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Lulu Roe Nicole abstract print jersey dress, floral tights gift from my friend Greetje Kaminga from No Fears of Fashion, Very Fine Dance Shoes snadals, Hermes collier de chien bangle, citrine and moonstone statement necklace (all own) layering top c/o Cami Confidential

…. without looking like Mrs. Robinson. When you are over 40, you probably have watched the movie The Graduate where Mrs. Robinson goes after her daughter’s boyfriend. You give it a smile, but now what to wear to your kids graduation? Read this post to get some inspirations for the various venues of the celebrations and dependent on weather and the location.

  1. Your Kid’s Graduation Means You Made It
  2. Graduation Must-haves
  3. Commencement Outfit Suggestions
  4. Commencement Don’ts
  5. Top of the World Style Linkup No. 304

Disclosure: This post has affiliate links.

Your Kid’s Graduation Means You Made It

When you are the graduate, it is straight forward what to wear. The same is true when you are the faculty. You just wear the regalia. But what to wear when you are the mom of the graduate?

When you have to attend a graduation, you should celebrate the graduate of course, but also that your money can now be redirected to you, and what you like, for instance, fashion and style. 😉

The graduation may be a sort of family reunion. Many photos will be taken. Therefore, avoid to wear the latest It trend of this year. It may look ridiculous in a decade from now, and you don’t want to be the amusement of the graduate’s future kids. 😉

Sure, you don’t want to wear what Mrs. Robinson was wearing in The Graduate. A bombshell style look is not a good idea. Instead, create an outfit that is comfortable for sitting thru three hours, and can go from the early morning festivities to the reception after commencement.

Graduation Must-haves

Create an outfit that is classic, but sassy and comfortable for a day long marathon of inside and outside events. You will be on your feet a lot running from one event to the next where you will sit or stand for a long time before running to the next event. You are actually only interested in the graduate who invited you (when you are the mother, aunt or a family friend), which means that sitting thru 3 to 4 hours of names read and graduates passing the stage will be pretty boring. So have something to read. Put the book into the commencement book, so it not so obvious what you actually read.


mixed prints and layering for an interesting stylish look

fashion influencer in floral tights, abstract print dress over layering top
Lulu Roe Nicole abstract print jersey dress, floral tights gift from my friend Greetje Kaminga from No Fears of Fashion, Very Fine Dance Shoes snadals, Hermes collier de chien bangle, citrine and moonstone statement necklace (all own), coordinates bangle c/o oNecklace and layering top c/o Cami Confidential


It the graduation ceremony is in an open-air sports arena, taking these aspect into consideration you will need to pack the folowing into your tote

  • Sun-cream and sunglasses
  • Reading glasses and a book
  • A camera to take better quality photos than with your cell phone
  • A wrap or cardigan to stay comfortable in chilly air conditioning or the shade
  • A water bottle to stay hydrated
  • Rain protection (packable trench coat is stylish and works best) in case the weather becomes nasty (thunderstorm or rain)
  • Sun hat. No large brim as it will block the view for the people behind you when the event is in an open sports arena.

Tip: A backpack won’t work as it will hit kids in the face when you turn around and is an invitation for theft.

If the graduation celebrations are in an indoor ice arena like it is for the University of Alaska Fairbanks commencement, it may be chilly. Thus, a layered outfit is best.


commencement guest outfit suggestions for women in midlife

over 50 years old woman in a commencement guest outfit

Stylist in commencement guest outfit
Karina paisley print dress with Kieselstein Cord belt and buckle, Gloria Vanderbilt pumps (all own) and halftee c/o Halftee


Due to the pandemic, some universities became creative with drive-thru graduates and guests parking in prescribed areas. When you don’t want to idle your car for heating, it is best to wear a layered look like in the featured photo of this post.

Commencement Outfit Suggestions

Outfit-wise you want to be comfortable at all the different events like mass, commencement, reception, and later dinner. Think business casual style, i.e. go for a modest outfit in fabrics that cannot be caught in folding chairs or sport arena chairs, are not too sensitive to spills from cake frosting, juice or coffee, and don’t wrinkle when sitting for a long time. Go for a festive business casual attire. For your own comfort, avoid anything that can cut in and become uncomfortable.

