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#1
Old 05-08-2009, 10:55 PM
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What did you wear under your graduation gown/robe?

In 8 days I'm graduating from my university, and I haven't made any firm decisions on what to wear under my robe/gown/black shapeless zip-up long-sleeved polyester device.

To help me figure it out, I'm curious as to what other people wore under their robes. If you have any suggestions for me that you didn't wear, that's cool too. The weather is likely to be in the mid-to-high 60s outside, possibly raining, and my shoe options are black sandals, black Mary Janes, and grey-and-pink sneakers. (It's not the most opaque of robes and my bust cries out for a bra at all times, so "nothing" is right out. I also want to be able to take the robe off as soon as the ceremonies are done.)

(Bonus question: Anything collegiate and/or twenty-something style I should make sure I do before I graduate?)
#2
Old 05-08-2009, 10:59 PM
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Something suit-ish, I think. A decently formal dress should be fine. (I'm personally hoping my parents won't make me go to graduation next year, but that may well be futile.)
#3
Old 05-08-2009, 11:02 PM
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I wore a skirt and sleeveless top. Nothing very formal, but it was mid-June or so and it was hot out, and it was all covered, anyway. Some people wore shorts and tanks, but most wore skirts or dresses. Guys, unfortunately, had to wear formal pants although I remember seeing a few in shorts and sandals. One of those times where I'm really thankful that women have the option of warm weather business/dressy clothes.

The only important thing from the point of view of pictures is your shoes, but you also want to consider if you can stand for a long time in them, and whether there's a chance you'll trip while walking across the stage. I opted for more comfortable low-heeled sandals, but I kind of wish I'd gone all out and worn the strappy heels. My feet would have recovered, and I would have been that inch or two taller. At least at my school, sneakers would have definitely stood out as a bit strange.

And we only got our robes that morning, so stripping down to put them on would have been a bit awkward.
#4
Old 05-08-2009, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Carrot View Post
A decently formal dress should be fine.
Formal, as opposed to semi-formal? I thought semi-formal was standard.
#5
Old 05-08-2009, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
Formal, as opposed to semi-formal? I thought semi-formal was standard.
At my graduation 6 months ago, I was expected to wear a suit. Look at your university's website -- they'll probably have something up there about attire at your graduation.
#6
Old 05-08-2009, 11:13 PM
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At my school we wore what would probably be referred to as Business Casual.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rysto View Post
At my graduation 6 months ago, I was expected to wear a suit. Look at your university's website -- they'll probably have something up there about attire at your graduation.
I second this, your website probably has the requirements, if all else fails do you know any recent graduates you could shoot an email to and ask?
#7
Old 05-08-2009, 11:19 PM
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Rysto, I looked on the university website, and the only attire notes were about the gowns- where to buy them and how much they would cost. (The mailer they sent out was slightly more informative, saying that Native American traditional clothing and military uniforms are the only acceptable substitutes for the robe. But I'm only about a sixty-fourth Cherokee and not in the armed forces so that didn't apply to me.) There are graduation coordinators listed that I can call or email to check about the dress code, but I'm guessing that since this is Montana and there's no requirements listed, it's up to the graduates to decide how to dress.

Last edited by Leiko; 05-08-2009 at 11:19 PM. Reason: First sentence originally stopped before it was meant to.
#8
Old 05-08-2009, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jragon View Post
I second this, your website probably has the requirements, if all else fails do you know any recent graduates you could shoot an email to and ask?
(Sorry for the double post.)

I don't know many recent graduates- a good part of my friends are younger than me, drop-outs, or both. The ones that aren't are mostly graduating with me: I only took three years, and a lot of them took an extra year. But I'll see if I can come up with anyone to ask.
#9
Old 05-08-2009, 11:49 PM
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My school has also been silent on the topic, so I'll be wearing jeans and a t-shirt underneath my dignified polyester sack and extremely stupid hat. (Seriously: "Congratulations on your at least four years of [ostensibly] hard and dedicated work! Here, put this piece of cardboard with a cat-toy dangling from it on your head. It makes you look dignified!")
#10
Old 05-09-2009, 12:02 AM
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At my law school grad, I wore shorts and a T-shirt. It was hot as blazes that day, so it was a good choice.
#11
Old 05-09-2009, 12:12 AM
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My wedding dress, but I did not know it at the time.
#12
Old 05-09-2009, 12:14 AM
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No matter what you wear underneath, make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Sneakers work great there- you're going to be on your feet for a while, and I know for ours we had to do a graduation walk across campus, and then followed that by standing in line for 2 hours while everyone lined up to enter the stadium and everything.

