A sleeveless retro sundress will keep you cool under all that synthetic fabric. A sleeveless retro sundress will keep you cool under all that synthetic fabric.

Graduation gowns are tough to pull off. They’re exactly flattering, what with their tablecloth-like shape and plastic-y material. Make sure you rock something sassy under that humdrum cloak and you’ll be set for post-commencement festivities. You can go for fancy and frilly or vintage and sweet, but either way your look will have graduated from boring to best in show.

David’s Bridal has several options if you’re opting for a celebratory new dress. Jaime Bradford, the Assistant Manager at David’s Bridal in Plymouth Meeting says that dresses with pockets are a huge trend right now. “The pockets work well for carrying lip gloss, camera, or phone,” says Bradford. A little extra bulk in the pockets will hardly be noticeable under all that polyester regalia.

Bradford also sees sleek dresses becoming a staple of graduation season. “You don’t want something too bulky under the gown. It’ll look weird in pictures.” Opt for a streamlined silhouette instead.

 

Similarly, Melissa Granum, manager of Philadelphia’s Sazz Vintage says “try to avoid puffy sleeves as they will cause the gown to hang funny on the shoulder.” But don’t let that stop you from going retro with your outfit. “Sleeveless dresses, such as the 1950s cotton day dresses and the 1960s shift dresses work especially well,” adds Granum. “They are easily dressed up or down and won’t be too warm under the gown.”

Commencement may seem to drag on, but the day flies by. You may not have extra time afterward, so it’s better to wear something versatile. “Some of the girls are really taking it to the next level,” says Bradford. “They’re finding dresses that can transition easily for parties and dinners. Sometimes you don’t have time to change out of what you’re wearing.” Just remember, as Granum and Bradford both point out, comfort is key. If you find a dress that you can can sit in all day, you’re already well on your way.

Bring on the bling

With the right jewelry you won’t feel lost in a sea of lookalikes. Go for something bold, like the metallic gem rings from Concrete Polish. Or go for the graphic necklaces and earrings of Philly crafter, Night Owl Designs. This will help you stand out in the crowd.



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