What To Wear to Graduation: 8 Stunning Dress Ideas

What To Wear to Graduation: 8 Stunning Dress Ideas

May 31, 2023
By Kathy Zhou

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Prom has come and gone. Now you’re ready to walk across the football field and snag that diploma. College here we come!

Maybe you’ve just finished college and you’re ready to walk across that stage for your degree. The world is your oyster, and you’re ready for anything.

Whatever the situation and wherever the graduation, it’s your time to shine and we are loving this for you. But now it’s time for the age-old question: what are you wearing?

Your graduation dress is the exclamation point at the end of your school career. It’s the last look of this chapter of your life so it needs to slay. But you’re wearing a full-length gown and a cap (not of your choosing) on your head for the ceremony. This means when you take that cap and gown off after you walk that outfit better turn heads.

Today, Queenly is here giving you the lowdown on all the trendiest and hottest looks to channel for your own graduation. With so many styles and cuts to choose from, we know there’s something for everyone here.

First Things First

We need to talk about the lengths appropriate for graduation. While you might be initially thinking of floor-length gowns, these aren’t the best options. Remember many of these ceremonies take place outside. Most if not all on a football or grassy field somewhere. So the best options for graduation ceremonies are midi to mini styles.

Spirit Colors

The first big look we must ship is the homage to your school spirit. Coordinating your dress to a hue of your school colors might seem a bit silly, but if it’s done tastefully it can be a lot of fun. It’s your last big hoorah at your school, why not go out with a bit of that pep rally spirit.

Neons are trending big time this year. So if you can find your school colors in a dress with a little neon flair, big points for style. If neon isn’t your thing, try going for a pastel. They’re perfect for the time of year when graduation takes place.

Maybe you’re not a fan of color? Opt for a nude dress. Nude dresses are everywhere now. As they should be, by the way; they’re gorgeous. So you’ll definitely be able to find one in the silhouette and length that’s perfect for you.

Here are a few dresses in inspiring colors:

Yellow Size 4 Cocktail Dress on Queenly
Size S

Cocktail Dress


Silk Slip

A silk slip dress is a perfect option for graduation. The style is fun and has a real cool factor to it. It’s an effortless look that will be super comfortable underneath your cap and gown. Slip dresses come in mini and midi varieties, so you should be able to find exactly what you’re looking for. Plus, with this style gaining such momentum in fashion at the moment, every color you can think of should be available.

These dresses look best with a thin spaghetti strap and cut in a simple straight silhouette. It’s meant to look like you just threw on whatever you could find in your closet with minimal effort. The coolest kid on the block.

Lace Dress

Lace is always a good look. Especially for prom, lace says I aced every class and all my teachers loved me. It’s a sweet look and perfect for those spring months when most graduations happen. Since it’s graduation and not prom, opt for a shorter length to keep it business casual.

The vibe on a shorter lace dress says sweet yet sassy. It’s sophisticated without being overdressed. You want to exude style and class but also look like you thought about this look specifically for graduation. Except the best part is that after graduation is over, you have a dress that you’ll be able to wear again and again for other events.

We are sure you’ll love these styles:

Wrap Dress

Wrap dresses are in at the moment and are everywhere you look. It’s the perfect look for graduation. They offer a perfectly cinched waist silhouette and a little flair around the hips to keep the dress from being too tight and uncomfortable. Plus the v-neck top elongates the neck and adds volume to the bust area.

It’s a style with a lot of universal wear. Perfect for any girl, any shape. The bow on the hip where the dress wraps is a nice touch too, offering a little pop of detail. Wrap dresses are also another style that offers a lot of comfortability so you won’t be wrapped up too tight for the ceremony.

Blazer Dress

Blazer Dress

This is a really cool look. Blazer dresses are something we stole from the 80s and refined enough to give it a new lease on life. It’s a totally feminine dress with a masculine edge and we love the blend of the two.

It’s a really cool style when you slick back your hair and place up some of those manly undertones. If you can, find something with a strong, well-built shoulder. The shoulders will be well defined and your silhouette will be killer. Plus, these dresses usually play up a plunging neckline so the pop of skin will get you noticed at graduation.

We’ve put together these looks we’re sure you’ll love:


Velvet is having a moment right now, and we are busy enjoying it until further notice. Seriously, a look that used to be reserved just for winter looks is not being done in ways that work for all seasons.

It’s a beautiful and luxurious textured dress and comes in so many silhouettes, you’re sure to find the one that speaks to you. We are loving the two-tone thing happening in velvet right now. If you can find one of these styles that works for you and your personality, jump on it while you can.

Here are a few of our top velvet picks:


For some of us out there, a dress just really doesn’t speak to our soul. Thankfully, jumpsuits are out there as well. A jumpsuit is a great look that still screams femininity without having to be a dress. It’s a modern style that is gaining serious momentum in fashion.

