flats, as grad ceremonies can be very long with a lot of standing and mingling. A chunky heel is always more comfortable than a high skinny one. Don’t wear brand new shoes. Work them in first.
Keep Jewelry Minimal
Jewelry doesn’t have to be boring, but it shouldn’t be a distraction. Big chunky, costume jewelry should stay at home. This isn’t the time to pile it all on.
A pair of modern, sophisticated gold or silver earrings that aren’t too large, or too long and dangly suit the mood of graduation. A fine necklace or bracelet is classy also. Choose a good quality structured leather bag, nothing too trendy, soft and flimsy, which reads too casual.
Final note: If you live in pants and it’s been a while since you have worn a nice dress, you may notice some middle-age lumps and bumps you are not happy with, but no problem. A little shapewear goes a long way in making your outfit look streamlined, sleek, and polished.
Have wonderful graduation, mom, and send me your graduation outfit photo to post after the event. Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org