Monday, May 11, 2015

5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Graduation Dress

Whether you are graduating from high school, college, graduate school, or attending the graduation of a friend or family member - you need the perfect dress. Finding the right outfit for this special occasion that is classy, elegant, and professional can seem daunting. Here are my 5 tips for finding the perfect graduation dress for your big day, or the right dress to help celebrate someone else's big accomplishments.

1. Choose Timeless 

Donna Morgan Belted Eyelet Lace Fit & Flare
Graduation is not the time to try out the newest trendy style that has 2015 written all over it. Opt for a classic silhouette that will look beautiful, and timeless for years to come. Remember you will have pictures from this day for the rest of your life, so choose a style that looks elegant in any decade. A basic A-line, or sheath dress will serve you well and never goes out of style.

2. Fit to Perfection 

Janice Shift Dress - Lilly Pulitzer

Having a dress that fits perfectly is one of the most important tips to looking your best on this big day. Standard dress sizes often may not fit exactly. Not every single one of us will fit perfectly into a store bought 6, 8 or 10. Choose your dress a few weeks in advance in-case you need to have some tailoring done. Just a few slight adjustments can make an almost perfect dress into a dress that fits like a glove. Small amounts of tailoring do not cost much, but the difference is always noticeable.

3. Simple Colors 

Adrianna Papell Boatneck Lace Sheath Dress

A simple color or pattern with minimal embellishments is most appropriate for graduation. Leave the neon hues, crazy patterns, and fringe at home. White is a classic graduation color, but any other flattering hue works, as long as the color is not too overpowering for the occasion. Think ahead about the color of your graduation gown and the school colors, to ensure the dress does not clash. The last thing you want is to be sporting an odd color scheme on this special day.

4. Conservative Choices 

Eliza J Stripe Skirt Cotton Sateen Fit & Flare Dress

With family members from all generations, esteemed speakers and lots of guests, definitely air on the side of conservative when choosing a dress. Keep the neckline reasonable, and avoid crop tops, cutouts, and super low backs. A graduation dress should highlight you, not draw attention to any one part of you. Think business casual when it comes to choosing a dress. Remember you may be meeting professors, speakers, and other friends and family - so conservative and professional is a safe way to go.

5. Length Does Matter 

Vince Camuto Stripe Jacquard Fit & Flare Dress

Choose the length of your graduation dress wisely. If you are actually the one graduating, find out the length of your gown and make sure the dress is short enough not to show underneath. On the other hand, leave the mini dress for another day. Graduation is time to celebrate accomplishments and you do not want that overshadowed by an awkward wardrobe malfunction. A good rule of thumb is 2 inches above the knee, to the knee or tea length for a professional and classic dress length.

Congratulations to all the graduates out there! Remember some rules are meant to be broken, but in general these guidelines are important for choosing a dress that will work for the occasion. Leave you comments and questions for Polished Pinstripes below.

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