Tips for Outdoor Commencement Outfits on a Budget

Graduation Outfits on a Budget: Tips and Tricks for May Outdoor Commencement

Are you looking for graduation outfits on a budget? Look no further! We have a few fantastic tips and tricks to keep you looking and feeling great without breaking the bank.

Better in a Blazer

If you want a quick way to take an outfit from casual to smart casual, add a blazer. An easy way to do this is to take neutral dress pants in black, stone, or white, and add a white women's tank top and either a coordinating neutral-colored or colorful blazer. A blazer is an instant upgrade to an outfit, and with cotton and linen options, you can stay cool while adding one to garments already in your closet. If you are concerned about high temperatures, you can roll the sleeves of the jacket up to ¾ length for a look of easy elegance while keeping cool. You’ll want the blazer to fit through the shoulders and the torso, but you can also have it altered or, if you sew, do it yourself. If the blazer is unlined, keep it on throughout the commencement. If it is lined, you can remove it and drape it over a chair and maintain that luxe look regardless of the actual cost.

Dress Up a Neutral Dress

Find an old standby dress in your closet (A-line silhouettes are a graceful choice) and add a new necklace, handbag, or shoes. With a neutral dress, you can add fun colors or go for an elegant look by sticking with neutrals from head to toe. The great part about shopping for handbags and shoes is that there are always knock-off styles available that can give you the look of designer brands. They may not last for years to come like their pricier counterparts, but if you are looking for one season’s wear, go for it. Chances are that no one will notice that your cute flats or fashionable heels are less than luxe. They’ll just think they look lovely with your dress.

For a flipside approach, pull your favorite colorful casual dress from your closet and add neutral jewelry, shoes, and a handbag. Black, nude, and white are all great neutral colors for summer. In our grandmother’s days, they always matched the colors of their shoes and purses, but this is optional. Just stick with one or two colors in an outfit to keep it looking sophisticated yet casual.

Thrift Shopping Fun

Thrift shopping can also be a fun adventure when shopping for a graduation outfit on a budget. You might find just the right casual dress but stay open to different ideas. Perhaps you will come upon a fabulous women’s blouse that will work great with your wardrobe staple white or black pants and a pair of snappy flats that you already have in your closet.

When in doubt, a great-fitting women’s white blouse with black pants, black shoes, and neutral jewelry (either fine or faux) will make a smart casual outfit. When thrifting, be sure to check out the jewelry, shoes, and handbags available. You will sometimes come across fabulous finds there.

Show Your School Spirit

Especially if the graduate is a family member, consider wearing school colors. Depending on the colors and how well they go with your skin tone, eye color, and hair, this can be tricky, but it need not be. One garment or accessory in the school colors can be a nice way to look festive and honor your graduate. Perhaps a blazer, women’s fashion scarf, or necklace and earrings are possibilities. Just a touch will do. By focusing on one or two items, you can keep costs down and use your neutral wardrobe staples as the base of your outfit. This approach will also look great in family photographs or the occasion.

Polish It Up

Whatever you choose to wear, make sure that your outfit is in tip-top condition. Send your dress or pants outfit to the dry cleaners or iron them so they will be crisp and look great. Leather shoes and handbags should be recently conditioned or polished so that they look spotless. Keep your jewelry (either fine or faux) clean and shiny.

Be sure to wear good foundation garments, too. The right bra will make your blouse or tank top look smooth and hang elegantly on your frame. If you like a bit of tummy control or a smoother line from the waist down, consider adding foundation bicycle shorts to your outfit. They will add warmth but will ensure a sleek line.

Whatever budget graduation outfit you choose, have a wonderful time celebrating the graduate. After all, it’s about their achievements and the exciting chapter of their life yet to come!


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