What to Wear to Graduation for Men

Graduation is a major time in any young man’s life, whether you’re graduating from high school or college. In either case, you’ll likely be taking most of your photos in a bright graduation gown dyed in your school’s colors.

Eventually, however, the gown will come off, and there will be more pictures and celebrating to follow. With that in mind, it’s important to know what to wear to graduation so your clothes look appropriate both underneath your gown and after receiving your diploma.

If you’re looking for custom-tailored dress pants, shop Berle today! Complimentary hemming and free shipping are always included with your purchase.

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Consider the Collar

Wondering what to wear above the belt? Most graduation gowns have low necklines, which means anything you wear underneath will be at least partially visible.

We recommend wearing a collared dress shirt. This is a classic and safe choice, plus it’ll look great on top of the gown’s neckline. Choose a neutral color of dress shirt that complements your gown’s color, like gray, blue, or white.

Are Ties Required?

Ties may be the stereotypical accessory for menswear, but you don’t have to wear a tie underneath your gown. It certainly elevates the entire ensemble and can make you seem a little more mature. Typically, college men will want to wear ties to their college graduation whereas high school graduates can hold off, if they prefer.

If you do decide to go with a tie, be sure to pick one that's comfortable and that has a complementary color to your dress shirt. Choose a patterned tie for extra style since your dress shirt will be plain and neutral.

Tailored Trousers are a Smart Choice

Below the belt, you'll want to wear fitted trousers. In fact, tailored trousers for your big day are highly recommended. When you tailor your trousers, they’ll fit perfectly and make your legs look great in any photos. As a bonus, tailored trousers are more comfortable, which is a key concern when you'll likely be sitting for hours before your name is called up on stage.

Super 100’s Gabardine Flat Front trousers from Berle are a perfect choice for graduation day, and they even come in several colors. However, khaki or dark-colored slacks are always a safe bet. These semi-formal options match the general atmosphere and aesthetic of college or high school graduation ceremonies.

Temperature Matters

Look ahead for the weather of your graduation ceremony and plan to dress for the temperature. If your graduation ceremony is in spring, you’ll want to wear clothes that don’t make you sweat too much. Remember, you’ll be wearing a gown on top of whatever you choose. Light fabrics like linen are ideal.

On the flip side, if you have a winter ceremony, the graduation will probably be indoors. However, you might want a heavier fabric for your shirt, or even a classy sweater with a tie underneath for added style.


Closed-toe dress shoes in either black or brown are perfectly suitable options that should fit any of the other items in your collection. Just be sure that your shoes fit well. The last thing you want is to trip as you climb the stairs to shake the hands of your administrators!

Any Accessories?

Men also have a few choices for graduation ceremony accessories. We’ve already mentioned ties, but a good watch never hurts. You can go with metal or leather banded watches depending on your preferences.

Obviously, you won't be able to wear a hat since you’ll already have on a graduation cap for the ceremony. But remember that you can customize the cap in some cases! A lot of college students do this after they've received their diplomas or degrees.

Final Thoughts

In the end, dressing for graduation ceremonies is important but not particularly complex. Men have a long history of ceremonial outfits to choose from, especially in modern styles, so anything that would fit in a semiformal dinner party atmosphere will likely fit here, as well.

Shop Tailored Trousers from Berle

We hope you now know what to wear to graduation as a man. If you’re ready to assemble your wardrobe, shop tailored trousers from Berle. Browse any of our exclusive pant collections, and enjoy complimentary hemming and free shipping on every order. With more than 70 years in the manufacturing industry, our team has perfected the art of delivering the best pair of trousers available today. Your upgraded wardrobe awaits!

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