Tis the Season! It’s that time of year again. The grass is growing, the flowers are blooming, degrees are being conferred and diplomas are being distributed. How exciting. I’ve attended many many many graduations and at everyone I always find myself saying aloud “Now, why did she wear that?!” I don’t want any of my fabulous readers to ever be caught unawares, so I’m here to help you join #teamFABGrad and look your best on your big day.
You want to look the part! It’s all in the presentation. Make sure that you plan your grooming for the day. This is your day and in this age of the digital camera you and your likeness can and will be published for all to see within seconds. Don’t get caught out there looking strong and wrong. Check out the list below for some things to keep in mind while selecting your clothing and shoes.
Fit and Comfort- Graduation Days are usually very long. Ceremonies, dinners, celebrations at Grandma and ‘nem house and all of that. Hurt feet, a wedgie or a dress that’s ridin up you thighs are distracting and totally avoidable. Spending the day having to adjust your girdle and keep you bra strap from showing is annoying and can take your attitude from bad to worst in record time! Take the time to make sure your out fit fits. It’s so worth it. Try on your clothes and don’t be afraid of alterations or even going up or down a size to ensure you’re looking and feeling your best on the big day.
Color- Wear something that complements the color of your gown. You want to work with the gown and not against it. If your gown is colored, a neutral outfit (black, white, beige, brown) is the safest bet. Neutrals don’t have to be boring. There are many ways to perk up your neural look. ( Think shoes, accessories, textured fabrics, even a nice bright lipstick/lip gloss.) If you must wear color at least make sure the colors in your outfit coordinates with the colors of your regalia.
Location- If your graduation is outdoors on the campus quad your favorite pair of 6 inch stilettos could make the simple task of walking quite taxing. The funny thing about grass is that it is a living and sometimes moving organism. Skinny heels can and will sink into the earth. Especially if it’s rained in the last couple of days, or God forbid the night before. Now you’ve got trot to the stage like Sea Biscuit to cop your diploma, NOT CUTE! And FYI ,the leather/fabric of your heels will BE RUINED! Don’t believe me? Ask those cute little t straps sandals that died a slow death when I got my Bachelors Degree back in 2004. RIP
Function- The details of the day are not to be forgotten. Consider the length of your graduation march, the parking situation, the weather etc. Pick clothes and shoes that will wear well throughout the day. Practice walking in your shoes to determine if they are "strut around all day long" shoes or "get some where and sat down, cross your legs & look cute" shoes. If they are the latter, don’t wear them and if you must have a cute pair of back ups to transition into when the pain becomes unbearable. Practicing also prevents those unsightly trips and tumbles. Be yourself and know your limits. Your graduation day is not the day you want to look like you’re rocking your Fisher Price "My First Pair of Pumps".
Hair and Makeup- Think clean and polished, make choices that will enhance your cap and gown not compete with it. Many elect to wear their hair down which usually makes for a natural polished look. But if you’d like to wear your hair up I strongly suggest a low ponytail or bun with some wispy strands or a bang to frame the face. Also, if you’re going to the stylist to get your do done, bring you cap with you. Have them style around it. As far as your makeup, your look should be natural/neutral glamour. I wouldn’t do too much in the realm of crazy colors, super long lashes, or anything that’s too evening. You want to go with something that’s going to wear well throughout the day. Accentuate your best features and go for a timeless and classic YOU!
Accessories- Keep it simple. Again your cap and gown are headlining here. The main thing is not to over accessorize. Try to achieve a balance that will show your personality but doesn’t take over. I’d do understated earrings, studs, pearls or a clean moderately sized hoop. Chunky necklaces can be tough and could distract from your regalia especially if you will be rocking a sash or rope (representing and Honors Society, Fraternity/Sorority, etc) with your gown. Bracelets and rings, again don’t forget the balance but anything loud or clunky I’d save for later. Oh and sunglasses are only appropriate during outdoor ceremonies where the sun is actually shining. (Even then I'd think twice) I know sometimes we feel like superstars at these events as we should but hunny, this is NOT a red carpet and 20 years from now when you’re looking through photos and reminiscing, you’ll likely regret rocking your hater blockas. Also, purses I wouldn't do anything more than a wristlet. You'll be moving about quite a bit and you only need to carry your cell phone, lipgloss, some ID and maybe a couple of dollars. Save you Louis V Damier Bucket Bag for the after party.
Last but not least, PLEASE Ma’am and Please Sir. IRON YOUR GOWNS. I will go on record saying there is nothing worst than those checkerboard wrinkles. You know, when you just take your gown out of the plastic bag it came in, give it a good ole shake and proceed to putting it on. Now you look like gingham gone WRONG. SMHRFWMLTUID ( shakin my head real fast with my lips turned up in disgust). It just screams unkempt and careless. You’re really doing yourself a disservice. It takes like 2 minutes to iron those polyester things and it’s so worth it. Why take all the time to pick your outfit, get your shoes, beat your face and then put on a wrinkled gown. That ain’t the way. I’m telling you.
Glenda the Good Grad aka The GlamNERD aka Tykeia :-)