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You might feel some pressure when shopping for outfits and dresses for graduation. You want to look and feel your best, so the positive memories can live on in your heart and in printed pictures for decades to come. You deserve to feel proud of yourself and the work you’ve accomplished. Having the perfect outfit can help seal the deal. If you’re struggling to find the perfect dress to walk in on your big day, this helpful guide can help you. We’ll navigate the often-daunting world of fashion to help you find what is really important when shopping for high school or college graduation dresses.

Strike the Perfect Balance 

When you are preparing for your big educational send-off, it is necessary to keep in mind the type of occasion you are preparing for. In some academic settings, a more casual approach to attire is acceptable. But for most college graduations, especially at major universities, you want to dress to impress. The outfit you choose shows respect for the achievement that you have attained in closing this chapter of your life. In this regard, it is extremely important to dress for the occasion by striking the right balance between the style, cut, and fabric.

Graduation dresses for college call for a look that is both chic and professional. You should feel good about how you present yourself. At the same time, you also want to respect the standards and prestige of the university or academic structure from which you’re departing. Typically, the major mistake that people make here is not underdressing, but overdressing. 

Opting for a floral or bright patterned print can be acceptable, as long as the cut of the dress is modest. If you choose to wear a solid color, like a classic all-black look, you have a bit more freedom with the cut of the dress. 

In addition to color, fabric choice is also a big consideration. Some fabrics nod more to the younger party-girl days of college. Others hint more toward sophisticated attire. Some great fabric choices for a graduation setting are lace, satin, and cotton voile. These all provide diversity in options. They allow you to express yourself while remaining relatively modest in the finish. Ultimately, you want to keep professionalism in mind when choosing a dress for a graduation event. 

Consider the Weather and Time of Year

No two graduation ceremonies are quite the same. They differ depending on the reputation and size of a university. Beyond that, they can also vary dramatically depending on the location of the collegiate program and the time of year in which you are graduating. 

It may be appropriate to wear a halter top dress made of lightweight material to walk for your diploma if you graduate in the spring and the temperatures are high. However, it is unrealistic to choose the same dress for winter graduation. When choosing a graduation dress, it is key to keep in mind where the event in question will be taking place and in what season. 

The obvious considerations when it comes to issues of weather are heat and cold, sun and rain. You want to make sure you are comfortable and wearing something appropriate for the immediate weather. If it may rain the day of your graduation, pick a dress color that pairs well with your favorite pair of waterproof flats. You could even go the extra step for a cute photo op and get a matching umbrella for your special day! The more prepared you are leading up to the ceremony, the better off you’ll be.

Aside from weather concerns, the season also is important to consider because of the changing style trends. Pastel or white dresses for graduation are more popular in the spring and summertime. This is a time when floral patterns reign supreme as well. Darker or stark colors may be more fitting for the winter. That being said, a vivid and bold hue might also help to offset the gloominess of winter. The palette as well as the effect you want to achieve should take into account the season overall.

Think you’ll snap some photos outside after the big event? Think ahead to what the foliage may be like. There’s a big difference between bright, summer-green leaves and a stoic barren-branched tree. Make sure your dress can stand out against the background.

Is the Cost Worthwhile?

An obvious consideration for most people who are shopping for the perfect graduation dress is cost. When it comes to financial issues, no one knows better how much you can afford or are willing to spend on an outfit than you. Assess your budget and do the necessary calculations to determine your hard and fast spending limit. After that, the dress-buying process becomes less daunting. A set budget may help to narrow the number of options you’ll be looking at. 

Additionally, the cost is important to keep in mind because not all expensively marked dresses are worth the bill. If you fall in love with a particular style and cut of a dress but cannot afford it, don’t stress yourself. Search for other similar items in different stores. There’s a good chance another dress is out there that has a similar aesthetic quality that falls more within your price range. 

Before you spend hard-earned money on a dress, check to see if the craftsmanship holds up. Often, poor stitching can be sighted even by the untrained eye. If something doesn’t look like it’ll stand the passage of time, it is likely not worth the price tag. 

In that same vein, not all materials are worth the asking price. Some materials are genuinely more expensive to acquire or produce, such as silk. However, there are others that should not break the bank. Cotton is relatively affordable and common. Plus, it can come in an incredible variety of fashions. Other options like lace, satin, or polyester can also be classy and still within your budget. If a retailer is charging an arm and a leg because of the material, keep in mind that there are many fabrics and options out there. 

At the end of the day, the graduation gown will hide your dress for the vast majority of the ceremony. So, if you don’t feel comfortable spending large amounts of money on your dress, no pressure! Choose what makes you feel your best.

Don’t Neglect Your Personality

Ultimately, the choice of dress is entirely your own. It should reflect your unique personality and set of accomplishments. No one else has had quite the experience you’ve had in college, so why would your outfit match the person next to you? 

Choose a cut, color, and material that matches your individual style and taste. Then, rock it unapologetically during your ceremony and various celebrations. The day is, after all, a celebration of all the hard work you’ve done and the incredible person you’ve become. 

Another consideration is the lifespan of the dress. Similar to bridesmaid dresses, graduation dresses can easily end up at the back of your closet. If it’s not something you would wear normally, it might collect dust and never see the light of day. But if you choose a dress that genuinely reflects your personality and that you truly love, you’ll find other occasions to pull it out! Get the most bang for your buck and invest in an outfit you can rock time and time again. 

Final Reminders

No one can take away the memories of your graduation day. The hard work and dedication you put into school is finally paying off, and soon you’ll have a shiny new diploma framed on your wall to prove it. What representation of yourself do you want hanging next to that diploma from that special day? 

A graduation outfit can enhance and showcase the natural beauty you have within. And as graduation dresses in 2019 see exciting trends, the options for self-expression are truly endless. Look and feel your best on your big day, and cherish the memories for years to come. For a selection of sleek graduation dresses, check out our collection here at Jovani!