Is it Rude to Wear White to a Graduation?

Graduations, whether your own, or the graduation of your children, friends, or family, are some of the most important and memorable events in life.

That means the outfit you choose to wear to graduation is incredibly important because the memory will last a lifetime.

So, what colors and types of clothes are acceptable? Is it rude to wear white to a graduation?

Read on below and find out!

Is it Rude to Wear White to a Graduation?

Wearing white to a graduation is the furthest thing from rude. In fact, white is one of the most preferred and popular colors to wear at graduation ceremonies.

White, which is often associated with innocence and purity, is seen as a perfect color for those graduating (and starting out in life/the workforce) with a clean (white) slate.

The bottom line? Wearing white to a graduation is not rude because it is the most common color for such ceremonies.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, wearing white to a graduation rates 1

There is absolutely nothing rude about wearing white to a graduation, which is why it is more often than not the chosen color by guests to wear to such functions.

The main exception to this rule is when the graduation has a dress code that has been specified (and it designates a color other than white).

Wearing white to a graduation when you should wear black, red, or blue, for example, would be rude.

In any other case, wearing white to a graduation is perfectly acceptable and is even somewhat expected.

Why isn’t it Rude?

White is the most traditional color chosen to wear to graduations, both by the graduates as well as the guests in attendance. 

The only time that it is rude to wear white to a graduation is when you have been directed to wear some specific color (as a guest).

As a graduate, you wear whatever color the class is required to wear for the ceremony. More often than not, this color is indeed white.

Common Questions

Is white ok to wear to graduations?

White is perfectly acceptable to wear to graduations. The color white represents purity and goodness, as well as a clean slate.

White is one of the most suitable colors for graduates who are starting fresh in life or their new careers (after graduation).

What colors not to wear to graduation?

There are no colors that are off-limits to wear to a graduation, as a guest. 

However, as a graduate that participates in the graduation ceremony, you must wear whatever color robes the school leadership requires you to.

Other popular colors to wear to graduations include blue, black, and red.

What to wear to graduation?

Depending on what sort of graduation you are attending, anything from casual “street” clothes to formal suits and dresses is acceptable.

If you’re attending an elementary school graduation, for example, your regular clothes will suffice. 

Attending a formal high school or college graduation typically calls for a nice suit or gown, for the guests, and a robe for the graduates.