When it comes to events, we always want to make sure we have the best dresses on the market. With graduation being one of the biggest occasions you could celebrate in your lifetime, it's no surprise you'll want to be looking mint.
Trawling through ASOS, Boohoo, In The Style and everything in between, everybody seems to have occasionwear or wedding guest dress selections that you can grab styles from. Still, though, it can be totes overwhelming to find what you really want.
So, DW gals, because we've found the BEST graduation dresses you'll want to snap up this year. After years of studying (or, ahem socialising) for that degree, you'll be the best dressed when you walk up to collect it.
We've even got the experts in to tell us all about what we should be wearing to the big day so that you know exactly what you're looking for. You deserve to celebrate a little bit of you.
Smile for the camera, pls.
What dress do you wear to graduation?
You don't need to panic when it comes to buying your grad dress because Katie Eastwood, Style Ambassador at Stitch Fix UK, has told us everything we need to know about buying that special dress:
"Depending on the month of your graduation, the seasonality of your outfit may vary but if you’re going for a dress, I suggest maintaining a longer length regardless, as you will be seated during the ceremony and short lengths can be a nuisance. Longer lengths will also be more visible under your robe so you can show off your outfit throughout the day - win-win."
"Remember, there will be lots of pictures taken on the day and these will inevitably be brought out on many occasions throughout your life! The question here is, do you want to look timeless and classic, or representative of fashion in 2022? If it’s the latter, explore trend-led pieces and embrace the bold - dopamine dressing is still hugely popular and tassels, sequins and embellishments are big for 2022, so don’t hold back on colour or texture!"
"If you want to opt for a more classic look for your graduation but still want to embrace colour and print, opt for florals, stripes or polka dots. These prints are evergreen and will be looked at fondly in years to come. Suits are also a great option for a modern yet timeless look - go bold and team a colourful suit with a casual cami and statement jewellery, or style a more neutral suit with a classic white shirt and a brightly coloured lip."
"My final tip is - don’t forget a jacket. When you take off your robe and head off to celebrate, you will be grateful that you remembered an extra layer!”
SHOP: The best graduation dresses to buy in 2022
Graduate in style with these best graduation dresses
Emerald green is a timeless colour, so make it your choice of graduation dress with this super sweet satin tie dress from Pretty Little Thing. Not a fan of green? It's also available in pink, blue and red. Chic.
Boohoo has a range of occasion dresses with the best graduation and wedding guest dresses out there. Get your hands on these babies, pronto.
You don't have to be subtle in your graduation choice - grab this hot pink number from Coast that will have you shining as you graduate.
It's your graduation, so you should definitely be the centre of attention. Sparkle the day away with this sequin dress from ASOS.
Florals are a perfect option to look light and breezy. This watercolour satin dress from ASOS is a perfect laidback but sweet graduation outfit.
Looking for plus-sized graduation dresses? There is a tonne of plus-sized options for graduation on the market. Check out this lace cream dress that will accentuate your curves and make you feel like a goddess. Even better, it's 20% off RN.
Looking for a unique full-length dress? This champagne satin option just screams sophistication. You'll totally be the centre of attention.
Ruched dresses are figure-hugging and if you just want a simple dress to collect your degree in, then this midi dress could be the one for you. It comes in loads of colours to enjoy, too.
Lipsy is a classic option for event dresses. Coming in a range of colours, you can pick up this lace bodycon dress that's figure-hugging, but not too showy.
A big event is a perrrrfect excuse to splash out on a dress. Indulge yourself in this sweet white organza dress from ASOS - it'll have you feeling like a princess in no time.
We've got heart eyes for this stunning embroidered dress. Because floral embroidery works for any special occasion. Also available in pink, black and blue. Stun.
Want a print that's NOT floral? This zebra print satin midi dress is eye-catching but pretty, making it a great option for grad if you want something different.
If you're not so much of a dress fan, don't forget that jumpsuits are a great option for graduation, too. It's giving off power-suit vibes.
Graduation dress buying: Tips from the experts
So what about the buying process? Whilst we can be a little apprehensive about spending our dollar, Martine Alexander (@martinealexander), Celebrity Stylist and Wardrobe Concierge, gives us the lowdown:
Buy something you can wear again
Don't overspend on something you may never wear again, Martine says: "You want to think of the cost per wear of what it is you’re buying. For graduation or a big event, people tend to spend quite a lot of money and you wanna make sure that it's something you can dress down (think with trainers or in winter with big boots and a coat) or dress up (with events, evenings and nights out). Make sure there are multiple ways to style this so that cost per wear is low."
Always consider rental, too
"If you don’t want to buy you can always rent; there are loads of amazing rental places out there, whether you want to hire a designer bag or designer dresses. It doesn’t always have to be designer too, there are loads of places out there."
Make sure to talk to your friends
To make sure you don't turn up with the awkward moment of wearing the same dress, Martine suggests making a group chat with your pals. "Talk about everything you’re going to wear so that no one turns up in the same thing. I think this is a brilliant idea. Some people like the element of surprise and some don’t, but it gives you the comfort of knowing you’re not going to stick out like a sore thumb."
Opt for something that won’t crease and isn't skin-tight
"You’ll be sat down for most of the day so opt for something that doesn’t crease and isn’t skin tight. If you’re going for lunch or dinner and you’re wearing something skin-tight you may bloat after eating or drinking. Go for a dress with a little bit of room in it so that if you are eating you won’t feel self-conscious."
Let's just write that down...