Dress Code for High School Graduations

In spite of the fact that many teens prefer to wear casual clothing such as jeans and tees, graduation ceremonies are a special occasion. The solemnity of the day can be appreciated by the graduates and their families when they wear career clothing. 

It helps them prepare for the adult world by showing them how to dress and behave.

Official Dress Code for High School Graduations

Some schools will adopt a formal policy while others will provide general guidelines. You will usually find these guidelines in your school’s handbook or in a pamphlet that discusses graduation expectations. Teenagers may wonder why they should bother. 

They’re wearing caps and gowns, so no one will see what’s underneath. When you wear clothes suitable for the venue, you tend to behave in a way that is appropriate for the occasion’s solemnity. The following points may be covered by a dress code:

  • A dress shoe is a shoe that has a certain style, such as a pump, a loafer, an Oxford, a flat, etc. The majority of schools ask students not to wear sneakers or sandals.
  • Clothing: Dresses, dress pants, collared shirts, button downs, blouses, skirts, ties, suits, etc. Typically, gym shorts, jeans, and t-shirts are not allowed.
  • While this may or may not be addressed, some schools may prohibit outrageous hairstyles deemed distracting. A brightly colored Mohawk or neon orange hair might fall into this category.

Graduation is synonymous with taking pictures. Graduation photos will be much more flattering if graduates adhere to a dress code. Many people want a picture not only of their cap and gown, but probably in an open gown as well. 

A smarter-looking photo can be achieved by wearing dress clothes underneath jeans and tees.

What to Wear to High School Graduation?

It can be stressful to decide what to wear to graduation. You can make or break your look by choosing the right outfit and accessories.


Choosing the right dress requires finding something that fits well but isn’t too tight or revealing. Make sure you choose something comfortable and beautiful for your pictures. Most graduations take place in June, so you’ll need something that won’t be stuffy or hot in the summer under your gown. 

A dress with short sleeves or a cape works well. Additionally, most girls opt for knee-length skirts rather than full skirts. You should also keep in mind that this is not a prom, but rather a graduation. 

It should be formal, but not too formal. In this case, you might want to choose a flowery sundress or a black business style dress. Wear your dress with strappy low heels or Mary Janes to complete the look.


A suit is also a flattering choice for both men and women. Suits can be worn with pencil skirts or slacks. A black or pinstriped suit gives graduates just the right amount of sophistication. Remember that wool suits might not be a good choice for summer. 

The look can be pulled off with a snazzy tie or blouse that matches your school colors. Your professionalism will be enhanced by oxfords, loafers, or pumps.

Slacks and Collared Shirt or Blouse

Dress pants in black or khaki can be paired with a collared shirt or blouse for something a bit more casual. A collared shirt in a muted tone such as gray, white, light blue, or even your school colors can be paired with a tie to add a touch of flair. You can also wear polo shirts or button-down shirts in a variety of colors. 

It might be a good idea for girls to choose a loose solid blouse in a rich color such as blue, gray, yellow or even purple. Floral blouses also work well. Pumps, Oxfords, loafers or elegant low heels look great with slacks.


You want your fashion accessories to complete your look. You should therefore choose necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that complement your outfit’s colors.

  • Gold necklaces with pendants or crosses might work. For girls, pearls are also a great choice.
  • The earrings should be small hoop or stone earrings at the very least.
  • It might be appealing to wear a cuff or charm bracelet. Watches are also a great way to dress up your wrist.
  • There are many hairpieces available for girls, including headbands, combs, clips, and barrettes.

Keep in mind that your accessories should complement your professional appearance, not detract from it.


You can make or break an outfit by the shoes you wear. Choose colors and styles that complement your clothes’ style and color scheme. Oxford dress shoes might not go well with a flowery sundress, for instance. It might be a good idea to wear light, airy shoes or something with a little color. 

An Oxford shoe or pump looks great with a suit. Dresses or skirts can be worn with knee boots or wedges with open toes. It doesn’t matter what your outfit is, a black shoe will go with it.

What to Wear to Graduation for Guests?

School administrators hope that everyone involved in the ceremony-from school staff to the graduating class to the audience-can make it a special celebration without descending into immature displays, even when a dress code cannot be enforced on the graduate’s family and friends. 

High school graduations should be dressed in business casual attire. For example, men may wear slacks, button-down shirts, or polo shirts. It is possible for women to wear slacks and a blouse or a dress suit. Keep in mind that you are not trying to attract attention. 

If choosing patterns, choose something that doesn’t grab your attention. You can never go wrong with neutral tones or black. Skirts and shirts with pale floral patterns might also be of interest to women. 

It is advisable to avoid wearing bright colors, ill-fitting clothing, or flashy clothes.

The Right Outfit

The school dress code should not be the only thing that is respected at a graduation; proper behavior should also be encouraged. As teenagers don more formal clothing instead of jeans and sneakers, they signal that they are moving into adulthood. 

So, find the outfit that fits your style while showing the world how grown up you’ve become.

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