The big day is near—graduation! You’ve been looking forward to your graduation ceremony for months and can’t wait to make your family proud. But will they even be able to recognize you in a sea of identical caps and gowns? If you want to stand out and personalize your look, first find out what your school’s policy is about altering the graduation regalia. Remember, it’s your day, but it’s not only your day and you don’t want to pull focus from your fellow graduates, or worse, get removed from the procession because you’ve broken the rules.
If your school allows, it there are several ways to personalize a graduation cap so even people in the back of the auditorium will know who you are. You could write “Thanks, Mom and Dad” in paint on the top of your cap, bedazzle it with crystals or affix your jersey number and the school’s mascot on it.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking it doesn’t matter what you wear under the gown. Some bits of clothing can be seen, especially if you’re wearing pants. You may not have time to change after the ceremony, which means you’ll be going to dinner or parties and having plenty of pictures snapped in whatever wrinkled thing you threw on. You might opt for a pop of bright color in a neck tie or long skirt that will peek out from under the gown.
A stack of friendship bracelets, a chunky necklace or some dramatic dangly earrings will liven up your look. If you really want to get noticed, choose jewelry in colors that contrast with the color of your cap and gown. For example, if your gown is blue, jewelry that’s yellow, orange or gold will stand out more.
Unless you’re willing to risk an embarrassing fall on the stage, today isn’t the day for the 6 inch stilettos. It’s going to be a long day so keep comfort in mind. Try a trendy pair of flats or a stylish summery wedge with a contrasting toenail polish. If guys are going to wear dress shoes, they should be polished and white athletic shoes are an absolute no-no; you’ll be standing out for all the wrong reasons.
Don’t cake on the blue eyeshadow in an effort to personalize your look. Your graduation photos are going to be around forever. Instead, do a slightly more dramatic version of your usual look. A little extra eye liner or lipstick will help your features stand out even in pictures taken from across the auditorium.
Most of all, remember that you want to look back on graduation day with pride. Wearing a rainbow wig or replacing your cap with a propeller beanie cap may seem hilarious in the moment and it certainly won’t be boring, but it’s probably something you’ll regret soon after the party is over. Personalize your graduation look in a way that expresses your joy, but also the pomp and circumstance the event deserves.