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What To Wear To Graduation Male?

Quick Summary

Graduation is a significant milestone, and it’s important to dress appropriately for the occasion. For formal indoor ceremonies, opt for a dark navy or charcoal grey suit with a white shirt and coordinating tie. For outdoor ceremonies, choose tailored slacks or chino shorts with a lightweight collared dress shirt. Guests should dress in business casual attire, while graduation parties call for a more laid-back and casual approach. Remember to follow dress code guidelines and avoid wearing t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, jeans, joggers, or activewear.


Graduation day is a momentous occasion that marks the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. As you prepare to walk across the stage, it’s important to not only celebrate your achievements but also dress appropriately for this special event. Your graduation outfit should reflect both your personal style and adhere to any dress code guidelines set by your school or university.

In this guide, we will provide you with valuable tips on what to wear as a male graduate. Whether you’re attending a formal indoor commencement or an outdoor afternoon ceremony, we’ve got you covered with stylish suggestions that strike the perfect balance between looking good and following protocol.

So let’s dive in and discover how to make a lasting impression while donning the right attire for one of life’s most memorable milestones – graduation!

Dressing for Graduation: A Guide for Men

Graduation day is a momentous occasion that marks the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. As you prepare to walk across the stage and receive your well-deserved diploma, it’s important to choose an outfit that reflects both your personal style and respects the dress code guidelines set by your institution.

The right graduation attire not only ensures you look good but also shows respect for yourself, fellow graduates, faculty members, family, friends, and all those who have supported you throughout this journey. It’s a time-honored tradition where dressing appropriately plays a significant role in creating lasting memories.

Balance Personal Style with Adherence to Dress Code Guidelines:

  • Consider incorporating elements of personal style while still adhering to any specified dress codes.
  • Remember that graduations are formal events requiring appropriate attire rather than casual wear like t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, jeans, joggers, or activewear.

Formal Indoor Commencements:

For formal indoor ceremonies such as those held at auditoriums or theaters:

  • Opt for classic elegance by wearing dark navy or charcoal grey suits paired with crisp white shirts.
  • Brown shoes complement these suit colors perfectly along with matching brown belts which add sophistication to the overall ensemble.
  • Complete the look by choosing ties coordinated with either color scheme mentioned above.

Outdoor Afternoon Ceremonies:

If attending an outdoor afternoon commencement event under potentially sunny skies, consider opting out from traditional full-suit ensembles due to potential overheating risks.

  • Instead, tailored slacks, chino shorts (in neutral hues like khaki, grey) are recommended.
  • Pair these with lightweight collared dress shirts made from breathable materials like cotton poplin or linen. This combination ensures comfort while maintaining a polished appearance.

Dressing for High School and College Graduations:

For college graduations, men have more freedom in their outfit choices but should still maintain a professional appearance that reflects the significance of the occasion. A light blue shirt tucked into black dress slacks, paired with a black belt is suggested as an elegant option.

On high school graduation day, it’s important to follow your school’s specific guidelines regarding attire under the gown. Some schools may require students to wear certain colors representing their institution or academic achievements. In such cases, consider wearing ties in those designated colors as personal touches that showcase pride and unity among fellow graduates.

Remember, dressing appropriately not only shows respect for yourself and others but also contributes to creating lasting memories on this special day. By striking the right balance between personal style and adherence to dress code guidelines, you can confidently walk across that stage knowing you’ve chosen an outfit befitting of your accomplishments.

Formal Indoor Commencements

When it comes to formal indoor graduation ceremonies, dressing appropriately is key. You want to look polished and put together while adhering to the dress code guidelines of your institution. Here are some suggestions for suitable outfits:

Choose a Dark Navy or Charcoal Grey Suit

A dark navy or charcoal grey suit is a classic choice that exudes sophistication and elegance. Opt for a well-fitted suit that flatters your body shape.

Pair with a Crisp White Shirt

Pair your suit with a crisp white shirt made from high-quality fabric such as cotton or linen. A clean, pressed shirt adds an extra touch of professionalism to your overall look.

Complete the Ensemble with Brown Shoes and Belt

To complete the ensemble, choose brown shoes that complement the color scheme of your outfit. It’s important to wear a matching brown belt as well – this small detail can make all the difference in creating a cohesive appearance.

Add Personality with a Coordinating Tie

Don’t forget about accessories! Selecting a coordinating tie will add personality and style without overpowering the formality of the occasion. Choose colors or patterns that enhance but do not distract from your overall attire.

Remember, during graduation ceremonies it is customary for graduates’ sleeves to be down and unrolled underneath their robes rather than rolled up like many fashion photos suggest online.

