When graduating from high school or college, one of the most commonly missed expenses is the cap and gown. Without one, you as a student would stick out like a sore thumb in the crowd of grads, and mom and dad wouldn’t be that happy with you in pictures. So it’s best to go ahead and be sure to have one on hand. But watch out, because a cap and gown can set you back around $100; if you shop around you can save a bundle.
With that said, there are many places to find a cap and gown cheaply these days.
Here are some options:
Buy Online: Try searching online for your school’s specific cap and gown (ie. “Boston University Cap and Gown”). This will give you the top result for your school and often the best place to buy it online.
Some of the best places to check out online are:
Each of these offers some advantage, so try finding the one that has your school listed and or the correct color combination. Then select the one with the lowest price that can guarantee delivery in time for graduation.
From a Friend: Ask around! Often older friends who have already graduated will be happy to pawn off their old cap and gown on you. Be sure that the size fits all right. For girls, this isn’t as big of a problem, but for boys a gown made for a 6ft 4in person will look terrible on a boy who is only 5ft 11in.
From a Prior Student: Check with people outside of your friend zone who may still have their gown around and would be happy to let you borrow it.
From a Mobile Popup Store: Keep your eyes out for mobile cap and gown stores. These will start to appear on campus as graduation nears, and they sell the same outfit as your school’s brick and mortar bookstore, but they are often a lot cheaper. Depending on your situation, this is often the best place to pick up your outfit.
From Your School’s Bookstore: The last and most common option is simply to order it from your university bookstore. This allows you to easily pick it up so you know its on time. Also when ordering, they often measure you to guarantee it’s a good fit. However, be sure to order early to lock in discounts. Also, watch out for the often gimmicky bundles they try to sell you on, such as including “free printed graduation invitations” or offering that you pay more for other value adds. It’s often not worth it.
Lastly, be sure the cap and gown match your school’s appropriate colors. If possible, even call and check with online retailers to see that it matches. At my school, my college within my university had different colored tassels depending on your major. If you were part of any special groups or associations you also had to buy more tassels, so be sure to find ones that match so you aren’t the odd student out come graduation day.