Graduation Outfit Tips: How to Wear a Graduation Hood Properly

Graduating is a big accomplishment and deserves to be celebrated! In this blog post, we’ll cover what a graduation outfit typically includes, how to wear a graduation hood properly, how to secure the hood, and what to wear underneath the graduation cloak. Read on!
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how to wear a graduation hood

What Does a Graduation Outfit Include? 

Before we tell you how to wear a graduation hood, let’s make sure what else you’ll be wearing. A graduation outfit typically includes a gown (the long flowy part), a hood (the colorful party that drapes over your shoulders), and a mortarboard (aka graduation cap). Your school should provide you with your gown and mortarboard, but you may have to purchase your hood separately. 

About Graduation Hood Colors

how to wear a graduation hood man

While the colors and styles of hoods vary depending on the degree being awarded, there is typically a great deal of symbolism associated with the colors. For example, doctoral students often wear hoods lined with velvet in the color that represents their area of study. In some cases, students may choose to have their hoods made from a family tartan or other fabric that has personal significance. 

While there are many options for customization, most schools do have guidelines about what colors are appropriate for graduation hoods. As a result, it is important to check with your school before making any decisions about your commencement attire.

How to Wear a Graduation Hood Properly 

Generally, you will put the hood on after you have received your diploma or degree. The hood is then draped over your shoulders, with the point resting at the center of your back. The sleeves of the gown should be showing in front, and the tassel should be hanging down from the hood’s left side. If you need help adjusting your hood, ask a friend or family member – or even a faculty member. And that’s how to wear a graduation hood!

Graduation Hood Before the Ceremony

It is a common question among graduation robes wearers – what do I do with my hood before the ceremony? The answer may depend on the type of hood you are wearing. If you are wearing a doctoral gown, the hood should be draped over your left shoulder so that the colored lining is visible. If you are wearing a Master’s gown, the hood should be draped over your right shoulder. For both Doctoral and Master’s gowns, the hood should be allowed to fall naturally down your back. Some people choose to fasten their hoods at the throat with a hook or pin, but this is not necessary. 

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How to Secure the Hood

Now that we know how to wear a graduation hood, let’s talk about how to secure it. If your hood is too big or too loose, you can use bobby pins. We recommend using at least two bobby pins on each side for extra security. Some people use tape, however, it may look unsightly. If you don’t have any bobby pins, safety pins should do the trick.  

Remember to Consult Your School!

how to wear a graduation hood man holding his cap

Graduating from college is a significant milestone, and many students choose to mark the occasion by wearing a hood and gown. However, it is important to consult with the school in advance to ensure that you are following the correct guidelines. Each school has its own rules regarding what type of hood and gown should be worn, and failing to follow these guidelines could result in being asked to leave the ceremony. Read our other blog post on what to wear under a graduation gown.

In addition, some schools have different requirements for graduate and undergraduate students. For example, undergraduates might be required to wear a black gown with a white collar, while graduates would wear a black gown with a gold collar. Consulting with the school in advance will help to ensure that you are appropriately attired on your big day.

We hope this guide was helpful in demystifying how to wear a graduation hood! Wearing one may seem like a daunting task, but following these simple steps will ensure that you look sharp and feel confident on your big day. Congrats grads!

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