So yeah- even if you gotta be semi formal or what not underneath, WEAR COMFY SHOES.
#13
Old 05-09-2009, 12:31 AM
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I was supposed to wear something underneath it?
#14
Old 05-09-2009, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaChick View Post
My school has also been silent on the topic, so I'll be wearing jeans and a t-shirt underneath my dignified polyester sack and extremely stupid hat. (Seriously: "Congratulations on your at least four years of [ostensibly] hard and dedicated work! Here, put this piece of cardboard with a cat-toy dangling from it on your head. It makes you look dignified!")
I am so going to use my tassel as a cat-toy when I get home, thanks to you.

Ro0sh, I am with you on the shoes. Except for my wedges which are only slightly uncomfy and the very beat-up sneakers I paint in (they started out comfy but are dying into worse-than-being-barefoot), every shoe I have here is comfortable. I think I've narrowed shoes to two options: the Mary Janes or the sandals. Both are super comfortable, and since I need to pack up most of my shoes to move out, both are good shoes to have out and available during the voyage home.
#15
Old 05-09-2009, 02:30 AM
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We had a formal brunch thingy right before the ceremony, so all of us were dressed in nice clothes but nothing too fancy. I think I just wore a summer dress and sandals, as did most of the girls.
#16
Old 05-09-2009, 03:52 AM
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A bikini, pearls and heels. It was hot out. And someone tucked a bottle of champagne under my seat, and it was so hot it exploded and made me very glad I had a bikini on.

*sigh* Such a long time ago...
#17
Old 05-09-2009, 04:37 AM
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Go commando.
#18
Old 05-09-2009, 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
Go commando.
Funny you should mention that...

I always wear undies, but first time I graduated I went to the ceremony after spending the night at my then girlfriend's place. For some reason, now lost in the mists of time, I had no underwear at her place and by the time I realised it was too late to duck home and get some. So I wore the immaculate suit and tie, and graduated commando style.

Many years later I completed another degree and respecting a former era, omitted undergarments for the conferring ceremony (deliberately this time.) A third degree ceremony and again, no knickers.

Hey, tradition is tradition...
#19
Old 05-09-2009, 06:26 AM
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I wore a suit and tie. I can't imagine a man wearing anything any less formal for a graduation.
#20
Old 05-09-2009, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunctator View Post
I wore a suit and tie. I can't imagine a man wearing anything any less formal for a graduation.
Ditto. Black suit, sober tie, like everyone who graduated with me. Girls wore semi-formal dresses.

See? (I'm on the left with the glasses.)
#21
Old 05-09-2009, 08:42 AM
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Sunday dress, hose and dressy shoes. And a full complement of undies.
#22
Old 05-09-2009, 09:06 AM
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A simple dress and sandals, and for PhD an aloha shirt, capri pants, and tevas (seriously, all that shows is the bottom 5 inches of leg, and I didn't have concerned parents or anything there; on a girl a 400 dollar skirt suit and 30 dollar short pants look exactly the same under robes).
#23
Old 05-09-2009, 09:28 AM
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I think your after-ceremony activity should dictate what you wear underneath. If your folks are taking you out to a schnazzy joint, dress for that. If you're going to a kegger, dress for that.

Back in the day (high school graduation) a girl wore jeans under her gown. It was just un-fucking-heard of at that time). She was forever labeled a rebel.
#24
Old 05-09-2009, 09:34 AM
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In high school I wore a suit and tie. I didn't bother to go to my college graduation.
#25
Old 05-09-2009, 09:42 AM
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I graduated last year, and I wore grey pants, a shirt of some sort, and comfortable black shoes. I'm female, but I don't own a dress and didn't feel like buying one. I don't think my pants-wearing scandalized anyone too badly, and if it did, I don't care.
#26
Old 05-09-2009, 09:53 AM
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My college graduation ceremony was held during a raging blizzard. I wore dress pants, a sweater, and dressy boots (not snow boots, although it would have been smart).
#27
Old 05-09-2009, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rigamarole View Post
Go commando.
My brother wore his kilt with full kit under his robe in HS, and of course went regimental underneath. He looked awesome but it was hot.

