All those hours sitting in lectures, cramming for exams, and writing long reports has finally come to an end. Let the graduation celebrations begin! Don’t be bogged down with last-minute decisions. Be smart and cross out crucial to-do items off your list with our handy cheat sheet made to insure that your special day goes about as flawlessly as possible. First crucial decision to make: The dress, of course!

 

1. DRESSED TO KILL

The ceremonial robe can complicate the look but it doesn’t mean your dress can’t still make a major fashion statement. This season’s styles are tailor-made to stand out. Whether you want to look like a princess or opting for sexy sophistication, your graduation ceremony dress must be a winner. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when making your purchase. Shop for a stylish frock that is breathable and comfortable. The graduation ceremony consists of a lot of sitting and standing. You want a dress that can withstand the day and stay wrinkled-free. The walk across the stage is a pivotal moment. The gown you select should not be too cumbersome and unwieldy. Since the robe will most likely be a dark color, select a dress or gown in a vibrant hue like Tadashi Shoji’s cocktail dresses in green or blue violet.

 

2. THE MANE EVENT

There is absolutely no way around the graduation cap a.k.a. the mortarboard. If you are going for an elaborate hairdo, test it out with the cap before fully committing. Some ceremonies are held outdoors so take into account any outdoor elements like wind and humidity and how that might affect your hairstyle.

 

3. DON'T SKIMP ON MEALS

Perhaps your graduation ceremony lands smack dab in the middle of the day. Do not overlook the most important meal of the day and skip breakfast. The ceremony will drag on for a while and you will need fuel to keep alert. Be smart and also pack a light snack.

 

4. IN THE CLUTCH

An overloaded purse will break your streamlined graduation look. Downsize to a dainty clutch that is chic and adds a splash of color or texture. Tadashi Shoji’s embroidered clutch features 3D blossom-motifs that really stand out in a sea of boring robes. What to pack? Extra bobby pins for your hair, snacks, your favorite lipstick, and a phone charger. Here’s a list of portable chargers.

 

5. TIMELESS BEAUTY

Your makeup must last through a long ceremony. A dramatic eye and a hint of shimmer will work but don’t go overboard. You’re not going to a nightclub. Elle magazine offers some great tips on how to sustain long-lasting makeup.

 

6. STEP UP

Another way to break from the sea of graduation robes is to select the right heel to compliment your outfit. Don’t forget that the shoes you wear are the ones that will take you across the stage to accept your diploma. You don’t want to fall or trip so think twice before selecting towering, uncomfortable new stilettos.

 

7. PRACTICE THAT POSE

Don’t stress over having to document that special day. Designate someone in your family, or friends, to take pictures. Make sure you’ve practiced that picture-perfect pose and angle. Allure offers these seven tricks for looking fantastic in photos.

 

8. THE AFTER PARTY

Because May is high season when it comes to graduations, reservations may be hard to come by. Plan in advance and secure a place to eat at your favorite restaurant. You can always download an app to make this a breeze. OpenTable is an easy choice.

 

9. BE A FAN

The day your commencement ceremony may very well land on one of the hottest day of the year. Don’t be a wilting flower and bring a paper fan. Go full on with an ornate fan like this one.

 

10. ENJOY YOURSELF

Let go of the stress and allow yourself to truly soak in the activities. This is the one moment that you don’t want to miss. Celebrate the accomplishment and treat yourself for a job well done.