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Graduation Appropriate Attire

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I will be graduating from college and had planned to wear jeans and flip flops since the commencement ceremony is outside. My sister thinks that jeans and sandals are inappropriate, unless one is a spectator. Is she right?


Commencement clothing clash

Dear Commencement clothing clash,

Even if the commencement ceremony is outside, graduates should dress nice for the occasion. Below are suggestions for appropriate attire for men and women graduates.


WOMEN: nice pants, skirt, nice top, dress, flats or comfortable dressy shoes.

MEN: dark slacks, nice shirt, nice comfortable shoes and socks. Tie optional. Please note that some colleges may have their own guidelines that could include wearing a tie and jacket.

In addition, graduation caps may be removed at certain times such as pledge of allegiance, national anthem, prayer, or school song. However, different colleges have different guidelines, i.e. only men remove graduation caps (Sullivan, American Council on Education, 1997).

Spectators have more clothing options. Any nice comfortable outfit would be fine. Remember to put cell phones on silent.