How to properly a wear graduation gown

Updated April 17, 2017

When graduation day is approaching, graduates have a lot to deal with. Whether it's a high school or college graduation, most graduates are finishing up any assignments or applications and focusing on what happens after graduation. When it comes to wearing a graduation gown, however, most graduates don't give it the attention it deserves. Your gown will be captured in the many photos of you and you will want to look your best on your proud day.

Check to see that your graduation gown is the proper size when you receive it. Make sure that you have your gown, cap, tassel and any hoods, honour chords or honour stoles that accompany your gown. These accessories will depend on what type of graduation you are taking part in. College graduation gowns will come with a hood that designates the type of degree you are receiving and the honour chords or honour stoles indicate your level of grade point average or honour societies you may belong to.

Plan the outfit you will wear underneath your graduation gown. It is important to realise that your feet will be showing from beneath your gown. Try on your outfit with your gown on top to get a feel for what it will look like. You will want to change your outfit if part of your dress sticks out from underneath the gown or if your shoes don't look appropriate. White gowns can be translucent, so you will want to avoid wearing bright colours underneath most white gowns.

Iron your graduation gown before the big day. Gowns become wrinkled during shipping and may need some extra care before worn. Many graduation gowns are made from polyester and can be ironed on a very low setting. Gowns made from acetate cannot be ironed and should be dry cleaned instead.

Put the gown on the same way you would a jacket or zip-up shirt. Zip the gown all the way up making sure it is securely fastened at the top. Attach the academic hood to the gown with the provided loop and safety pin. The academic hood is fastened on the inside front of the gown and drapes over the head, hanging down the back of the gown.

Drape any honour chords and honour stoles around your neck. These chords and stoles should hang evenly in the front. You may want to place the flat stole first and a chord on top so that they lay nicely without tangling. Add your cap and tassel accordingly. Hair clips can be used to fasten the cap to your hair. Remember to stand tall and carry yourself with confidence.

Things You'll Need

  • Iron
  • Safety pins
  • Hair clips
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About the Author

Megan Curley has been writing professionally since 2005. Her work has appeared in the sports publication "Mets Magazine," as well as the literary magazine "Trillium," amongst others. Curley is currently a copy editor at Professional Sports Publications, Inc. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication arts, with a concentration in creative writing and media criticism, from Ramapo College of New Jersey.