What to Wear to Law School Graduation

what to wear to law school graduationReader A is wondering what to wear to law school graduation, with hopes that she can wear it again for summer weddings — so let’s discuss! Readers, what did you wear to your law school graduation? Here’s her question:

I’m graduating from law school in three weeks and I’m wondering what to wear for graduation. I didn’t go to my college graduation so I’m feeling kinda clueless. Ideally it’d be something under $200 that I can wear again to work at my firm (preferably sleeves and close to knee length). I feel like a spring-y pattern is more appropriate for the occasion than my go-to black and white sheath. Any ideas? (Bonus if it’s something I could also wear to summer weddings for law school classmates)

We’ve talked a bit about dressing for law school, including what to wear to law school, as well as ideal law school orientation outfits — but not for graduation itself. The TL;DR advice here: don’t stress; whatever you wear will be fine. (You could always go with one of the light blue sheath dresses that are popular right now — good for graduation, work, and weddings!) Some more in depth notes, from your friendly fashion blogger who overthinks these things:


(Pictured.what to wear to law school graduation - image of women law students throwing caps in the air)

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  • I honestly couldn’t tell you what anyone wore to my law school graduation, because we all wore robes/gowns the whole time  — I know from pictures at dinner with my family afterward that I wore a black sheath dress with white grosgrain ribbon details that I got on some crazy deal at an outlet store, but that was me. I honestly don’t think it matters. Sheath dress, wedding guest attire, pants — it’s all fine. Don’t go crazy casual — keep the cutoff denim shorts at home, perhaps — but don’t stress too much.
  • Keep an eye on the ground when choosing your outfit — stiletto heels will sink into soft ground like grass and, depending on where the graduation is, you may be walking across a muddy field anyway. So: be practical, be comfortable. Don’t spend a ton on shoes that may be ruined by the conditions. Don’t wear flip flops, either, but don’t buy designer white suede stilettos just for the occasion.
  • Pockets may be a good thing, and your graduation gown/robe may not have them. If you won’t be carrying your bag with you to the ceremony itself, look for a dress with pockets so you can keep whatever your bare minimal essentials are on you — iPhone, $20, lip gloss, whatever. (The pictured dress does NOT have pockets, but it has the benefits of being affordable ($118), appropriate for summer weddings in that it isn’t too sexy or white, somewhat appropriate for work (with a navy blazer or cardigan on top), and, hey, it’s also wearable for law school graduation. This morning’s navy/pink dress would also work, as would the under-$50 blue dress we featured a few weeks ago. Here’s a plus size option that looks lovely (and has sleeves!), this one comes in regular and plus sizes, and this $128 option is very floral but very cute if that’s your thing.

Readers, let’s hear from you — what did you wear to your law school graduation (or any grad school graduation)? Did you party with friends/family immediately after graduation, or did you partake in more generic networking (which might require closer attention to your outfit)? (Taken from another direction — in general, what’s your go-to look for “wedding guest attire” — and how many dresses do you have in your closet that fit the bill?)

Wondering what to wear to law school graduation? It can feel tricky to strike the right balance between festive and professional -- and of course, it's a bonus if you can rewear your graduation outfit for wedding guest attire. Come hear our thoughts on what to wear to your law school graduation (or your college graduation or med school graduation or more!)

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