What to Wear to a Graduation Party

Graduation parties are fun-filled and celebratory occasions. Whether you’re attending as a supportive family member or an alumnus yourself, you need to know what to wear to a graduation party to avoid embarrassing yourself or perhaps your kids! At the same time, you want to be comfortable whether you are sitting in the bleachers or wearing a graduation gown.

If you aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry. Let’s take a look at what you should wear to a graduation party as a man. From what you should wear beneath a gown to alternative options for a casual celebration after the main event, read on to find everything you need to look your best.

Under-the-Gown Clothes

If you’re one of the lucky guys graduating from high school or college, then you need to wear comfortable clothes under your gown. Unless your school has a specific dress code, these wardrobe staples are always safe to wear:

  • Basic dress pants
  • Nice dress shoes (polished and shined)
  • A dress shirt or button-down either in white or black depending on the color of your school gown

Remember to keep it simple and comfortable. Tailored pants and loose shirts are best for helping you stay comfortable throughout your graduation ceremony. These options also help you avoid uncomfortable sweats if it takes place in the hot summer heat!

Some men also choose to wear ties under their gowns—this is entirely up to you. A tie can make you look more mature and professional, but it may also be annoying if it’s hot.

After-Ceremony Celebrations

Maybe you’re attending a graduation party for someone in your family or maybe you just want to know what to wear when you finally take that gown off. In that case, you have two broad options: Dress for a semiformal celebration or dress for a casual get-together.

Blazers and Button-Downs

If you want to dress for a semiformal celebration, the name of the game in terms of upper wear is blazers and button-downs. Blazers are great jackets to wear with your existing dress pants and shoes, and they come in plenty of versatile, easy-to-match colors like brown, gray, and navy blue.

Button-down shirts are obvious complementary pieces to blazers. You can also wear button-down shirts alone if you prefer to go without a jacket.

Dress Pants

Dress pants can make or break your look, so play it safe with tailored or relaxed fit dress pants that are comfortable without being too loose around the waist and legs. Keep your pants in a neutral color like gray or brown. Ideally, select dress pants that go well with your shirt color so they match or complement one another. Luckily, matching is easier to do when you stick with neutral colors.

Polo T-Shirts

Polo T-shirts are perfect for a casual graduation party. Remember to stay away from casual T-shirts like graphic tees.

You can typically find polos in any and every color. You can even go with a brighter or more bombastic color to reflect your joy.


If you don’t want to wear trousers with a polo T-shirt, you can also opt for classy shorts. Vintage 1946’s men’s stretch golf shorts are perfect solutions. These golf shorts feature 10-inch inseams to balance comfort, flexibility, and classical style. They're available in several colors, too.

Ultimately, Polo T-shirts and shorts are great for an after ceremony celebration that takes place outside and doesn’t require a formal or semiformal dress code.

Keeping it Casual? Alternative Style Options

If you’re attending a graduation party that’s even more casual, like a backyard barbecue, there are even more options. After shedding your gown and button-down shirt, feel free to wear a colored shirt, graphic tee, or anything else that fits your fancy. After all, it’s your day!

Vintage 1946 snapper shorts: perfect for a casual graduation celebration.

Aside from regular shorts or golf shorts, you can also wear comfortable and versatile snapper shorts. Vintage 1946’s snapper shorts are shorter than average with just 5.5-inch inseams and also feature comfortable elastic waistbands with functional zippers and button flies.

These shorts are made with 100% cotton--keeping them comfortable and lightweight. They’re available in a wide variety of both bright and classic colors: perfect for any guy’s aesthetic. These breezy shorts are also great for hanging around outdoors with friends after graduation.

Find Your Perfect Look at Berle & Vintage 1946

As you can see, there are lots of things you can wear to a graduation party as a guy. Just remember to plan your outfit ahead of time, and take your school dress code into account if it applies. Good luck! And above all else, congratulations!

For more style inspiration or to find your perfect look, shop our Berle’s tailored pants collections.