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14 July 2011 @ 12:18 am
Tips for Commencement  
 I suppose it's finally time to make a post on LJ, and I don't even have the excuse of school to hide me! I have been working, however, earning a little kachingching at Commencement. For those unfamiiar with the term, commencement is the ceremony where you dress up in that blue gown with your mortarboard hat and receive our degree scroll. This year medicine was the very first ceremony (there are usually about 20 ceremonies in total) and the lucky bastards got to shake hands with the outgoing president of Singapore. Lesser mortals in other ceremonies got the President of NUS and the least mortals got random people (illustrious people in whatever industries are relevant to the particular degree being presented). After watching countless ceremonies, I've got a few tips for all of you. 

Ladies, you go first. 
1. Platform shoes and strappy shoes

 and   
They look, plainly speaking, fugly. (I mean, of course, fashionably ugly.)
Platform shoes should only be worn if you plan to dye your hair pink, wear it in an afro, with ridiculous bell bottoms and a peace sign around your neck. Please. 

2. The plain black pump looks the best on stage. Ladies do it well to varying degrees. Arts grads favour the skinny impossibly tall heel that nevertheless looks wonderful on stage- apart from that fact that a good portion of them have to stagger to the Presiding Officer and grab his hand for dear life. Business graduates do it best, picking heels that looks stylish but presentable. Science and engineering grads, I'm afraid to say favour flats. FLATS. At your commencement. Oh honey. 

3. Ladies in pants? Pick a skinny one, so you don't look like you're swimming in the academic dress plus the pants. Personally I like a collared shirt and skirt best. The collar looks very good with the academic dress, and you get to show off your pretty legs as well. And if you didn't shave your legs, WEAR PANTYHOSE LAR. 

4. Pluck your eyebrows. I saw so many grads with pretty eye make up, but shaggy eyebrows. Not pretty.
 
5. White pumps make your feet look man-sized on stage. Nude shoes are acceptable, however. 
 
6. Wedges just don't work for some reason, trust me. 
 
7. High heeled sandals? Why would you want to walk across the stage with your footwear going shlap shlop shlap against your heels? WHY? 
 
8. Hair down works. You want to be unique? Wear a bun. It looks great. 

Gentlemen! Step right up. 
1. (Please apologise for the volume) DO NOT FOR DEAR'S SAKE WEAR SHORTS TO YOUR COMMENCEMENT. 
I think that's pretty self-explanatory. We actually saw some guys like that. I can't believe you can look at yourself in the mirror at your exposed man-hairy calves and think that you're presentable

2. Lots of guys don't wear ties, but I think they look a bit sloppy without. It goes without saying that your collar should be nicely starched and your cuffs neatly folded. 
 
3. Black pants, like black pumps, are classic and classics work best. Please do not wear brown shoes with black pants. It makes your feet look elephant sized. 

4. Guys tend to be haphazard about their academic dress, and more often I see sashes and gowns out of place on guys rather than girls. Please tidy yourself up before you get on stage, especially if you're getting your PhD or Masters. 
 
Guests
Please don't leave the ceremonay early. i know you're all kiasu Singaporeans who don't want the hundreds of other people to steal your beloved buffet food after the ceremony, but come on. There's an academic procession inside full of profs and academics who very likely studied longer, harder and know more than you do and who have come here to see your son/daughter/niece/grandson graduate and the least you could do is wait for them to leave before you do. It's like how they ask the VIPs the leave the ceremony first. There was one ceremony where the guests attacked the buffet tables the moment the academic procession left the hall. Could kiasuism get any uglier? 
 
On that sober note, I leave you! Happy Commencement to those graduate/graduating/soon-to-graduate! 
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