what to wear: graduation & photos – guide to dresses

CONGRATS!!!! I’ll be sharing with you all my favorite graduation dresses at different price points and styles. I’ve not only taken my grad photos, but also have taken photos for many people and so I have a sense of what looks great on camera and in real life. But then again, you can LITERALLY WEAR whatever you want!!! These are just some tips I’ve noticed and picked up – for both college and high school graduation or any photo day for a special occasion. You can always reuse these dresses for brunches, events, picnics and more.

CLICK HERE for BEST SHOES FOR GRAD & PROM here (heels & non-heels)

tons of tips on my TikTok.. about graduation photo dresses, poses, makeup here, more makeup, lighting.


Generally, regardless of what your school colors are, I always recommend getting white, beige, or off white for dresses, rompers/jumpsuits, and pantsuits — if your stole is not white.

If you have the option to get a colored stole or white stole, I recommend a colored stole to really let that POP and your dress supplement that. I know not everyone loves wearing white, which is why the type of dress and fit is so important (which I’ll be going over below). After white, I love black, nude, and other neutral colors. I feel like the more your stole and your face can stand out the better. Yes, you could match your stole or your school colors with your dress, but sometimes I feel like your stole and dress gets mushed together visually.

You can always a fun and printed dress, but having one solid “plain” one could also be great & timeless. The dresses below are affiliate links so I do make a very small commission. ❤

favorite styles + links to dresses

general rule of thumb:

  • simple and clean neck & sleeves because you don’t want it to look bulky or messy under your stole & gown.
  • add the SPICE and fun back (lace, low v), side slits — this way it doesn’t distract from your stole

you want the attention to be on you and your beauty, not the dress overpowering and distracting the photo and graduation.

tap on the CAPTION of the dress photos below for the links

midi dresses:

so flattering even for shorter people, make sure you get one that hit’s your legs right, I think just around upper calves/mid calves look solid. dont be afraid to go get it hemmed accordingly; this is the style I ended up choosing for my photos and I was so glad I did!

  1. nasty gal – $25
  2. amazon – $30
  3. nasty gal – $27
  4. Lulus – $48
  5. LULUS – $58
  6. Lulus – $68
  7. Lulus – $58
  8. Lulus – $68
  9. Express – $78
  10. ASTR the Label – $148
  11. Revolve – $199

– cowl neck & straight neck:

this is really flattering for both larger chest and smaller chest girls because it’s kinda like “is it there or is it not there”. It still gives enough coverage and still able to flatter your natural body. For straight neck: if you have a larger chest (like me I’m a 32DDD/34DD), make sure you get a fabric that is nice and strong and flattering for straight neck. Cheaper fabrics can make it look “uni-boob-y” and unflattering. you want some structure and strength to hold you in. I like ribbed patterns and also some sort of spandex/nylon to hold you better with lift.

  1. Nasty Gal – $29
  2. Nasty Gal – $20
  3. Amazon – $17
  4. Lulus – $58
  5. ASTR the Label – $98
  6. Express (sale) – $67
  • wrap dresses: these are great an simple as well. make sure you get level of tightness on your chest that will flatter you not make you look super lumpy
  • A line styles: universal flattering for wait to hip; halter neck lines on top of this could look nice
  1. Lulus – $48
  2. Lulus – $58
  3. Express $70

pants suits & rompers:

  1. Lulus -$58
  2. Lulus – $85
  3. Lulus – $54

modest styles

highly requested from tiktok! I am not an expert in modest and halal friendly dresses – but I tried my best here to put together more coverage outfits. also dont be afraid to hem & tailor pieces to bring you the coverage YOU want!

two pieces & monochrome: easiest way to save money — match top and bottom and BOOM you have an outfit.

pantsuits & blazers & dress pants: LOOK LIKE A BOSS! And soooo chic. UGH olivia pope is PROUD! wear a long sleeve, turtle neck, mock neck, or tank top/body suit underneath.

1. blazer w/ edgeshttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16wcu/$45.00
2. tweed blazerhttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16wcv/$49.00
3. career blazerhttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16wcx/$64.00
4. trouserhttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16wcy/$35.00
5. trouser 2https://go.magik.ly/ml/16rcs/$84.00
6. express blazerhttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16wcz/$128.00
7. asos blazerhttps://bit.ly/32PxtUD$50.00
8. asos white pantshttps://bit.ly/3xoCUrH$130.00

maxi dresses: these are easy to find and also easy to tailor if there is slit or it cuts down too low. Some of these have slits so tailor or safety pin!

1. lace maxihttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16ute/$98.00
2. long sleeve 1https://go.magik.ly/ml/16utf/$68
3. long sleeve 2https://go.magik.ly/ml/16utd/$68
4. zarahttps://www.zara.com/us/en/long-knit-dress-limited-edition-p06873150.html?v1=81011634$89
5. short sleevehttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16wde/$128

jumper & romper: some of these have slits, but you can wear lace tights under! But loose wide leg jumpers

1. short sleeve romperhttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16utc/$68.00
2. long sleeve but shortshttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16utg/$58.00
3. long sleeve jumperhttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16uti/$88.00
4. wide leg jumpsuithttps://go.magik.ly/ml/16utj/$74.00

I hope this helps! Feel free to again, wear whatever you want!!! Hopefully you ge to find a design that flatters your beautiful body and soul and congrats to the class of 2021.


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