By following these recommendations, you’ll ensure you’re dressed appropriately for formal indoor commencements while still showcasing personal style within acceptable boundaries.

Outdoor Afternoon Ceremonies

When it comes to attending outdoor afternoon graduation ceremonies, comfort and practicality are key. The last thing you want is to be overheating in a suit under the scorching sun. Here are some tips for dressing appropriately while staying cool:

Avoid wearing a suit

While suits may be appropriate for formal indoor commencements, they can quickly become uncomfortable outdoors due to the heat. Opt for more breathable alternatives instead.

Tailored slacks or chino shorts

Choose tailored slacks or chino shorts in neutral hues such as khaki or grey as your bottom wear option. These lightweight materials will keep you comfortable throughout the ceremony.

Collared dress shirt

Pair your bottoms with a lightweight collared dress shirt made of cotton poplin or linen fabric that allows air circulation and keeps you feeling fresh during the event.

Patterned socks add a fun touch

To inject some personality into your outfit, consider adding patterned socks that complement your overall look without compromising on style.

Apply sunscreen

Don’t forget about protecting yourself from harmful UV rays! Apply sunscreen before heading out to ensure adequate protection against sunburns.

Remember, even though it’s an outdoor ceremony, maintaining an appropriate level of formality is still important when choosing what to wear. By opting for tailored pants/chinos paired with lightweight shirts, you’ll not only feel great but also look stylish at this special occasion.

Dressing for High School and College Graduations

When it comes to high school and college graduations, choosing the right outfit is essential. It’s important to strike a balance between looking stylish and adhering to any dress code guidelines set by your school or institution. Here are some tips on what to wear for these momentous occasions.

College Graduations

For college graduations, you have more freedom in your outfit choices compared to high school ceremonies. However, it’s still crucial to maintain a professional appearance that reflects the significance of the event.

A classic option for college graduation attire is wearing a light blue shirt tucked into black dress slacks. This combination exudes sophistication while remaining timeless. Pair this ensemble with a sleek black belt that complements the overall look.

On top of dressing appropriately, consider incorporating personal touches that showcase your connection with your alma mater during both high school and college graduations.

High School Graduations

High schools often have specific dress codes in place for graduation ceremonies which may include designated colors under the gown or other requirements such as no jeans or sneakers allowed.

To add an individual touch at high-school level events without violating any rules, consider wearing a tie in your school’s colors along with the formal pants/shirt combo mentioned above. This small detail can demonstrate pride in one’s achievements while respecting established protocols.

Remember – whether attending a high-school ceremony where strict adherence to regulations might be required, or celebrating years spent earning higher education degrees – graduation day marks an accomplishment worth commemorating through appropriate sartorial choices.

Attending as a Guest

When attending a graduation ceremony as a guest, it’s important to dress appropriately for the occasion. While you may not be required to adhere strictly to the same dress code as graduates, it is still essential to maintain an appropriate and respectful appearance. Here are some tips on how guests can dress for graduation ceremonies:

1. Dress in Business Casual Style:

Guests should aim for a business casual look when choosing their outfit for the event. This means avoiding overly formal attire like tuxedos or evening gowns while also steering clear of casual wear such as jeans or shorts.

2. Opt for Dress Slacks and Long-Sleeve Button-Down Shirt:

A great option would be wearing well-fitted dress slacks paired with a long-sleeve button-down shirt in neutral colors like white, light blue, or pastel shades that complement your complexion.

3. Wear Comfortable Shoes:

Since graduations often involve standing and walking around campus grounds, comfortable shoes are crucial! Choose closed-toe shoes that provide support throughout the day without sacrificing style.

4. Bring an Extra Layer:

Depending on weather conditions and venue arrangements (indoor/outdoor), consider bringing along an extra layer such as a knit sport jacket or raincoat just in case temperatures fluctuate during the ceremony.

Remember that dressing respectfully shows appreciation towards both graduating students’ achievements and academic institutions hosting these events. By following these guidelines, you’ll ensure you’re dressed appropriately while celebrating this significant milestone alongside friends, family, and fellow attendees.

Dressing for Graduation Parties

Graduation parties are a time to celebrate your achievements in a more relaxed and casual setting. While it’s important to maintain an appropriate appearance, you can have some fun with your outfit choices. Here are some suggestions for dressing for graduation parties:

Short-Sleeve Button-Down Shirts with Seasonal Prints:

Opt for short-sleeve button-down shirts that feature seasonal prints or patterns. This adds a touch of personality and style to your look while still keeping it classy.

