How to dress to impress for graduation

Class of 2018

Graduation is an exciting time but also daunting – not only are you on show to your peers  but to staff and crucially family and friends. It’s perhaps the one and only formal place you will be on show and on stage!

Here Alison Rapsey, Course Director of BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion gives her top tips.

"It’s a day to celebrate but it can be a long event so you need to consider that you will standing for long periods. Throughout the day you'll be sitting, walking across a very public stage, juggling  photos, a cap and gown and family and friends who may be new to Birmingham. Make sure you can enjoy the day and keep it simple with what you wear."

Alison Rapsey

Keep heels clean and formal

It always makes staff and the audience smile, if not chuckle, when someone in the wrong shoes shuffles across the stage. 

If they are too big, too uncomfortable, dirty, stickers left on, too casual or too high it doesn’t look great and you won't feel in control.

If you think you'll wobble with the nerves of being on stage it's best sticking to flats. But if you can walk in heels with the grace of an air hostess, then go for it!

Broken heal
Dirty shoes
Air Hostess

Dress to impress

Wear something comfortable and remember most of what you are wearing will be hidden under a gown. I'd recommend something with a button like a shirt, blouse or dress. A collar will help as it allows a loop to hold the cape in place.

Make sure you don't over layer. You don’t want to overheat and then can’t take layers off – a jacket over a shirt or dress is enough. 

No handbags
No T Shirts
Air Hostess

Avoid updos

You'll be wearing a cap or mortar board, not known for its practical wearability.  They don’t look great perched on topknots or buns so don’t go for an updo or over spiky hair. You won't need a bag in the theatre either, so leave it with friends or family.

Remember to pause and stay calm when they call your name out – don’t charge across the stage as if straight out of the staring blocks. And most importantly, smile and enjoy it! 

No Up Do
No spiky hair
Motar Board