While college may have been the most stressful time of your life, it was probably the most exciting. Pulling all-nighters to finish your term papers or study for your organic chemistry final will soon be a thing of the past.
Whether you’re excited about the future or hoping to relive your freshman days, your college graduation is what you’ve been waiting for, and we want to make sure it’s perfect.
Most people think that graduation is the easiest and smoothest day of their college career, but please allow us to burst your bubble. Planning for graduation can be stressful.
Picking what dress to wear, finding the right pair of shoes, styling your hair and perfecting your makeup all add to the craziness of the day, but with a bit of time and these five tips, it’s smooth sailing to that degree.
Say no to sleeves
Graduation gowns are hot. If you’re fortunate enough, your graduation might be in a nicely lit, air-conditioned auditorium, but most of us aren’t that lucky. Graduating comes with two evils: either you’re stuck outside under the harsh rays of the sun or you’re in a packed auditorium fanning yourself with a program.
The best way to fight the heat on graduation is to stay away from a dress with sleeves. Not only will it keep you from feeling weighed down underneath your gown, but you can also avoid those unseemly sweat stains if the heat gets to you.
Strapless and spaghetti-strapped dresses get the automatic seal of approval, but if you’re hoping for a bit of a sleeve, try a bardot neckline like in the little white dress featured above.
Sneak a crossbody underneath your gown
As you’re headed down the aisle to “Pomp and Circumstance,” you’re probably trying to stuff your phone, lipstick and ID into your bra, but that’s amateur hour! The best thing to do is invest in a small and sleek crossbody bag that you can fit underneath your gown.
These lightweight bags are perfect for carrying the small things you’ll need throughout the day and are virtually undetectable as you cross that stage. While the thick material of your gown will hide almost anything you place underneath, opt for a thin crossbody to keep it hidden.
Don’t sweat the accessories
While you’re stressing over the dress and the shoes, don’t worry too much about the accessories.
Don’t sweat the earrings. Up-dos rarely work with graduation caps, so chances are your hair will be down and your ears will be hidden.
Don’t sweat the bracelet. If your gown doesn’t fall awkwardly past your wrists, then you’re lucky. Whatever bracelet you decide to wear on graduation day won’t make an appearance in most of the photos you take with your gown on, so don’t spend all your time on a bracelet.
Don’t sweat the necklace. The necklace you pick for graduation won’t make or break you. While it may have a small appearance, any longer pieces will just be hidden beneath your gown’s neckline.
If you’re dying to wear some accessories, rings and anklets will be sure to make appearances in all of your pictures.
Save the pumps for indoors
If there’s one thing you want to avoid on graduation day, it’s being uncomfortable. Wobbling your way to the stage isn’t fun, and the best way to avoid that is with this important rule: Save the pumps for indoors and the wedges for outdoors.
Wedges are the perfect graduation heel because not only are they comfortable, but they’ll also keep you steady whether you’re walking on the grass or on a floor. Pumps can cause problems if you’re having an outdoor graduation on a lawn. Having your heel sink into the grass might be the biggest ingredient to a faceplant, so avoid them for outdoor graduations at all costs.
Shoes are the MOST important
Your graduation dress is important, but if we’re honest, shoes are a girl’s best friend! When you’re taking advantage of all the photo ops on graduation, you’ll realize that most of them will feature your gown and your shoes. Unless you’re walking around with your gown open, your dress will be cast in the best supporting actress role.
When you look back on your graduation pictures or look down as you walk up those stage steps, you’ll catch glimpses of the shoes you decided to go with, so make sure they’re fabulous. The solid color of the graduation gown can be a bit bland, so it’s okay to go with fun and playful shoes for graduation. A floral print or brightly colored shoe might be your best bet for lighting up the day.
BONUS: Have Fun!
The fact that you made it to graduation proves that you worked your behind off getting to this day, so make sure you have fun! All those late nights and 8 AM classes brought you to this very day.
Be proud of yourself, and make sure you keep the day stress-free with these tips so that you can snatch that well-deserved diploma. Remember: shake with the right, grab with the left.
Are you graduating with the class of 2016, or is graduation a thing of the past for you? Let us know in the comments below which graduating class is the best!