Q&A: What to Wear to a Winter Graduation

December 4th, 2009

Q:  I’m going to be graduating from college this December. Usually one can find all kinds of style tips for graduation in the spring, but I’m graduating a semester early, and now I’m just a little confused about what to wear. I go to Texas A&M University, so I’m predicting it to be relatively cold (40s-50s), but I want to look sophisticated and skinny.  My question is, what should I wear for a December graduation?  I’m 5′ 10" and weigh about 165, with most of my weight in the hips & thighs.

What to Wear to a Winter Graduation
Pictured: Wool Ribbon Script Coat | $275 at J Crew, Silk Taffeta Bow Monde Dress | $225 at J Crew, Merino Rose Corsage Cardigan | $71.60 (sale) at J Crew, Mab D’Orsay Pumps | $79 at Nine West.  Here’s more information about this look.

Graduation, whether it’s in the Spring or the Winter, is a time to celebrate, and a rite of passage for you as you blossom into your adult self.  You can show your family and friends that you’re a grown up in a sophisticated dress or blouse and skirt combination.  But as it’s going to be cold out, you’ll want to dress in layers so that you can adjust to the temperatures inside and out. 

To flatter your figure, choose a dress (or skirt) that skims over your hips.  Wrap styles will work well, as will empire waist dresses and moderate a-line shaped skirts.  To draw attention upward, try a dress with an open neckline - or show some skin on your shoulders or arms.  J Crew’s silk taffeta bow monde dress will flatter your lower body while drawing attention up towards your upper body and face.

Since it’s cold out, layer up.  Slip on a sweater on top (note: cashmere is extra warm), and try a pair of pantyhose or tights and closed-toe pumps to help keep your legs and feet warm.  Finish off the look with a stunning overcoat - and a bright smile.

What would you wear to a winter graduation? Share your style with us in the comments!

Entry Filed under: Q&A,Ready Made Outfits,Women,Women's

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Gary  |  December 4th, 2009 at 7:04 am

    Any suggestions for men?

  • 2. JenX  |  December 4th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    very nice.

  • 3. Moni  |  December 4th, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    I would go with a dress with at least short sleeves, so that you can remove layers if it’s warm inside. Also, if you’re wearing a gown, I wouldn’t wear anything too poofy (like the bow on the dress), since it might look strange under your gown. A wrap dress like this (http://www1.bloomingdales.com/catalog/product/index.ognc?ID=443628&CategoryID=4356&PageID=4356*1*24*-1*-1*16&cm_mmc=ShopStyle-_-LINKSHARE-_-Crawl-_-Crawl&PartnerID=LINKSHARE&LinkshareID=J84DHJLQkR4-MM5.zTI7h7r3_.LIoG6XOQ) will look sophisticated with or without a sweater and smooth over curves. My best advice would be to try everything on together (gown, dress, sweater) before buying, since not every dress looks good with certain sweaters.

    For men, I’d suggest a nice button down shirt, wool or cashmere (crew or v-neck) sweater and wool blend slacks (optional tie). It’s dressy, but still warm and also easy to wear under a gown. You can get creative with the colors and/or patterns of the shirt/sweater/tie or keep it fairly simple. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, you can even wear thin long johns under this outfit.

  • 4. Ian  |  December 5th, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Another great example of elegance and flair.

  • 5. Sophia  |  December 5th, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    Oh, thank you so much for taking my question!!! Now I definitely know what to look for in the stores! Unfortunately I can’t afford the exact things shown here, but I feel so much better prepared for my major shopping trip next weekend. Thanks again!
    Also, I think I will use Moni’s advice and try everything on together, so I can be sure there won’t be any awkward bulges. :)

  • 6. Stephanie  |  December 14th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    I’m graduating this December from college as well. (from Dallas, so the temperature is similar to Sophia’s).

    I am planning on wearing a sweater top and a skirt (and I’ve made sure I don’t get awkward bulges under the gown from the sweater), but I was wondering if it would be best to wear heels or boots? Boots look great with the outfit, but I’ve found they look funny under the gown. :(

  • 7. Judy  |  May 9th, 2010 at 8:22 am

    It can’t get better than this one

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