15 Pairs Of Awesome Shoes To Jazz Up Your Graduation Cap And Gown

Ah, the old cap and gown. If you’re anything like we were back in those days, you spent all of high school, and who are we kidding, all of college too, counting down the days until you could put on that polyester robe and goofy mortarboard and strut your stuff straight to a diploma (and with it, freedom). Graduation is a huge deal, one of the most important things you’ll ever achieve, and as such, it’s an occasion that warrants a fly outfit. There are also SO. MANY. PHOTOS. taken on graduation day, that you want to make sure you won’t have to hide your head in shame over something you wore. Here’s the thing, though: you can’t really see much underneath your gown, so aside from the lunch or dinner you have with your parents after it’s all over, your dress doesn’t actually make much of an impact. Your shoes, on the other hand, are everything. Whether you’re into sneakers, heels, or flats, we found 15 pairs of kicks that will add just the right amount of pop to that gown.

Who doesn’t love a classic wedge for a classic day.
Photo: Madewell/Marais USA/Dolce Vita/J. Crew/Urban Outfitters

There’s a solid chance that your graduation, or at least some part of it, is taking place outside. The last thing you want are your shoes making you anxious by sinking into the grass on the football field, or, oof, tripping you up on your way to your diploma. Wedges are a solid, safe bet if a classic look and some height is what you’re after. If you just want a tiny little boost,the ankle strap mini wedge from Madewell ($94.50) comes in a grip of super springy colors. If more height is what you’re after, Marais USA’s Firefly Wedge in Clambake ($160.00) is a super summery answer (that will perfectly match the classic Essie color of the same name). If you want something a little tougher, Dolce Vita’s Mosey Platform Booties ($179.00) still give you the height, but add a little edge. If classic summer is more your look, J.Crew’s Sardinia wedge espadrilles ($118.00) have that french seaside je ne sais quoi written all over them. Finally, if simple and bright is exactly what the doctor ordered, look no further than Seychelles Thyme Wedge Sandal ($95.00).

You KNOW you won’t get tripped up in these cute flats.
Photo: Urban Outfitters/Nasty Gal/Zara/Forever 21

If height isn’t what you’re after and you REALLY want to make sure you don’t trip, a pair of pretty flats will still add some individuality to your grad gown look, without the slightest hint of angst. That doesn’t mean they have to be boring old ballet flats, though. The Dolce Vita Orsay Ankle-Strap Skimmer ($149.00) is a classic shape in classic colors, but the pointed toe and ankle strap make it stand out. Talk about standing out, though, the Ruthless Spiked Flat from Nasty Gal ($50.00) dresses up your standard ankle strap flat with a metallic cap tow and SPIKES. Ok, ok, so maybe your grandmother wouldn’t be so into all the hardware? Zara’s Polka Dot Ballerina shoes ($49.90) should solve that problem. The B.A.I.T. Shirley Perforated Skimmer ($55.00) look insanely comfy, and with bright colors and a clean design, you really can’t go wrong. For something a little in-between pretty and punk, Forever 21’s Mirrored T-Strap Flats ($29.80) are just the ticket.

If you’re more of a sneaker girl, there’s no need to change for grad day.
Photo: Jeffrey Campbell/Dr. Martens/Nasty Gal/Keds x Madewell

And Finally, if you’re more of a sneaker girl, you know we’ve got you covered. With SO MANY options out there it was pretty hard to pick five pairs of sneaks, but we think we’ve managed to find a solid cross section of kicks that don’t look to casual but will still have you feelin’ totally comfortable on your big day. The Jeffrey Campbell ’Hiya’ Sneaker ($94.95) is part high top, part creeper, totally awesome. Meanwhile, if boots are more your style but you KNOW it won’t be the season by the time grad rolls around, Dr. Martens Shoreditch High Top Sneakers ($75.00) look just like classic Docs in a fun floral, but are actually canvas (genius!). Nasty Gal’s Zomg Platform Sneaker in Cosmic ($65.00) will definitely make you stand out from the crowd, and shows you can take over the whole universe after graduation! Finally, two simple options. The Nasty Gal Gela Wedge Sneaker ($105.00) gives you height without looking too crazy, and Keds x Madewell’s eyelet sneakers ($49.50) dress up your classic Keds in girly eyelet lace.

What kind of shoes are you wearing with your cap and gown?

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