Keep in mind that the robe WILL gap or blow open at some point, and your grandma might not want to see you naked... just sayin'...

#28
Old 05-09-2009, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cunctator View Post
I wore a suit and tie. I can't imagine a man wearing anything any less formal for a graduation.
If I'm not mistaken, robes worn in many commonwealth countries are quite a bit more... revealing of what the wearer has on underneath than those normally worn in the United States. (For example, this versus this.) Here, no one would be able to tell, for example, if you had a jacket on under your robe; as a result, even someone who's "dressing up" will skip that element (IME).

For my PhD graduation I wore a dress shirt, tie, black slacks, and black dress shoes. The very tops of the shirt and tie were visible until I got my hood during the ceremony, at which point they became invisible, too.
#29
Old 05-09-2009, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJsGirl View Post
My brother wore his kilt with full kit under his robe in HS, and of course went regimental underneath. He looked awesome but it was hot.
You think your brother in a kilt is hot?

#30
Old 05-09-2009, 09:08 PM
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IT was hot! IT! IT! As in, out-fucking-side!

#31
Old 05-09-2009, 09:26 PM
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Charcoal grey suit, white shirt, school color tie. Hey, it was 20 years ago week before last.

I shoulda worn a tweed coat. I remember it was hella cold out on those bleachers.
#32
Old 05-09-2009, 10:37 PM
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Jr. High - Brown corduroy suit.
High School - Dark blue suit
BS Engineering - Ripped up 501s, tie dye t-shirt
MS Engineering - Same as BS Engineering
#33
Old 05-09-2009, 11:30 PM
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When I graduated from high school in 1966, the guys were required to wear black shoes and socks, black slacks, white shirt and black tie.

Except that my tie was one my brother had given me. All you could see with the gown on was the knot. When I took the gown off, the tie was revealed. It spread out about three inches below the knot and on the wide area was painted a very naked, buxom young lady.

I wish I still had that tie.
#34
Old 05-09-2009, 11:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaChick View Post
My school has also been silent on the topic, so I'll be wearing jeans and a t-shirt underneath my dignified polyester sack and extremely stupid hat. (Seriously: "Congratulations on your at least four years of [ostensibly] hard and dedicated work! Here, put this piece of cardboard with a cat-toy dangling from it on your head. It makes you look dignified!")
And if you're very lucky, the stupid hat will make itself look even worse by popping off your head at inopportune moments. My graduation ceremony was today and I ended up with a head full of bobby pins to keep my cap from making its merry way off my head 2.5 seconds before I crossed the stage. Other people did not think ahead so well.

And I wore a navy dress and a pair of black flats. My university didn't have any particular dress code either. They said that, ideally, we should wear dressy dark clothes and shoes (and avoid high heels because of the floor covering -- we were in our sports arena and the floor cover was wrinkled in places that could catch heels), but mostly just to at least wear something underneath, please.
#35
Old 05-10-2009, 12:47 AM
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For high school we didn't have gowns so I wore the required white, full-length dress.

For undergrad I wore a causal skirt, tank-top and high-heeled loafers which were very stylish at the time. Most of the other women in my class wore something similar - sundress, skirt and T-shirt, and heels type thing. I don't recall anyone wearing something "dressy".
#36
Old 05-10-2009, 10:23 AM
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You have to buy your own gown? My previous university, and my husband's, just handed them out the day of the ceremony and we returned them before leaving. So we just wore something reasonably presentable (a nice skirt and top for me and a suit for him).
#37
Old 05-10-2009, 03:28 PM
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Kalhoun, I am likely to be going to a party with kegs after, but not one with all the debauchery that "kegger" implies for me. I should ask my parents if they wanted to go to dinner after: this being a pretty casual town with even the nice wine bar fairly loose in its dress codes, I could find an outfit formal enough to wear out to dinner that wouldn't look out of place at a theatre graduation party.

mnemosyne, yes, we had to buy our own gowns- I had to do it in high school as well. Both gowns are nearly shapeless polyester sacks that zip up the front supplied by Jostens.
#38
Old 05-11-2009, 09:17 AM
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I didn't go to college graduation. For high school and law school, I wore a suit underneath. For law school they provided the gowns ahead of time so they could be ironed and what not. The morning of, I had a law school prep class so I wore the suit and carried the gown on a hanger. It was about 98 degrees that day.

