Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Graduation outfits: The lowdown

This time last year I went through the stressful, joyous and rather sweaty event that was my university graduation. I thought I'd share some advice on the subject of your graduation look, so that you can avoid wardrobe malfunctions and make sure those official photos look great.

1. Those hats will squash the life out of your hair. If you're going for voluminous 'do then add boost to the sides and lengths of your hair. I went for a wavy look but it ended up a little poodle like in the end after all the bounce I added to the roots was brought promptly back down to earth by both some serious humidity (it was the hottest day of the year) and that snug black cap. I had a full fringe at the time, and learnt the hard way that I should have trimmed a few millimetres shorter than I usually would to avoid it being squished into my eyes. You will also probably get a sweaty head.

2. Safety pins will save the day. Those gowns are heavy and are frankly designed to be prevented from falling off by a shirt collar and buttons (err, gender inequality anyone?). The only way we could stop it from continuously slipping off was to safety pin the gown and hood to each other and then to my dress. The lacey fabric I went for didn't exactly thank me but it saved a whole lot of hassle. Bottom line, if you're going designer for the day make sure there are some seams/areas around the shoulders that you can discretely pin your grown to without ruining the dress.

3. Not everybody will take to the stage in heels. I don't wear heels. I just don't. I'm knocking on 5'7" so I really don't need to be towering any higher, and my skinny ankles don't enjoy the balancing act. I wore a slight kitten heel of maybe an inch and a half, if that. It was doable and I didn't stack it on the stage, but a lot of ladies turned up in flats or pretty sandals so don't feel obliged to don stilettos. I changed into flats as soon as the ceremony was over.

4. There's no need to coordinate your dress with your gown colours. This was perhaps the most hotly debated subject amongst me and my friends. We had an interesting hood colour of blue and orange, which aren't the easiest to work with. I played it safe and opted for a navy number, but I wish I had been more daring and gone for a clashing colour - maybe a pinky red or green. If you like the dress then don't worry about it, just buy it!

5. Be equipped for getting sweaty and shiny. Carry a clutch or leave a bag with your family and make sure it contains some products to get you through a summer's day. You'll want some powder and blotting paper on hand to ensure the sheen of a long day doesn't creep into any of the photos, as well as some body spray or mist to keep you cool and fresh!

All in all, have a great time. You'll probably stop caring about what you look like in all the excitement but if you plan ahead then the whole process will be a lot less stressful!



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