Tailored Shorts or Skinny Trousers:

Pair your shirt with tailored shorts or skinny trousers in neutral colors like khaki, navy blue, or gray. These options provide comfort without compromising on style.

Boat Shoes:

Complete the laid-back vibe by wearing boat shoes as they offer both comfort and versatility. They pair well with shorts as well as trousers, giving you flexibility when choosing what bottoms work best.

For slightly more casual graduation parties where there is less emphasis on formal attire, consider these alternative suggestions:

Seasonal Polo Shirt:

A seasonal polo shirt offers a comfortable yet stylish option perfect for warmer weather celebrations. Polo shirts come in various colors, so choose one that suits the occasion. You can opt for classic solid hues such as white, navy, or pastel shades for a more relaxed look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What should I wear if I have a grey striped suit, a blue suit, black suit pants, a white shirt, and ties of any color?

If you already own these items in your wardrobe, you have several options to choose from for your graduation outfit. For formal indoor commencements or high school graduations with specific dress codes under the gown:

  • You can opt for either the grey striped suit or the blue suit paired with a crisp white shirt.
  • Complete the look by selecting one of your ties that complements the chosen suit. Consider choosing colors that are not too bold but still add some personality to your ensemble.

For outdoor afternoon ceremonies or college graduations where there is more flexibility in attire:

  • Instead of wearing full suits like indoors events suggest tailored slacks instead.
  • Pair them up with shirts matching their respective trousers (grey/black) along with coordinating belts and shoes.

Remember to always consider comfort while maintaining an appropriate level of formality!

Question 2: Is it acceptable to wear black pants and a white shirt for graduation?

Yes! Wearing black pants and a white shirt is considered classic formal attire suitable for many occasions including graduation ceremonies. This combination exudes elegance and simplicity which makes it perfect when adhering strictly towards traditional norms during such important milestones as graduating from university/college/high-school etcetera; however keep mind different institutions may enforce certain rules regarding what’s allowed on stage so be sure double-check beforehand just ensure compliance without compromising personal style choices!

Question 3: Can I wear any light-colored shirt with my suiting choice at graduation?

While lighter colored shirts can certainly work well within various outfits worn during this special occasion – especially those held outdoors – we recommend exercising caution when opting outside neutral hues mentioned earlier since they might clash against darker shades found commonly among men’s clothing ensembles typically seen throughout commencement exercises. It’s always best to choose a shirt that complements the overall color scheme of your outfit and maintains an appropriate level of formality.

Question 4: What type of tie should I wear for graduation?

When selecting a tie for graduation, it is important to consider both personal style preferences and the overall look you want to achieve. Here are some general guidelines:

  • For formal indoor ceremonies or high school graduations with specific dress codes under the gown, opt for a classic solid-colored tie in coordinating shades such as navy blue or burgundy.
  • If attending an outdoor afternoon ceremony where there is more flexibility in attire, feel free to experiment with patterns or brighter colors that complement your chosen outfit while still maintaining professionalism.

Remember, ties can be used as accessories to add personality and flair but ensure they do not overpower your entire ensemble!

Question 5: Can I wear unconventional or silly outfits for graduation?

While it may seem tempting to showcase individuality through unconventional or silly outfits during this momentous occasion, we advise against doing so. Graduation ceremonies hold significant importance symbolizing academic achievements; therefore dressing appropriately demonstrates respect towards yourself and others who have worked hard alongside you throughout their educational journey too! Opting instead traditional attires ensures everyone feels comfortable celebrating together without distractions from attention-grabbing ensembles which might detract focus away shared accomplishments being recognized on stage by peers faculty members alike – remember simplicity elegance key here!

Question 6: Are t-shirts, tank tops sweatshirts jeans joggers activewear appropriate choices at my commencement event?

No! T-shirts,tank tops,sweatshirts,joggers,and activewear are generally considered inappropriate choices when deciding what clothing items will make up one’s wardrobe selection specifically tailored toward commemorating these special milestones achieved within academia setting like graduating university/college/high-school etcetera . Instead,opt opting garments adhering strictly professional standards expected attendees during such formal events. It’s always best to choose attire that reflects the significance of this momentous occasion and respects the formality associated with graduation ceremonies.

Remember, dressing appropriately not only shows respect for yourself but also honors your fellow graduates and the institution you are graduating from!


  1. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/388857749058028070/
  2. https://www.stitchfix.com/men/blog/features/what-to-wear-to-graduation-male/
  3. https://www.reddit.com/r/universityofauckland/comments/nplvxw/what_to_wear_for_graduation_male/

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