Immediately after the ceremony (indoors, thank God) we had to return our gowns and caps, so commando was not an option. But even if it was, your legs and feet are still visible so what was I supposed to- bare hairy legs and sandals or something? That would look terrible. Girls can get away with that much more easily than guys can, but that applies to everyday wear too, I guess.

Last edited by corkboard; 05-11-2009 at 09:19 AM.
#39
Old 05-11-2009, 04:19 PM
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Long black skirt, nude stockings (I normally ecshew them, but this was in a coliseum which also had hockey games so we were sitting on wood boards over ice), white blouse and flat dress shoes.
#40
Old 05-11-2009, 05:40 PM
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Red Chuck Taylor All-Stars. With red laces.
#41
Old 05-11-2009, 05:44 PM
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For undergrad, I guess us women were supposed to wear a dress/skirt, but not 100% required, but I don't love wearing those garments and I didn't have a non-cocktail dress (which were bought to look hot in, not to be comfortable) so I wore capris and a shorter sleeved button down. The gown covered everything I was wearing but my collar and shoes so it looked like I could have been wearing a skirt, and I was way comfy. All the other girls who asked what I was wearing said "Oh I wish I would have done that instead!" when we were standing in line before we entered sweating buckets and being just generally uncomfortable. For high school I wore a dress because everyone else did and we were given our gowns that night, for undergrad I had to buy it beforehand. For both guys were supposed to wear dress pants, dress shirt and tie but some didn't....but the ones who did looked better.
#42
Old 05-11-2009, 05:47 PM
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For my university graduation, I wore a suit under my robe 'n' bling. But I agree with whichever poster said "match your attire to your pre- and post-graduation activities."
#43
Old 05-13-2009, 09:46 PM
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In case anyone is curious, I've narrowed it down to two options, both of which feature skirts I found in the laundry room. (The lost and found box isn't down there anymore, but someone left three really cute skirts in my size in the laundry room. I looked at them about a week ago and wished they were mine. Then I went to do laundry and they were still there, so I took them.)

I'll either wear a bright lime-ish green skirt and a tank top with Gir from Invader Zim on it, or a cute pink patterned skirt and a Harry and the Potters band t-shirt.

I figure if I'm going to be a nerd my whole life then there's no reason not to be one when I graduate.
#44
Old 05-14-2009, 12:59 PM
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I vote for GIR. Especially if you speak in a GIR voice all day.
#45
Old 05-14-2009, 01:41 PM
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High school (white cap and gown): White dress, white hose, white heels. (it was climate-controlled)

College (black cap and gown, black and orange hood): Black sleeveless sundress, no hose, probably sandals (it was hot and muggy!)

Grad school (black cap and gown, black and white hood): Black shirts, dress shorts (it was temperate)

I guess I got more casual as time went on. And high school was so shitty, it was a real celebration to get out of there and demanded an effort.
#46
Old 05-15-2009, 12:14 PM
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I think not wearing pants makes you look weird in the gown, and jeans aren't professional looking. Show some pride.

Dress pants, some sort of collared shirt.

Bring an extra shirt and undershirt and keep it in your car. If it's hot you'll be disgustingly sweaty and will want to change if you are going out afterwards.

Bring a camera, and a magazine. It gets boring listening to them call 1000 names.

If you're hardcore, smuggle in a bottle of champagne under your robe so you can have a celebratory swing at the end of the ceremony!
#47
Old 05-15-2009, 01:49 PM
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While I was packing up all of my clothing, I realized that I do not own a single pair dress pants in this state. I'm sure I have some back at home, but here all I had were jeans, corduroys, and this one pair of pocket-covered pants in a strange grey fabric.

Luckily I'm a girl so I can get away with the skirt wearing.
#48
Old 05-16-2009, 01:57 PM
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At my high school graduation there was a girl who only wore panties and a bra underneath. Unfortunately the robe was light blue, so when she walked up to get her diploma, the sun made it see-through. This was in 1972; we didn't show our underlovelies in those days. Jokes ensued.
#49
Old 05-18-2009, 03:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steadierfooting View Post
If you're hardcore, smuggle in a bottle of champagne under your robe so you can have a celebratory swing at the end of the ceremony!
The jerk sitting next to me at the third-of-three ceremonies I was forced to attend for my university graduation brought a bottle of obscenely cheap champagne... and sprayed it all over everyone in his vicinity.

Do. Not. Be. That. Guy.
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