It would be a great look for graduation because it’s stylish and trendy without being too over the top. Jumpsuits also offer a lot of versatility so you can go for pants or something shorter.

We have a few styles here that we love:

Suit Set

Suits have come back in for women. They used to be a little boring, but now we have options. You can do something with shorts or pants, and either way, they look amazing. Right now blazer and short sets are trending in bright colors. So don’t be afraid to really go bold.

Suits are such a great fashion statement right now. Even though they’re trending, they turn heads whenever worn. Most people will be expecting a dress, so when you take off that gown to reveal a smart and chic suit it’ll turn heads. You can go for a cool vintage-inspired rocker shirt underneath the jacket. Or opt for a solid color bodysuit for a more classic look.

We’ve got some great inspiration for you here:

43% off
Red Size 4 Jumpsuit Dress on Queenly
Size S




Graduation Accessories

We need to talk about the rest of your look. Once you choose the dress, you have to put the rest of your look together.

Well, votes have been tallied and results are in. All our favorite looks and trends from the 90s are back! Today we want to give you a few options that are from a previous decade but are making waves in fashion now. Fashion always comes back around so be sure to keep staple pieces that you love even if they aren’t “in” anymore. They’ll be back before you know it.


It is graduation, so your first thought might be heels. The problem is most graduation ceremonies take place in the grass. Heels sink right in. You’ll have a hard time walking and you’ll ruin your shoes. That’s not the way we want to end this chapter in our lives.

You could opt for a cute and sophisticated ballet flat. A round toe will be a sweet look, and a pointed toe will be more professional. Either way, they are the perfect way to be feminine and they can look just as pretty as a classic pump. But without falling all over the place at graduation.

But we said the 90s were back, so why not go for a platform sneaker! So many options and styles to choose from these days, you’re sure to find one you love. Plus they’re more comfortable than a platform heel and just as cute. They look great with shorter dresses and give you a little edge.


Jewelry really is up for grabs for graduation. You can literally wear anything you want as there aren’t any options that you should stay away from. If you have a special pair of earrings or a necklace that was passed down to you, now is the perfect time to wear it. Your family member that gave it to you will be so happy to see it and you will feel great walking across that stage.

Because most of you will be fully covered for the ceremony, and you want to shine from start to finish, we think you should consider some serious bracelets. The 90s are back, try a huge stack of bangles for drama and sparkle. It’s a cool look that'll get you noticed when you hit the stage to shake hands with your principal or dean.


Ok so you might not have thought about this piece yet, but you’re going to need one. Your family and friends will be looking for you after the ceremony so you’ll need somewhere to meet them. But you won’t be able to find them unless you have your phone. So you really need something, at least for carrying essentials.

Belt bags are seriously trending right now and this is the perfect excuse to buy one. You can wear it across your body if you prefer, but it will sit on your hips perfectly even without a belt. With belt bags having such a statement in fashion right now, the possibilities are endless. You can find them in leather or canvas. They’re also available in almost any color. Even better, because they’re trending, you can find them in pretty much every price point so you don’t have to miss out.

However you choose to wear the trend, it’s a really cool look and perfect at graduation. You need something to hold the essentials but you need your hands and arms free. It’s a fashion statement for sure, and everyone will be jealous they didn’t think of it as well.


We feel like we need to put out a little PSA about hair at graduation. Not everyone is always ready for it, but you need to know what is up. The cap is going to give you a bump. We can’t avoid it, we’ve tried, there’s no way around wearing it, we’ve asked. You are going to need to be ready to accessorize your hair once it’s time to throw that cap in the air.

We suggest a headband. Just like most things from the 90s, they’re trending. But they’ve gotten a facelift from generations of the past so they’re cuter and more stylish now. It’s a great way to quickly hide the bump left behind from your cap so you’re ready for dinner or a party with friends and family. Quick fix, not a lot of fuss.

If you prefer, have a friend or family member on stand-by to do a quick hairdo after graduation is over. It can be something as simple as a quick ponytail. Maybe just a few bobby pins to pull some hair back but keep everything else down. Either way, just a quick something to pull back some hair to camouflage the bump but still look fierce.

We are talking about 90’s trends, so maybe grab a few butterfly clips! They haven’t fully come back around just yet, so maybe you can be the trendsetter in this case.

Get It, Girl!

If you’ve checked all the items off this list, we know you’re ready for graduation. Your clothing and accessory choices are the best expressions of yourself when people glance at you from a distance, so be sure to put your best foot forward.

We are all about women looking and feeling their best all the time. So make the style and color choices that speak to your true self. It’s the best way to end this chapter of your life and walk into the next one with your head held high. The world is opening up bright and you’re ready for anything.

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