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woman wearing green graduation cap
woman wearing green graduation cap
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15 Graduation Dresses We Love

Graduation day is a milestone occasion. It represents everything you’ve experienced in college. You forged lifelong friendships and conquered your classes (mostly). You worked hard and now it’s time to celebrate! For a day you’ll never forget, we’ve collected 15 beautiful graduation dresses to help you start the process of choosing your winning look. You deserve to look like the wonderful, confident, fabulous graduate you are, so let’s get shopping!


Under $50:


This dress will brighten any graduate’s special day! Made of lightweight chiffon fabric, this will keep you cool under your gown. It’s ideal if your gown is a pale color, like white, so it won’t show through. The skirt also has pockets, so you don’t have to worry about awkwardly holding your keys and your phone!

Pins and Needles Chiffon Slit-Back Dress: $39.00, Urban Outfitters


Mint Condition

Simple dresses are sometimes the best dresses, and in this case we couldn’t agree more. The stark white bodice has a creative yet modest neckline, and it makes perfect sense with the flouncy, mint-colored skirt. A simple pendant necklace would top this look off nicely!

Pop of Peppermint Dress: $47.99, ModCloth


Floral Finish

Sure to keep you comfortable on a warm day, this floral sundress is full of color and personality. Pair with wedges or dressy sandals (so you don’t trip on your way to get that diploma) and simple post earrings for a fun, summery and appropriate look.

Secret Blossom Printed Dress: $38.99, Ruche


Elegant Emerald

Wow the crowd in this jewel-toned V-neck cotton dress. Its rich hue is dramatic and elegant, but still appropriate for a daytime ceremony. Simple construction keeps attention on you, and the fabric has a slight sheen and falls well over the body. Patterned heels would look lovely here!

Dress: $34.95, H&M 


Lace Attraction

Lace, peplum, and coral combine in this one-of-a-kind frock. Coral is a wearable alternative to pale pink that works on most skin tones, and the peplum doesn’t overwhelm the silhouette of the dress. Make it easy on yourself and wear this dress with metallic flats and drop earrings or a statement bangle to tie it all together!

Lace Peplum Dress w/ Belt: $27.80, Forever 21


Under $100

Teal Dreamin’

This airy teal dress is another great choice for the big day. The cut also works well if you decide to wear a cardigan later in the day—no details lost! For the truly color adventurous, add shoes in a cobalt blue or burnt orange to make this one memorable outfit.

Pleated Dress with Belt: $59.99, Mango


Tiered Symphony

Just like the delicate petals of a flower, the tiered skirt of this chiffon dress gives this pick a little something extra. The length is modest and it is light and easy to wear. Accessorize the look with a clutch in black or berry to hold your graduation essentials: breath mints, phone, and lip color to keep your smile photo ready all day!

Flounced Chiffon Cutout-Back Dress: $79.99, White House | Black Market


Cherry Soda

Get all the right kind of attention in this red dress with contrast hem detailing. The full skirt really makes this dress and creates a sweet shape. Easily dress this look up with a sky high heels and a statement necklace or down with timeless pearl studs and dressy oxfords or espadrilles.

Red Contrast Hem Pleat Dress: $89.00, Dorothy Perkins


Beautiful Buttercup

This streamlined dress is pretty all on its own with its cap sleeves, fun color, and drawstring waist. It’s also easy to customize to your individual taste, serving as a backdrop for interesting accessories! To jazz things up a bit, consider adding a wide belt around the middle to hide the ties and add more visual interest.

Cap-sleeve Drawstring Dress: $59.95, Gap


Sunset Shift

Make way for this stunning shift dress. It’s a bold look that would serve any collegiette well for a graduation ceremony. Seams on the front of the dress help keep its shape without constricting, and the bright hue highlights its sleek construction. Some nude heels and a chunky cocktail ring would transform this dress into an A+ ensemble!

Crepe Seam Shift Dress: $71.50, Topshop


Under $150:

Scalloped Edges

This delicate navy dress quietly asserts its beauty in small ways. A scalloped hemline and embroidery on the bodice accentuate its femininity, while its cotton fabric keeps it breathable for a long ceremony. We recommend a sandal with a stacked heel to complement the lovely lines of this dress.

Meerbrooke Dress: $138.00, Jack Wills


Tropical Paradise

The standout feature of this dress is its eye-catching print, certain to make a statement! Made of stretchy jersey fabric and constructed in a relaxed fit, this is the dress for you if you want to look great and make an impression with minimal effort.

Leilani Dress: $138.00, Lilly Pulitzer


Lush Lilac

No matter the occasion, this dress can go anywhere. Its next stop could be front and center at your graduation, and we would applaud your choice. The soft color and flattering shape will show you off beautifully! A dress this versatile is the definition of an investment piece–it’s classic and wearable and is appropriate for work and for play. In short, it’s springtime perfection.

Camille Dress: $148.00, J. Crew


Watercolor Masterpiece

Express yourself in this creative dress! The print is fun and different, with bright daubs of color that all look great together. The crossover lines of the bodice add another element of style that  marry wonderfully with the slightly flared skirt. These elements work together to create a beautiful shape all over! Peep toes or sandals would be a welcome addition to this dress, and keep other accessories at a minimum to ensure the look doesn’t overpower you.

Nic & Zoe Painted Dream Dress: $144.00, Von Maur


Sparkle and Shine

Just for fun, we’ll finish things off with this subtly sparkly dress! All over sequins and flower detailing make this piece a unique and slightly dressier option for collegiettes who can never have enough glitter.

Sequin Bow Swing Dress: $105.00, Miss Selfridge


You’ll look like a million bucks in any of our picks–which would you choose?

Rachel is a recent graduate of Butler University where she received her B.S. in Arts Administration. She loves being part of the Her Campus team! During college she had a variety of internships working at organizations like the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the online fashion and beauty magazine College Fashion. Currently, she serves as a Campus Ambassador for Button Me Up, a handmade jewelry company operating out of San Diego. She also works as a contributing writer for Levo Leauge. Rachel is on an endless search for the next book to read, the next latte to drink, and the next cupcake to eat. Any suggestions, please send them along! Follow her on Twitter @rkwendte.
Quinn Cohane is the Product Manager at Her Campus. She develops new features for Her Campus's web properties, including HerCampus.com, HerCampusMedia.com, HerConference.com, and CollegeFashionWeek.com, from initial conception to final installation. She collaborates with the Client Services team to implement custom landing pages, content hubs and sponsored content for client campaigns. Quinn also works closely with the Chapter Development team, training new team members on using Her Campus's content management system and leading the onboarding of new Campus Correspondents, national writers and bloggers, and national interns. Additionally, she oversees technical support for Her Campus and the uploading of national content. Quinn first joined the Her Campus team as a remote intern in February 2010; her past roles include Production Associate, Digital Media Manager, Chapter Advisor, and Study Abroad blogger during her semester in Copenhagen, Denmark. She graduated Cum Laude from Bowdoin College in 2013 as an English major and computer science minor. A native of Scarsdale, New York, Quinn enjoys attending theater and dance performances, traveling the world, reading, the beach, and apple crumb pie. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @quinncohane.