Graduation outfits for mom— how to look your best this season

This post covers how to make graduation outfits for mom to wear this season unique and memorable.

sample of graduation outfits for mom. Floral blazer, pink pants, cashmere pink t-shirt, pink sandals, pink freshwater pearl earrings.

Graduation is coming and mama needs some new shoes as well as a dress, belt, earrings, purse—the whole outfit! Graduation season is right around the corner. This year I have two middle school graduates and nothing to wear. 

If you’re a mom, grandma, aunt, sister-in-law, cousin, any female who has a graduation to attend this year, this post is for you. It’s meant to give you different ideas for what to wear to graduation. It may be something you have in your closet. Suggestions on what to shop for, or you may find the exact item that you must have. All in this post.  I’m sharing graduation outfits for mom to wear during this festive and sometimes stressful season. 

If you’re getting your kid ready for high school, college, or real life the last thing you have time for is figuring out what to wear to graduation. I’m here to help. 

These ceremonies are a big deal. You’ve worked hard supporting, fostering, and driving your kid(s) all these years. It’s a celebration for you, too. So you should dress the part. 

While you are proud of your accomplishments you don’t want to steal the show either. 

Showing up in your New Year’s Eve sequin dress isn’t the look you’re going for. Try to aim for a cross between Easter Brunch and a special work event with a splash of your personality. 

Infusing your personality is the one way to assure that you won’t look like anyone else at these events. Even if you have the same dress as another person, it won’t look the same if you’ve taken the time to make sure there are touches of you in it. 

A dress

Well, this is an easy one, duh wear a dress to graduation. But let’s make it unique. For example, try a little pattern mixing. If you wear a solid dress add some bold earrings and or funky shoes to spice it up. Or, you could go with a neutral dress and add touches of metallic accessories. Here are a few examples:

Earrings/ geometric pattern dress/ white Mary Janes

This mod geo-pattern dress is bold and almost masculine. I paired it with some edgy earrings and low heel Mary Janes. This would also be cool with a big bold pearl necklace or earrings to soften it a bit and some strappy sandals. 

Striped shirt dress/ pink hoops/ patterned clutch/ pink wedges

This striped shirt dress is darling on its own but I decided to pattern mix a bit. The colors in the patterned clutch work with the colors in the dress pattern (stripes). I pulled colors from the clutch for the shoes and earrings to tie it all together. 

Floral dress/ pearl drop earrings/ floral textured clutch/ pink slides

This floral dress is a tad more casual but still wearable for certain graduations. Here in California things are pretty low-key so this would work. I added a textured purse, a pink slide which is a color pulled from the pattern on the dress, and a classic pearl earring(with a twist) which dresses this up a bit. The great news is, you can wear this dress all summer long with flip flops or on vacation. 

Gold hoops/ ivory column dress/ gold and silver cuffs/ ivory clutch/ metallic knot shoes

This is a great column dress that is flattering to many body types. I love an all-white look, but I can’t wear all-white. Ivory is a different story. This dress is so sculptural that you don’t want to do much to it. So I kept it neutral with metallic pops that make it super modern and a little edgy. This is such a sophisticated look for those of you attending a more formal ceremony. This could also transition into the office with a pair of slingback kitten heels. 

Pants as the base for graduation outfits for mom

I know not all moms like to wear dresses. While I don’t understand you, I’ll honor your distaste for dresses with some other options. Pants. 

white tuxedo jacket, matching white slacks, floral bow tie at the neck blouse and orange slides,
White tuxedo jacket/ white wide leg pants/ floral blouse/ orange slides

The color white is so pretty for graduation. This white suit is perfect. I added a pop of color with the shoes and floral blouse. You could keep it all white with neutral shoes and it would be stunning as well. 

A navy jumpsuit is a great option to think about when planning graduation outfits for mom. Paired with pink sandals  and a bold navy and pink earrings.
Navy jumpsuit/ pink and navy floral earrings/ pink heels

A jumpsuit is a great option until you need to use the restroom. Bathroom visits aside, a jumpsuit delivers a pulled-together look with minimal effort. It’s like a dress that has legs. This navy option is classic but I added pops of pink to make it more spring and festive. You could do white or orange accents with this jumpsuit as well. 

sample of graduation outfits for mom. Floral blazer, pink pants, cashmere pink t-shirt, pink sandals, pink freshwater pearl earrings.
Floral blazer/ pink cashmere t-shirt/ pink pearl cluster earrings/ wide leg pink pants/ pink sandals

If you want to wear pants, but a suit isn’t your thing, then consider slacks and a fun jacket. Like this floral blazer. I went with a color from the blazer for the pants, shirt, and shoes to keep the look cohesive. The great thing about this outfit is that you can wear each separate piece in a ton of different ways. This is a very versatile outfit that you can wear pieces of all spring and summer long.

Other things to keep in mind 

Remember when planning your graduation outfits for mom that this is a day of picture-taking. Keep this in mind when selecting your outfit. Patterns don’t photograph great. So try to select a pattern that appears as a solid. Check that the color is good for you. 

Most importantly, make sure you feel comfortable. Tugging at your hem, sucking in your stomach or the constant readjusting of any kind is annoying. And it will show in the photos. Select something you feel good in without much fuss. This is a celebration of your accomplishments, too. 

Start in your closet. See what you have on hand. Perhaps a dress you already own needs a fresh pair of shoes. Or a skirt needs a new blouse to go with it. If you buy something try to select an item you can repurpose for another event or your everyday life. 

If you have a signature color, or item (scarf, brooch, statement necklace etc) that you like to wear, add it to your outfit. Work it in somehow. If you love pink but buy a blue dress, add a pink necklace. Adding the signature items or colors is what will make everything you wear unique.

And have fun. Enjoy the day and revel in how great your kid(s) have turned out thanks to all your hard work.

Nice job mama!



I show women over 50 how to get noticed, stay relevant, and be connected through their wardrobe. Getting dressed is something you have to do each day, why not make it fun.



Grab your copy of How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

    As seen in...