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Rachel Says: A Graduation Style Guide

The weekend of May 11th is quickly approaching as UCONN seniors begin to stress about buying our cap and gowns, getting a tan, and of course, finding the perfect outfit to wear as we accept our diplomas! Graduating is one of the most important days of our lives, and it’s only necessary that we look and feel our best on a day where we pose for about a thousand pictures! Shopping for a dress and some cute spring shoes to go along with it can be time consuming and a bit annoying when you don’t know where to start. I have a few tips for success when it comes to picking out the perfect graduation ensemble.

1. Narrow your search: Begin shopping at your favorite stores, stores that are inexpensive if you’re on a budget, and stores that are specific to your needs! By this I mean choose a store that carries a wide selection of semi-formal spring wear, such as Francesca’s Collections, H&M, White House Black Market, or Anne Taylor.  If you are on a budget, and not looking to spend upwards to $100 or more on a dress, skip stores like Anne Taylor, New York & Co, and White House Black Market, though they have quality pieces. H&M, JCPenney, and Francesca’s Collections are great places to start, and budget friendly.  


2. Have an idea of what you are looking for: Like shopping for a prom dress it is helpful to have an idea of what you want and what looks good on you! Knowing your body type is crucial, as is trying on everything you think you might like. Color and style are also very important when it comes to choosing your graduation outfit! These pictures are forever, so choose colors that flatter your skin tone and dresses that accentuate your figure. Don’t do dresses?! A basic black or white trouser with a sleeveless blouse or peplum are also very fashion forward and perfect spring! I also recommend bringing a camera with you to the store to see how you photograph in the dress our outfit at the top of your list.  


3. Ask a sales person: When shopping, whether you have a good idea of what you want or don’t, always ask a sales associate for their opinion of what they may have. It’s always helpful to get a second opinion and often, sales associates will know of things in the store that you totally miss. Working at Francesca’s, I’ve recently had tons of college seniors coming in to shop for their graduation dress, with no ideas in mind for what they might want. This makes my and your job harder, so browse the internet, magazines, or ask your graduated friends to get an idea of what’s appropriate.


4. Comfort and style are key: Not only do you want your dress to be flattering, budget friendly, and fashion forward, but you also want to be comfortable! It is inevitable that you will be on your feet and sitting for the entire day. Choosing the right shoes, as well as a dress that you can stand to wear for six or more hours will make for a much more enjoyable day!   


Here are a few cute ideas for your graduation look, and keep in mind these tips!

-A bright dress is always a fashion DO but stay away from “loud” dresses with a lot of different colors or prints.

– A white, cream, or ivory dress is also a great choice; very chic, simple, and mature.

– A strappy wedge in a bright color or nude are ideal, but if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, dress it up with a metallic sandal or colored flat.

-Avoid floor length dresses, which are too formal and look awkward with your graduation gown. A strapless dress would be another style I would avoid for comfort purposes.

-Semi-formal spring is the look you want, so avoid too much color or dressing in all black!

Happy Graduation, Seniors!!! 

Rachel is a Senior at the University of Connecticut, studying Communications. Her dream and goal is to move to New York City and work in the Fashion Industry. Her one love next to fashion and styling is her horse, Jesse. Follow her on twitter @fashion1oh1 for fashion do's and dont's. Pinterest http://pinterest.com/rachgovoni/
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