Step into adulthood with style


Courtesy of ASOS

A body-skimming day dress is our best bet for graduation.

Ian Laughead

It’s that time of year again where funny hats and flowing black robes become de rigueur — graduation.

Walking across that stage and accepting a diploma may be the end goal for many college students, but what a shame it is that those memories have to be cloaked in that muumuu tent that is the graduation gown.

No one looks objectively good in the gowns, but there are a few things to keep in mind to keep yourself looking as sharp as that new degree will make you feel.

Gentlemen dressing for their ceremony should consider going for the traditional, well-fitted shirt and tie under their gown. A pressed collar and a simple, solid tie will look dapper over the collar, and paired with slim or skinny trousers, the look is an easy crowd-pleaser.

As usual, the ladies have a few more options but also a few more restrictions to follow. Graduation day calls for an easy, spring day dress, but because of outerwear considerations (i.e. that parachute we mentioned earlier) it shouldn’t be too poufy. A body-skimming, waist-defining look might be the best complement to your gown.

We’ve seen the hems go from mini-skirt high to maxi-skirt low to mullet-dress high-low in these four years, but for the commencement ceremony, the best bet is to stick to something just below the knee. Any higher and you risk looking a bit like an underclassman, and any lower than your gown’s hem, and it ruins that classic look your mom will want to save for your scrapbook.

Accessories might make or break an outfit, but when you’re covered from collar to ankle with a hair-salon cape, shoes are your top priority.

This is the time to break out those statement shoes, be they cardinal pumps or gold wedges. Your footwear should walk that tightrope between fun and functional. Classmates, friends and family from all over can come to see you take those first steps into adulthood, so don’t trip while walking across the stage.

For men, this is a no-brainer: Find a nice pair of black leather loafers or oxfords that fit. For women, however, there’s a definite line between shoes meant for tottering down Welch senior year and footwear for classy daytime events.

Whatever you choose, remember that this is your time to shine, so pick what makes you feel comfortable, and don’t forget to smile — after all, happiness is the best accessory.