What To Wear on Graduation Day Male

What To Wear on Graduation Day Male

Graduation day is a momentous occasion, a culmination of years of hard work and dedication. While the cap and gown are a big part of the picture, what you wear underneath deserves some thought too! This guide will help you navigate the world of graduation attire for men, ensuring you look sharp and feel confident as you step onto that stage.

Suit Up for Success (or Something Close)

The traditional graduation outfit for men is a suit. This conveys a sense of formality and achievement. However, there’s some room for interpretation:

Color Coordination:

Black is a classic, but for a more celebratory feel, consider a dark navy or charcoal grey suit. These colors photograph well and offer a touch of modern flair.

Fit is Key:

Ensure your suit fits well. A tailored look exudes confidence. If you’re on a budget, department stores often offer tailoring services. A well-fitted suit should hug your shoulders comfortably without restricting movement, and the pants should drape cleanly over your shoes.

Summer Send-Off:

For warmer weather graduations, a lighter fabric suit in linen or cotton can be a comfortable option. These fabrics breathe better and will help you stay cool throughout the ceremony.

Alternatives to the Full Suit

If a suit isn’t quite your style, there are some dapper alternatives:

Dress Pants and a Collared Shirt:

Opt for well-fitting dress pants in khaki or grey. These neutral tones pair well with a variety of shirt colors. Pair them with a crisp collared dress shirt, preferably in a light color like white or blue. A light blue shirt adds a touch of personality without being too flashy.

Sport Coat and Slacks:

A sports jacket with dress slacks can create a polished look that’s slightly less formal than a full suit. This option is a good compromise if you want to look put-together but prefer a more relaxed feel. Choose a sports jacket in a complementary color to your slacks, such as navy over khaki pants.

Beyond the Basics: Ties, Shoes, and Accessories

The right accessories can elevate your graduation look from good to great:


A classic tie adds a touch of sophistication. Choose a conservative pattern or solid color that complements your suit and shirt. For a more casual vibe, consider a bow tie. A patterned bow tie can be a fun way to add a pop of personality, but keep the rest of your outfit simple to avoid looking too busy.


Dress loafers shoes in brown or black leather are ideal. Make sure they’re well-polished for a finished look. Brown shoes offer a slightly less formal look than black, and can coordinate well with a wider range of suit colors.

Pocket Square:

A pocket square adds a touch of class and can be a subtle way to express your personality. Choose a pattern or color that coordinates with your tie or shirt. Keep it simple and avoid anything too loud. A pocket square folded neatly in a puff or pointed fold adds a polished touch.

Comfort is Key

Graduation ceremonies can be long and hot, especially if they’re held outdoors. Choose clothes you feel comfortable in. Avoid anything too tight or itchy. You want to focus on the moment, not squirming in your clothes! Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or linen if it’s a warm-weather graduation.

Don’t Forget the Details

These finishing touches ensure a polished look:


Your belt should match the color of your shoes. A leather belt adds a touch of sophistication, but a woven belt can also work depending on the overall feel of your outfit.


A classic watch adds a touch of class. Choose a watch with a clean face and a band that complements your outfit.


Opt for solid color dress socks that coordinate with your suit or pants. Avoid anything too loud or patterned, as they’ll be visible when you’re seated.

What Not to Wear on Graduation Day

A Touch of Personalization

Graduation is your accomplishment! If there’s a way to subtly express your personality through your outfit, go for it! This could be:

  • A tie clip with a special meaning, like your school mascot or a symbol of your academic achievements.
  • A fun pair of socks peeking out from under your pants, with a design that reflects your interests or hobbies.
  • A cultural symbol incorporated into your attire, like a scarf or piece of jewelry (within the dress code, of course!).


Graduation day is a celebration of your achievements. Dress with confidence and enjoy this special milestone! As you look back at photos from this momentous day, you’ll want to remember it fondly, and your outfit should reflect the pride and accomplishment you feel.