Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Graduation Dresses

May has officially begun, so naturally, graduation season is set to kick off! I personally only have two more weeks of high school, and then I graduate on May 19th. 

I found the dress I will be wearing to the actual ceremony and my graduation party months ago (I'm a major planner!) and I will reveal that dress in a later post. For now, I've compiled some of my favorite graduation-worthy dresses for those of you still on the hunt for that perfect dress.

Not graduating this year? No worries. Many of these dresses are perfect summer staples, and are ideal to wear to weddings, parties, and the like this summer.

#1. Colorblocked

Stay right on trend in these bright two-tone dresses. The yellow reminds me of sweet summer sunshine, and would look absolutely darling with white wedges. The green and blue dress is a bit more trendy, and would be best polished off with a chunky statement necklace.

#2: Lace and Eyelet

Delicate lace and eyelet look polished and feminine, especially when paired with the right jewelry. I love this eyelet dress from Old Navy. It comes in lots of punchy colors and the silhouette flatters a variety of body types. The tiers on this lace Jessica Simpson dress make a definite statement, but the shift style keeps things classic. 

#3: Patterned

Looking for something a little more eye catching? A printed dress is the way to go! This geometric printed shift dress from Gap is bold in pink and navy. I think a pair of navy wedges would look stunning! What girl wouldn't want to don a Lilly Pulitzer dress at her graduation? This floral print is bright and sweet, and the lace detailing on the back is just too cute. White sandals required! Although a bit pricey, this Lilly dress will carry you through summers for years to come, and always remind you of your graduation day and new beginnings.
#4: Polka-Dots
What could be more fun than polka-dots?! Some people believe that polka-dots are childish, but I disagree. Both of these dresses have flattering and sophisticated fits, and the muted colors of the prints keep things grown-up. With these dresses, I would avoid overdoing it on jewelry and let the polka-dots speak for themselves!
#5: Solid
Sometimes simple is better! This coral dress by Tahari packs a lot of personality, with a tiny peplum and pleating. I love how it's styled with a little bow belt. This dress is just asking for gold jewelry and shoes! This dress by Merona comes in plenty of colors, and is perfect for cooler climates where you may not want to expose your shoulders. The cut-out detail is a cute touch, and the tie-belt will cinch in your waist.
#6: Striped
You've made it this far and earned your stripes, why not show it! The cool color scheme of this dress from Loft is bright and fun. I absolutely adore the navy and white stripes on this drop waist dress from J.Crew Factory. Very nautical! I think it would look super cute with a red bubble necklace and espadrille wedges.
Other Considerations:
~ Strapless Dresses: Strapless dresses and I have just never gotten along. Maybe it's because I always have really terrible tan lines, or (more likely) it's because I constantly have to tug the dress up. Strapless dresses are definitely an option if you feel comfortable! Just make sure the fit is right and get alterations or garment tape if need be. Optional: strapless dresses almost always look great with a short strand of pearls!
~ Peplums/Full skirts: I love a good peplum as much as the next girl, but under a graduation gown things might get a bit poofy. To avoid unsightly lumps and bumps in your gown caused by excessive peplums and full skirts, stick to A-line, "Fit and Flare," and shift style dresses.
~Footwear: Different schools have different requirements. Some schools require heels, some require a certain color shoe (black, for example), and some don't list a preference. Keep this in mind when dress shopping. You don't want to have to worry about toting multiple pairs of shoes to the ceremony. (ie: one pair for pictures and one pair for the actual ceremony.) It's a big day, and the last thing you want to worry about is shoe issues.
~How Many Dresses do I Need?: Looking for an excuse to buy another dress because you have an awards ceremony, senior banquet, actual graduation ceremony, and friends' parties? Yeah, me too. Then I realized it would be kind of crazy for me to have three separate dresses, especially since I was splurging on my dress for the actual ceremony. I decided to wear the same dress to the ceremony and my party (because I am absolutely in love with it!), and switch up the jewelry and shoes for each event. I have an awards ceremony as well, and I am wearing a dress I already have. This is a personal choice, but if you can it's always nice to maximize the wear on nicer dresses that you'd only wear once or twice. Then you can splurge and not feel as bad! Switch up the shoes and accessories and you can achieve a different look!
I hope this post helped you get some ideas for graduation dresses. If you have any questions or are in need of more specific suggestions, leave a comment below or e-mail me at
I can't wait to see your dress choices! Link up posts/pictures in the comments.
Cue the Pomp and Circumstance!
Stay Stylish, Stay Classy, Be Creative

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