Cute Middle School Graduation Dresses

Updated July 13, 2020
Sisters embrace in a hug before leaving for the dance

Graduation dresses for middle school girls are abundant in department stores and online clothing retailers. As your daughter makes way to her high school years, the perfect middle school promotion dress is sure to help her feel her best during this coming-of-age ceremony.

Types of Middle School Graduation Dresses

Although there are plenty of trendy graduation dresses for middle school girls, keep in mind that this event will be photographed and cherished for years to come. Graduates will also be walking into the venue, sitting for a long period, and walking across the stage so comfort and flexibility are musts. Modern and traditional dress styles come in various prints and colors that are sure to entice even the pickiest fashionistas.

Sheath Dress

A sheath dress is a basic staple perfect for young teens at graduation. The straight and narrow cut fits most body types and is age appropriate. The length of the dress is normally right above the knee which keeps this look youthful and fresh. Whether you want the formal look of all-over lace or the playful look of a bold print, you can find it in the sheath style.

Blond girl wearing a white dress

Summer Dress

Most graduations take place in June making the summer dress, or sun dress, a favorite amongst girls who admire its floaty shape and floral prints. Summer dresses normally have either wide straps or spaghetti straps. This style often features ethereal fabrics that layer well under a graduation gown if you'll be wearing one.

Girl standing in field of grass wearing a white summer dress

Skater Dress

While skater dresses can be on the casual side, adding a glittery belt or choosing one with an embellished top makes it more formal. This kind of dress was designed with the needs of young teens in mind with its full circle skirt and form-fitting top reminiscent of a figure skating outfit. Typically designed to have short sleeves or half-sleeves, the skater dress stands out as being ultra comfortable and girly.

Girl wearing a dress

A-Line Dress

While this dress is sometimes perceived as having a traditional or vintage vibe, young teens will probably think of singer Taylor Swift when they see an A-line dress. The superstar is known as a fashionista who prefers fun and feminine clothes like the A-line dress. This type of dress typically is fitted at the top with a skirt that flares out and widens along the hem.

Girl in a dress spinning around

Types of Long Middle School Graduation Dresses

If you won't be wearing a graduation gown, your ceremony takes place at night, or you live in a colder climate longer graduation dresses keep you warm and look more formal.

Maxi Dress

Maxi dresses are full length and often feature comfortable materials in solids or bold prints. You can find maxi dresses with long sleeves, racerbacks, and even strapless versions. This style of dress is usually more fitted at the top and a little loose along the bottom, but it keeps a narrow profile.

Teen girl wearing a straw hat and maxi dress on the beach

Evening Gown

If you want a fully formal dress, opt for a long evening gown. The slim fit and glittery embellishments make it distinguishable from poofy formal dance dresses. Evening gowns typically reach the floor and have either short sleeves or wide straps.

Teenage girl wearing a blue evening gown

Midi Dress

A midi dress is meant to hit you about halfway down your calf. These dresses carry the casual comfort of a maxi dress but give you more leg coverage and the chance to show off your cute shoes.

Girl standing in front of a lake wearing a long red dress

Finding Graduation Dresses for Tweens

To keep the outfit age appropriate and fashionable, hemlines should go no higher than an inch or two above the knee and the chest should offer ample coverage. Although strapless dresses are optional, a dress that offers slightly more coverage is easier and more comfortable to wear during a ceremony. The following fashion retailers sell an enticing batch of dresses for any graduation:

  • Forever 21 - Despite the age of 21 being featured in the store's title, this shop is more popular among girls in their tweens and teens. You can find a wide variety of age-appropriate styles and sizes, including plus sizes up to a 3X.
  • Kohl's - With several junior dress styles available at different price points that will win parents over, Kohl's also has dresses from celeb designers that are certain to appeal to young teens.
  • Macy's - With graduation dresses that range from classic to contemporary, Macy's has even more options available online than you can find in their flagship stores in big cities like New York and Los Angeles.
  • H & M- Known for their ultra-trendy and affordable clothing, H & M is on the cutting edge of teen fashion. You can find almost any style of dress in tween and women's sizes for under $35 with most falling in the $20 range.
  • Rue21 - Trendy styles and streetwear-inspired designs are what rue21 is all about. Teen girls can find casual and formal dresses for under $15 at this stylish retailer.
  • Hollister - This favorite of middle schoolers has lots of casual wear. Hollister does carry some wrap and ruffle dresses that would work well for a graduation ceremony. Pricing runs in the $30 to $60 range making this a fashionable and affordable option for parents.
  • PacSun - PacSun specializes in California-style clothing designed for summer temperatures. They have several lightweight yet stylish dresses that would be perfect for a warm weather outdoor middle school graduation.
  • Lululemon - Although this retailer is known for athletic wear, they do carry girls clothing and dresses. Styles tend to be on the casual side but can still be appropriate for a middle school graduation. Girls dresses are priced in the $60 range though sales are often available.

Tips for Putting a Graduation Outfit Together

Once you've found the gown, it's time to pull the look together with accessories and shoes.

  • To avoid tripping, heels should be no higher than one inch.
  • A simple black pump will pair effortlessly with a sheath dress while a ballet flat or gladiator-style sandals will carry the look through for a long gown.
  • If opting for a sunny and cheerful summer dress, slip on an ankle strap sandal or a pair of kitten heel pumps in a complementary color.
  • A short blazer is an in-style accessory that can help cover up arms while proving to be a worthwhile closet staple at the beginning of the new school year.
  • Earrings that match a bracelet and a necklace can be specifically chosen to complement the graduation ensemble.

The Right Dress for Your Graduation

Your middle school graduation is a time to celebrate being you. Choose a dress that compliments your body type and your personal style to show off the best version of you at the ceremony. If you make sure you're following your school's graduation dress code, you can't go wrong.

Cute Middle School Graduation Dresses