Graduation Fashion

The birds are chirping loudly, April showers have done their job and spectacular May flowers are making their magnificent appearance. It is no coincidence the bees are busy. It seems everyone’s schedule gets hectic in May. If you have a toddler, a kindergartner, a fifth grader, an eighth grader or a senior in High School you are probably in Graduation mode and planning what you and your participant will wear.

Graduations are milestones, accomplishments, endings and more importantly, celebrations that bring people together. Hence, it makes sense to dress for the occasion.

Without a doubt, deciding what to wear for this special occasion requires some foresight and planning. Whether you like to shop physically or virtually, it is wise to have your Graduation outfits ready to go at least one week before the event. Otherwise, you will find yourself anxiously scrambling at the last minute, and not only will you not make the best choices (fashion-wise and financially) but will probably end up not enjoying the process of preparation leading up to the big day; and quite frankly, this is a shame.

After all, it is the preparation that determines the final result. Your child will more readily and aptly understand the significance behind Graduation if the details are taken care of with joyful anticipation, attention and ample time.

The truth of the matter is boy’s fashion is so much more practical and easy to take care of. A quick check-in with your son about colors and patterns and you are three quarters of the way done. Have your son try on his outfit once to make sure length and width are accurate and you are done! Girls, on the other hand are a very different story. They have so many more details to take care of. Take heart though, here are a few pointers to simplify the process.

The most important thing to remember; start planning early!

If your graduate is between the ages of 3 and 5 you are still able to make most, if not all of the decisions about what your child will wear. Although a very important milestone, at this age, it is probably the shortest lived of all. Therefore, try to select an outfit that your child can wear again. It is important to consider your child’s personality when selecting a style. As parents, we tend to buy our children what we like; however, if you wish for your child to feel comfortable and self-confident, make sure you select something that mirrors who they are, not who you want them to be. More specifically, do not buy your soccer-loving little lady a dress that screams ballet.

Tweens and beginner teens (13-year-olds) are probably the hardest age group to find a dress for. Many of them do not want to wear “little girl” dresses, yet are not old enough or have grown enough to wear a “teen” dress. Not to mention, they want to be the center of attention while totally blending in with the crowd.

It is essential to be well rested and hydrated on the day you decide to purchase the dress with your child. Otherwise, it could seriously damage your nerves! Make sure you resolutely establish (and your child understands) your budget and guidelines for the dress before you begin the search (some schools have specific rules about length and shoulder exposure). As a general rule, girls in this category should not wear heels. Not only is it dangerous but unnecessary.

Instead settle for some flats, sandals or small wedges.

Finding the right apparel is once again, all about the “process”; therefore, it is important to try on a lot of different colors and styles. Take pictures on your phone of all the dresses she tries on (have fun with it!), this way you can compare and contrastthe most flattering options. If you are shopping online, you will definitely need extra time to return a dress or two (maybe even four), so factor in shipping days when making a plan.

Be firm but gentle when disagreements arise. However, if your young lady is set on a dress that satisfies all of the requirements, except your personal choice, be flexible. Your daughter will look and feel great if she truly feels supported, no matter what she is wearing. Finally, if your budget and time allow, treat yourself and your daughter to a manicure and pedicure. It is the best accessory for a nice dress.

The most emotional Graduation dress shopping experience is probably for the senior in High School. The quintessential milestone, the high school graduation heralds a transformation for all family members. Be prepared to feel all sorts of emotions!At this point, you know that the only thing you have a say about is the amount of money you can spend on the dress. You might be able to influence the timeline, but they no longer rely on you for fashion. If, for some reason you are still buying your child’s clothing use this as an opportunity to begin letting them make important choices in their lives. Afford them the opportunity to select. Overall, parents at this stage will see all of your hard work as a parent beginning to payoff. Your teenager will surprise you by making excellent choices.

Beautiful May flowers do not happen overnight. They require months of preparation to grow and flourish into magnificent expressions of life. Graduation Ceremonies celebrate the results of growth and hard work. Much like the flowers, your children have labored intensely to reach their developmental target. What better way to welcome and accept the recognition than with clothing that has been carefully selected and feels like it was made just to celebrate them? Happy shopping and congratulations on your accomplishment!

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