At long last, here it is! The most buzzed about post of the semester! The answer to the question: “How do I correctly wear my graduation regalia?” or, as I like to think of it, “Fashion Police: Graduation Edition!”
I was inspired to write this post last graduation, when, yet again, I saw so many students (and some professors!) wearing their graduation regalia incorrectly. I always try to do my part by fixing people’s regalia (uninvited… is that annoying? I don’t know.) to try to minimize the mistakes. But I thought this time around a pictorial how-to-guide would perhaps be most helpful.
Before we get started, there are really three main pieces to your graduation regalia, all of which are sometimes worn incorreclty:
- The robe itself. Yes, it should ideally be wrinkle-free.
- The hood. It cannot actually be worn as a hood, but it is called a hood nonetheless. The hood signifies many important things: your degree, area of study, and academic institution.
- The mortar board.
So, with the assistance of our models, soon-to-be-Communication Studies-graduates Cayden and Kylie, I bring you the DOs and DON’Ts of graduation wear!
Let’s start with the DON’Ts…
DON’T #1: The hood is not actually worn as a hood! Luckily no rain is forecast for the ceremonies tomorrow, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
The hood is not actually worn as a hood!
DON’T #2: The graduation robe is a robe, not a smock! Don’t zip up your robe in the back!
The robe is zipped in the front, not the back!
DON’T #3: Don’t wear your hood upside down! See how terrible this looks from the back? Don’t be like Cayden in this picture!
Don't wear your hood upside down!
Another upside down hood. So sad.
DON’T #4: Don’t be all black and white on your back! You need to show your USF pride on graduation day with the proper amount of green and gold showing!
What's wrong with this? There's too much white showing! Your back needs to be more colorful!
DON’T #5 and #6: Don’t wear your cap backwards! The elastic should go on the back, not on the front! And don’t wear your tassel on the left hand side until after your degree is conferred! That’s right, right before graduation, left after graduation!
Why is Cayden sad? Because his tassel is on the wrong side and his cap is on backwards!
DON’T #7: Don’t let your mortar board defy gravity! Ladies, you are the most frequent culprits of this major graduation fashion no no! Your cap should never be vertical on the back of your head. This looks just absurd (right Katy K?)!
Your cap should not defy gravity!
This is so bad we need another shot! Look at how sad Kylie is because of her cap!
DON’T #8: Don’t wear your hood as a sash! Your hood should be around your neck, not around your shoulders!
Kylie's going to her graduation, not a beauty pageant! Your hood is not a sash!
DON’T #9: Don’t be like Cayden… wear appropriate clothing underneath your robe!
Not okay, Cayden. Not okay.
DON’T #10: Don’t forget to show your major pride! That’s right, the white velvet indicates that you are graduating with a degree in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Don’t hide the white velvet… show it off!
Is there such a thing as too much green and gold? Only on the back of your graduation regalia!
Now for the DOs!
DO #1: Do wear your cap completely horizontal on the top of your head. No one wears big ’90s bangs anymore, so there is no need to move your cap to the back to preserve your hair. You should be able to balance a drink on top of your mortar board, if necessary. (Actually balancing a drink would be a DON’T, of course, but you should be able to).
DO #2: Do wear your tassel on the right-hand side until you are told to move it to the left during the ceremony. Right indicates pre-graduation, left indicates the degree has been conferred.
DO #3: Do wear your hood securely around your neck, with the white velvet on top, flat against your shoulders.
Look how happy Kylie is! She knows she is not committing any graduation fashion mistakes!
Cayden's so happy... he knows no one will be laughing at his graduation regalia!
DO #4: Do make sure that the proper amount of white, green, and gold are on display for all the world to see! What is the perfect amount? The white velvet should be flat against your shoulders. Let the white velvet show for several inches.
DO #5: Do show your USF pride by flipping the inside of the hood out to show the USF school colors! Don’t worry, if you do it correctly, it will stay perfect for the entire ceremony. Look at Kylie and Cayden below!
Ahhh, the perfect amounts of white, green, and gold!
Congratulations to all of our graduates! Again a special thanks and big round of applause to our models, Cayden and Kylie! Remember, don’t be a fashion disaster on graduation day! Be a fashion valedictorian by wearing your regalia in the proper way!