Here are some outfit suggestion to look great and enjoy the celebrations in style and comfort:

  • Sundress with statement belt, fabric tote, and flat sandals
  • Straight or full skirt with button-down blouse/shirt, 2.5 inch (5 cm) block heel pumps, a cardigan and a lady-like tote
  • Jersey dress like the one in the OOTD (as it won’t wrinkle when you sit) with cropped jacket or wrap, bucket bag and espadrilles
  • Dressy joggers (not sweat pants) with white button-down shirt, long leopard print or striped jacket with shoulder satchel and open-toe pumps
  • Shift/A-line dress with medium size bag and wedge heels
  • If you are an immigrant, consider wearing a traditional festive outfit of the country of your origin

Outfit suggestion for commencement guest Victoria Victoria Beckham silk cat-print dress with GNW cardigan, and Esprit bag (all own)

mother of the graduate commencement outfit suggestion Sheath dress c/o Lookbook Store with own Great Northwest suede safari inspired jacket, Salavtore Ferragamo Vara pumps, and Jaeger tote

mature woman in an outfit suitable to wear at a graduation celebration Siren India Hicks scarf c/o Tammy Gray with own Coach bag, Via Spiga sling backs, Paloma Picasso sunglasses and jersey dress c/o Blue Vanilla (review of Blue Vanilla dress)

maturefashion outfit for a mom of a graduate Calvin Klein striped sheath dress with Moda International cardigan, Esprit bag, Christian Louboutin pumps (all own) and necklace c/o Almo Jewellery

fashionover50 graduation outfit for guest Baby pink dress c/o Lookbook Store worn with own Madonna True or Dare floral pumps, Esprit bag, and DIY necklace

Nicole of High Latitude Style in abtract floral print work dress, cropped scuba jacket and ankle strap pumps Banana Republic sleevesless abstract floral print summer work dress, Covington ankle strap pumps, Modalo Pippa bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, DIY brooch (all own)

maturestyle Graduation guest outfit G-III skirt with Moda International sweater, steal blue blazer, Aldo leopard print pumps, vintage Esprit bag (all own) and statement necklace c/o Almo Jewellery

fashion blogger over 50 in commencement guest look Ariana wedge slides c/o Vionic Shoes worn with own eShakti jersey fit-and-flaredress, and GNW floral print cardigan

over 40 style Commencement guest outfit Calvin Klein striped sheath dress with GNW cardigan, and L.K. Bennett wedge patent leather heels (all own)

style book author in blue white tan summer office attire with briefcase Karina polka dot wrap, Tommy Hilfiger ankle strap sandels, Jord watch, Hermes collier de chien bangle, blue Kieselstein Cord belt (all own), white frame sunglasses c/o, and work briefcase c/o thirty-one

stylist in graduation guest outfit Abstract floral print Eli Tahari sheath dress with Moschino belt and and studded slingbacks (all own)

style book author in non-wrinkle summer dress with cardigan u-knit summer dress, GNW short sleeve cardigan, L.K. Bennett wedge pumps, Moschino belt, statement necklace and bracelet (all own)


Commencement Don’ts

Here is a list of things to avoid in addition to dressing like Mrs. Robinson 😉 :

  • Forgetting to check the weather forecast
  • New shoes – blister alert
  • Wide brim hats
  • Tight clothes
  • High heeled shoes
  • Too much skin (large cleavage, cold shoulder trend, hanger dresses, micro-mini)
  • Backpacks
  • Not switching off your phone

Are you attending a graduation this year? Are you looking forward to the event? Where will it take place? Have you already picked your outfit? Let me know, I am curious. Also let me know when you have a fashion or style question you want help with, advice or an opinion on.

The event may be more interesting when you know how to decode regalia.

When you liked the outfit recipes of this post, and want recipes for all kind of dressing situation in midlife, buy my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.

Are you registered for my email notification to let you know when a post goes live? I’d highly appreciate it if you take the time to sign up and ask your friends to sign up too!!

When you like the outfits, why not pinning them to your Pinterest board?


Top of the World Style Linkup No. 304

banner of the weekly Top of the World Style linkup party on Thursdays

Welcome to the Top of the World Style linkup party.


Martina Berg in floral paisley summer dress with booties and belt
Martina Berg from Lady 50 Plus became Top of the World OOTD Readers’ Fav. Photo from her post


Shelbee in gipsy Bohemian inspired maxi dress crochet jacket and multiple braids
Shelbee from Shelbee on the Edge became the Top of the World Style winner. Photo from her post


Carrie in pink straight skirt, yellow cardigan, pumps floral top
Carrie from A Simple Lovely Life became the Top of the World OOTD My Fav. Photo from her post


Congrats Ladies! Grab your award buttons.


Gateway to the Party Room


See these awesome looks at the Top of the World Style #linkup party. #timelessstyle Click To Tweet

I invite all fashion and style bloggers to co-host the top of the World Style linkup party. Just send me an email with your request.

Photos of me: G. Kramm

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