Graduation-Friendly Dresses To Commence Your Next Step In Style

The time surrounding your graduation is chock-full of milestones and important events to prepare for. Maybe you’re browsing beach houses to rent for senior week or a post-MBA retreat, painstakingly selecting yearbook quotes, or periodically skipping class to do, um, more important stuff. But if you’re reading this right now, we bet your mind is consumed by one thing in particular: the agony and the ecstasy of tracking down the perfect dress to wear on the day that you walk up on stage and accept your diploma.
It might be one of life’s great injustices (kidding, but still) that this crucial and memorable look will be obscured under a shapeless polyester cloak for half of the day, but graduation day is colored by celebration, and we’re sure there will be plenty of opportunities to show off your frock once the ceremonies have ended. And who’s to say this outfit won’t stay in the rotation for many years to come? So if you’re on the hunt for a super-special dress to wear as you formally “commence” your next stage of life, stop right here and click through the 12 lovely gowns we dug up. And from all of us here at R29: congratulations.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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May we suggest this delicate and pretty floral gown of Italian origin for all of your commencement festivities?
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A modest puff sleeve meets a short hemline in this best-of-both-worlds micro-mini.
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A simple, soft sand-colored sheath will keep you comfortable while looking super-elegant.
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All-over ruching adds elegance to a body-aware silhouette.
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Sweet eyelet and a modest cut are perfect for a long day with the parents, professors, and your little sister.
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This dress has a classic silhouette with some seriously avant-garde details that puts it firmly in the “chic” category.
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The oversized polka-dot print has screamed “party” kinda since the dawn of fashion. OK — we might be exaggerating a little, but it sure is a festive option on commencement day.
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A flirty soft pink frock that's perfect for post-celebrations.
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We love the oversized brown buttons that dot the sides of this sleek linen frock. The super-skinny adjustable straps tie in a neat bow in the back.
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The lacy overlay on this a-line silhouette ups the festivity levels on a classic style.
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Slip into a pretty lace number for a feeling of fancy.
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A bright blue maxi dotted with pink flowers will look lovely peeking out from under your graduation gown.

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