Class of 2023: What I'm wearing to my graduation

With graduation approaching, here are some top tips for outfit ideas

Castor Chan
17th May 2023
Image: Instagram @newcastleuni
There is light at the end of the tunnel, and £43 missing from our bank accounts. Graduation (and ball) season is here, and I am someone who is all for dressing up. After my mental debate over what I’m wearing, here are my top tips for outfits that will go with the iconic robe.

1. Colour

It’s fine if you’re not a rainbow person on the regular, but just remember that you will already have a massive piece of black fabric on you. If you don’t want to be swallowed up, a pop of something colourful will definitely help. It doesn’t even have to be garishly bright either, a pretty pastel or funky trouser pattern will help you stand out from the horde of black-clad graduates with you.

2. Do a lil bit of stalking

I don’t mean creep, but have a little look at any friends’ pages of what the robe actually looks like, and as a bonus, what your sash will be. (You don’t have to match but it may influence what colour you choose!) Another thing that I found out is how long the graduation gown is. It hits mid-calf, so I would personally go knee-length or above just for some difference. 

3. Think about the shoes

Are you prepared to go through the day in heels? If not, pack a pair of nice trainers, or just make them part of your look! You don’t want to be that person hobbling out of Spoons at the end of the day. And if you’re going for dress shoes, make sure you know what colour goes with your outfit. Time will not be your best friend if you’re running around Eldon Square in the morning just because black won’t do.  

4. Bring makeup and/or a brush, and an umbrella

Even if you’re not normally a crier, friends and family are bound to set you off. I’m not into heavy makeup, so I’ll just be carrying tissues and spare eyeliner. But if you like to go the full nine yards, definitely invest in some waterproof mascara. A hairbrush will also be an essential in my bag just in case Newcastle’s wind decides to also celebrate my graduation, I don’t really want my addition to my grandma’s photo collection to be reminiscent of Cousin Itt. Lastly, I know an umbrella isn’t the usual accessory, but it may well save your clothes in any surprise downpours!

Just remember to wear a smile because this is your moment, you’ve made it!

Some extra special ideas could be wearing something that is sentimental to you. A tie with a special print, a dress from your family or culture, the possibilities are endless. Whatever you choose, you are going to look great on your graduation day. Just remember to wear a smile because this is your moment, you’ve made it!

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