Graduation is right around the corner for seniors, which means caps and gowns are arriving in the mail and photo shoots on campus are taking place on sunny afternoons. Every year, seniors don Binghamton University’s official brand colors, wearing green caps and gowns. While green is a lovely color, BU’s deep green — Pantone 342, to be exact — can be quite difficult to match with your graduation outfit. If you are still struggling to find the perfect dress, shoes, shirt or pants to wear during your graduation walk or in grad pictures with your friends, read on for some fashion tips to look your best.

Earthy tones

White and black clothing are neutral and classic options that will always work with the green graduation gowns, but if you’re looking to step outside of the neutral color zone a tiny bit, an earthy color would also match perfectly. A brown, beige, tan or warm gray shirt or dress would match the earthy green graduation cap and gown.


Monochrome looks can be hard to pull off, but done right, they look stylish and put together. The key to perfecting a monochrome look is to use matching shades of the same color. BU’s color is a deep forest green. To match that color, wear a lighter green, such as sage green. Try to balance out all of the green with neutral-colored shoes, pants or a skirt.


Wearing patterns will allow the outfit to shine underneath the gown whenever it is unzipped. Whether your outfit has stripes, polka dots or a floral pattern, it is best to keep the colors neutral so that there is not too much clashing occurring. A great way to tie the patterns to the graduation cap and gown is to find a shirt or dress with deep green details. For example, a white shirt with deep green polka dots or a floral dress with green leaves would match the cap and gown perfectly.

Color blocking

Color blocking is a styling technique where an outfit has complementary colors to create a fun and vibrant outfit. For example, the outfit could consist of an orange skirt and blue shirt or a purple jacket and yellow shirt. Green’s complementary color is red and for the sake of not looking like you’re dressed for the holidays, different shades and tones of red would look great underneath the graduation gown. Rather than a bright and vibrant red, opt for a salmon pink, blush or mauve. I personally think a bright yellow or turquoise shirt or dress would be a fun color option for graduation and the whole fun in color blocking is stepping outside your color comfort zone.


Shoes are quite easy to pick, as the best shoes are comfortable to walk in and match your outfit. If you are wearing a neutral color, bright colored shoes or a matching green shoe would bring the whole look together in a fun and simple way. If you are wearing heels, just make sure you won’t trip and fall on the cobblestones on campus!


While accessories may seem insignificant to an outfit when graduation walk is mostly virtual, they can really tie an outfit together. Funky and dangly earrings or layered necklaces would look great with any outfit, but they would especially spice up neutral or earthy colors. If you are feeling really fun, there are plenty of graduation-themed earrings on Etsy.

Choosing an outfit for graduation can be stressful, especially with friends and family excited to take tons of pictures, but the most important factor to consider when choosing an outfit is to pick what feels the most like you. Seniors have spent the past few years of their lives hard at work to succeed in their classes and now are about to enter a new chapter in life. So, the last thing anyone should be stressing over is whether their outfit underneath their graduation gown is nice enough. Instead you should focus on everything you have accomplished at BU and the person you have become!