Casual Style

Graduation Party Outfit Ideas to Nail the Guest Dress Code

by Rebecca Casamayor

The grad party dress code presents a unique challenge; you want an outfit that’s easy, casual, and effortless yet offers an air of polished sophistication. In need of some great graduation party outfit ideas? Try one of these fail-safe but stylish looks this season.

The Light Summer Blazer

We’re not talking about the structured, dark-colored blazer that you might wear to the office, but a less formal jacket in a light-colored canvas or a multi-colored stripe fabric. This lighter layer will look just as smart, without appearing too sharp or unapproachable at a party. Layer a jacket like this over anything from a sweet cotton summer dress to classic chinos, elevating all manner of styles from casual to chic. If the party is outdoors, this piece is your new best friend.


The Little Knit Dress

A jersey or knitted dress is a perfect solution to your grad party style dilemmas. Why? As the guest, not the grad, you don’t want to wear a dress that’s so formal it looks like your big day. What the LKD, or little knit dress, offers is an instantly more casual approach, thanks to the softer material that reads like a less formal fabric than, say, a woven chiffon or sharply tailored number. Look for soft skater silhouettes and easy body-con T-shirt shapes that will showcase your figure and style easily with flats if you don’t want to wear heels.

The Wide-Leg Jumpsuit

Jumpsuits are a mainstay in any party season wardrobe, but the wide-leg jumpsuit works particularly well for a grad party, thanks to its flowing proportions. Unlike a tailored, fitted jumpsuit, which would cut a more formal silhouette, a wide-leg style will read more like a party-ready maxi dress. Pick a summer-ready print, like florals, geo-tiles, or Ikat motifs, and pair it with espadrilles or cork wedge heels to complete the ensemble.

The Pastel Pants

Want to still channel your signature elegant silhouette but make it grad party-appropriate? Simply switch up the color combinations. Where you might wear navy, gray, or black tailored trousers for the office, you could try the same trouser style in pastel colors—lemon, pale pink, mint, or lilac—for a winning off-duty look. To keep the outfit in the right mood for the party, try tonal dressing with a similarly colored knit top and kitten heels, or just add a classic white shirt and flats.


And Finally, Footwear

You can’t forget the shoes—but which ones? Think about the location of the grad party. Will you be spending a lot of time on grass? If the answer is yes, you need to assess your summer shoe wardrobe. Raffia block heel sandals could become your new best friends. The look of the material screams summer, and they will add height and polish to your look. At the end of the day, you’ll find that these shoes are comfortable and easy to walk in, all while looking beautifully effortless.


There are many ways to tackle the tricky grad party dress code, so there’s no need to panic. From easy summer dresses to wear-with-everything jackets, start experimenting with your style to find the best solution for you.

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