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A dress for graduation
by Leslie Kay Lim

What should I look out for when choosing a dress for my graduation ceremony?

When it comes to graduation attire, follow the same slightly conservative fashion conventions that surround wedding party apparel.

You want to wear something pretty and classic that will withstand the test of time in all those pictures, as well as something appropriate in the company of people of all ages, whether it is your grandparents or young nieces and nephews in attendance.

Light, spring colours and textures lend themselves to nice daytime dresses. This sleeveless white eyelet dress from Banana Republic ($250, from 03-06 Paragon) looks like the epitome of freshness, both in colour and texture.

For a bolder choice, why not try this pink dress from Bershka ($79.90, from B2-09 Ion Orchard)? Despite the bright colour, the V-shaped neckline and flared skirt give it a classic, flattering 1950s feel.

Though solid colours are always reliably flattering in photos, prints are fun as well. Keep them subtle, like with this gingham and floral yellow dress from Topshop ($106, from The short sleeves and slightly fluttery hem give the dress some nice movement too.

If going for darker colours, pick something with a nice detail or unusual texture to add some visual interest. This teal dress from Ezra ($34.90, from features a sleek contrast piping.

Make sure your dress is knee-length or slightly shorter, so that it stays above the hemline of your graduation gown and keeps the look from getting too messy.

Avoid dresses with too many ruffles, cut-outs or weird embellishments that will create unsightly bumps through the gown or give it an inappropriate night-time feel.

For shoes, stick to neutral or metallic heels or wedges like this pair from New Look ($49.90, B2-04 Ion Orchard) so that your legs look long and lean beneath that gown.

This article was first published on May 30, 2014.
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