After four long years of classes, studying, internships, and all-nighters in the library, your graduation weekend should essentially be one big well-deserved #turndownforwhat situation. You can also pretty much guarantee this entire experience will be captured on camera and uploaded in real time to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/Snapchat, and whatever other social media apps you kids are using these days. Sidenote: Instagram actually didn’t even exist yet when I was in college! (Can you imagine?!)
Moral of the story: Your pictures will be plastered all over the Internet, and clearly this means you need to look awesome. You’ll look back at these photos in a few years (or like, next week) and want to focus on the wonderful memories made in your final days of freedom, not how embarrassing all of your outfits were.
The key is to arm yourself with a few fail-proof looks for your grad weekend (and I’m not talking about these clothes you'll never wear again). Planning your outfits in advance can seem daunting, but there’s a good chance you might already own one or two of the pieces I would recommend for your big weekend. It's all about simple add-ons (statement jewelry can be a serious game-changer) and most of all, comfort! Here's what you should plan on having in your wardrobe arsenal.
Outfit #1: The "Yes I've Been Day-Drinking Since 8AM but Still Want To Look Adorable At Dinner" Outfit
Two words: Chino shorts. Trust me, you’ll be grateful for the movement and ease these cute, relaxed-fit shorts allow you while you’re running from party to party. Pair 'em up with a loose-fitting tank, or tuck in a light washed chambray shirt for an ultra preppy ensemble. It’s cute, classic, and will definitely be in style for years to come. I highly suggest you go for a comfy pair of flip flops with this look — your feet will thank you when you want to rock heels later that night!
Outfit #2: The "This Is The Only Time Every Single Person In My Grade Will Be In One Room and I Need To Look Amazing” Outfit
Most schools have some kind of dressy event the night before graduation (we called ours the “prom” because it totally felt like the college version of one) and it’s probably the only other time (aside from the actual commencement ceremony) where every single person in your grade will be in the same room at once. Naturally, you’ll need a dress which you feel and look amazing in, and preferably one that you’ll be able to wear for future special occasions. Also, try not to get pink eye in both eyes because this will totally take away from your dress. It didn't work out for me.
Life lesson: you can literally never go wrong in a classic LBD. Buy one in a style that's most flattering on your body type. You can wear it 100 times and completely change the look each time by switching up your accessories and/or shoes. For this event, pair it up with strappy, nude heels to elongate the look of your legs and make you appear taller. A gorgeous pair of dangly earrings makes the whole look more formal, and adds a nice pop of color against the black dress.
Outfit #3: The "Look How Sweet & Innocent I Look While Accepting My Diploma!" Outfit
Your parents really don’t need to know about everything that happened in the hours leading up to graduation day, so let’s try to keep it classy here, k? There is something very beautiful about a white dress under your graduation gown — it feels special and looks so crisp and clean. A gorgeous statement necklace pulls it all together and gives a basic dress some life. Finish it off with embellished sandals — they look dressy while still being ridiculously comfortable — AND you won't have to worry about your stiletto getting stuck in the grass on your way up to the podium. Bonus!
Congrats, and welcome to reality!