What do parents wear to graduation?

Even though graduation ceremonies are all about the graduate, parents also need to think about what outfit they will wear to attend. A good rule-of-thumb when deciding what to wear to a child’s graduation is to aim for what will look nice while also satisfying comfort and not overshadowing the graduate. A nice dress, slacks, or a suit will meet any unofficial dress codes.        

Fall graduations are typically held indoors, so weather doesn’t pose as much of a factor. It’s a good idea to layer for these ceremonies to account for all temperatures. It will likely be cold outside, but much warmer indoors with increased body heat. 

Spring graduations last longer and are held outside. Clothing should be picked with the weather and location in mind. Flat shoes instead of heels will be both more comfortable and less likely to sink in to the grass or get caught on the bricks. Sleeveless dresses or lightweight material can also help keep you cool on hot days surrounded by hundreds of other families.            

A huge part of graduation ceremonies is taking photos with the graduate. You don’t want to detract attention from the graduate either by looking too casual or too formal. Clothing should be chosen with comfort in mind in preparation for a long day, but also with thought toward the long-lasting nature of graduation memories. Your outfit should be something you would be happy looking back at in photos for years to come.


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