What Do You Wear As a Guest at a Graduation Ceremony?

Business casual attire is appropriate for guests at a graduation ceremony. For men, this typically means a suit or a jacket, a shirt with a collar, a tie and nice pants. For women, business casual means a dress or a dressy shirt paired with nice pants and heels.

The weather and location of a graduation ceremony affects attendees’ wardrobes. Other factors include the time of the year and the type of graduation ceremony. For instance, medical school graduations are more formal than most types and call for conservative and more business-like attire.

Depending on the predicted weather and the location of the ceremony, attendees may want to dress in layers or wear shawls or heavy coats. If a long walk to the ceremony from the parking lot is required, some attendees may prefer comfortable shoes. High heels can also be problematic on some types of football fields. For sunny weather, attendees should consider sun block. The dress code becomes less formal for outdoor graduations in high temperatures. A summer dress and flats for women are fine, and men can bypass a tie and jacket. If the ceremony is outdoors and drizzle or rain is called for, women should take extra care to wear waterproof makeup, and attendees should bring umbrellas.