Congratulations, you’ve finally made it. Whether you are at the end of your educational journey or at a pause between degrees, reaching graduation is something to celebrate. The uniform to do so? The requisite cap and gown, worn with a white dress. And it’s the latter that needs a refresh.
While you’re going to blend in with the rest of your (former) classmates in your cap and graduation gown, the dress is your chance to add a pop of personality to your grad day look. A white dress is a graduation tradition, but that doesn’t mean you need to conform to the masses with a boring puff-sleeve mini or tired midi wrap dress that have been lining mantels in their picture prominence for decades. Instead, switch it up with a style that feels more like you. Alice + Olivia’s tweed frock elevates the usual mini dress, while a shirred silk silhouette from Isabel Marant is perfect for those who prefer a flowy look. You want a graduation outfit that’s breathable so you aren’t sweating underneath your gown, sophisticated to show your maturity, yet still modest enough that you won’t cause your grandparents any distress.
There’s a lot of criteria to fill, so we’ve taken it upon ourselves to round up the best white graduation dresses on the market to shop now. Below, see the stylish frocks that are truly the best in class.
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The Best White Graduation Dresses for Women
Alice + Olivia Carli Tweed Mini Dress
You can’t go wrong with this timeless mini dress from Alice + Olivia. The v-neck and spaghetti straps give a simple elegance to the silhouette, while the tweed fabric adds an unexpected texture. You can wear this dress on multiple occasions, as it’s classic enough to don just about everywhere.
Cult Gaia Bella Sleeveless Button Front Midi Dress
Cult Gaia is an aptly-named cult-favorite brand, with its own take on traditional pieces. This open-back midi is no exception; it’s a chic sleeveless button-up with a spread collar, for an elevated halter dress aesthetic. You can wear this midi to the graduation ceremony for a look tailored to perfection, and then you can keep it for all work events to come, perhaps paired with a timeless blazer.
Charo Ruiz Lina Mini Dress
Known for detailed resortwear, Charo Ruiz brings beachy effortlessness to the forefront. Sure, it’s great for a beachy getaway, but this ruched, smocked short dress doubles as a fashionable graduation day number as well. Pair this babydoll dress with simple pumps or ballet flats, and you’re all set to receive your diploma.
Alexis Bree Mini Dress
We love a short-sleeve mini dress for graduation because it keeps you cool underneath the cap and gown, and this adorable Alexis piece adds a sophisticated air to the shape. Crafted from a cotton poplin, the breezy silhouette is cinched with a figure-flattering buckle waist. It’s an elegant and fun take on the traditional cap-sleeve dress.
Chloé Embroidered Eyelet Sundress
Delicate and detailed, Chloé’s splurge-worthy embroidered dress embodies the refined grace that every graduate strives to achieve. Ladder-stitched accents and subtle eyelet cutouts add a romantic, boho flair to the structured fit. Slender straps hold up a modest neckline, with eyelet to deliver playful touches for the perfect grad dress.
Patou Belted Shirt Dress
If you want something that’s a bit more ceremonial, this shirt dress from Parisian brand Patou is a great option to channel the label’s distinctly feminine, French girl energy. Pleated to a crisp finish, the ties around the waist accentuate the figure without straying from the unassuming appearance of this long-sleeve dress.
Zimmerman Wonderland Corset Midi Dress
A fitted corset billows into the unapologetically feminine skirt of this linen and silk blended midi dress. The floral detailing on the straps is a whimsical addition that creates an almost ethereal quality, and the modest length ensures it’s still on par with a graduation-appropriate dress code. This is the dress that you wear when you want to twirl the night away—and make a statement while doing so. Plus, it’s such a chic cocktail dress you can wear even after graduation’s over.
Norma Kamali Diana One-Shoulder Asymmetric Mini Dress
Norma Kamali’s iconic Diana one-shoulder dress is comfortable, chic, and enduring—it’s no surprise it’s always a best-seller for the brand. You can wear this dress beyond high school or college graduation, whether that’s dressed down with flat sandals or fancied up thanks to heels. While strapless might be too much for graduation day, a one-shoulder look adds a fun and flirty touch. From the draping to the asymmetry, the cut of this bodycon dress is flattering on so many different body types.
Isabel Marant Nalatia Shirred Silk Crêpe de Chine A-Line Dress
Feathering into an A-line hem, this dress demonstrates the allure of texture. Slip on this shirred silk style and accessorize sparingly—a simple pair of heels and dainty jewelry are all this dress needs, as it’s the star of the show. While white is a dream for a perfect graduation dress, this particular style is also available as an adorable black dress.
Cinq à Sept Madlin Ruffle Mini Dress
The ruffles that cascade from the bodice of this frock make this a dress that stands out from the rest. The scoop neck and sleeveless cut ensure you won’t be too hot under your gown, and when the ceremony is over, it easily transitions into a party dress, for all post-grad escapades.