Sophie Kyron necklace layered with Vivid necklace from Piper Jordan

Keeping it Real: The Graduation Day outfit

Nikki Parkinson Everyday Style, Fashion 30 Comments

There is one outfit essential when planning what to wear to watch your “baby” walk out of the school gates for the very last time.


Big ones.

Anyone peeking into any school assembly hall in Queensland on Friday would have seen a sea of sunnies on the mums witnessing the final farewells to the “12sof12”.

… and just quietly, more than a few dads too.

It’s such a terrible time of year for hayfever. Terrible 😉

So, not for the first time (and certainly not for the last), I planned what I was wearing around a pair of sunglasses. My white Pradas bought in New York.

And then I thought, why not keep that whole white thing going for the graduation day outfit? I’d recently been gifted* this fabulous white dress from Queensland-based label Verily.

It was love at first try.

For me, finding a white dress that is easy to wear, doesn’t crush and can be thrown in the wash after any accidental food or drink incidents, is annual summer mission.

This one ticks all boxes, plus it offers shape, while still delivering on comfort. Winning.

There’s a lot of detail in the dress, with a net fabric layered over a crushed knit, which is breathable and not too see-through.

You will need to wear those non-sexy nude undies though. I also added a white slip dress underneath just to make sure.

The Graduation Day Outfit | white dress | neon necklace

Verily Netty Dress (was $129, now $99) | Prada sunglasses (bought in NYC) | Sophie Kyron necklace (from about three years ago) | Vivid jewellery necklace at Piper Jordan $20 | Zensu shoes (were $129.95, now $70)

Zensu shoes

Sophie Kyron necklace layered with Vivid necklace from Piper Jordan

A white dress is such an easy summer fashion blank canvas.

I chose to keep things neutral with my shoes* and with the main necklace and add a surprise pop with the neon yellow one* … because I can’t help but pop a little colour this summer. Can you?

The shoes had to be flat (well, these have a little wedge) as there was a fair bit of walking involved afterwards when we headed down to the beach to watch the graduates jump into the water in their uniforms.

All there was left to do after that was to celebrate with bubbles with some of the other mums … one of whom I first met when in ante-natal classes. True.


What say you on the summer white dress? Are you a fan? Or, like white jeans, is it too much of a magnet for stray food or drink?

* These items were gifted to me for editorial consideration in accordance with my disclosure policy.

  • Dian

    Just found this post: a gorgeous dress but just not me. Thanks to you I have a Verily slip dress and just last night bought some more items on line. They offer such good service – I rather like the shoes and yellow necklace.

    • Oh, yes they do Dian … the designer, Leonie, is very much hands on with help, advice and service.

  • I bet it was an emotional day! I was a bit nostalgic with it being my Niece Mia’s last day too, considering that she was born when I was in Grade 12 and now she is finished high school it all seems a bit surreal, so I can imagine how it would feel for my sister, (and you). I am sure I will be the exact same way when my 4 get to that point too. scary! And you looked lovely as usual, love that they have the tradition with the uniforms!

    • So emotional Megan and of course it was Mia’s … the tradition is a good one and something as Coast kids they’ll always remember.

  • I just loooove white clothes! They are so easy when you use Napisan. I don’t worry about the stray food, it’s the doggy paw prints that do me in- I am about to get a bobcat and semi trailer load of new pebbles in for my driveway so that mud on paws then on clothes is less of an issue. I just love Verily too!

    • If you can do white clothes, I say anyone can, Mummaducka! And good luck with the driveway!

  • I do not own a white dress. I only own one white shirt. I just bought a white skirt. In related news, I’m a klutz.

    Love the layered necklaces and I’m off to check out Verily!

    • Ooh, they do look like good slips with nice wide straps, but they’re just a bit too short for me. I’m after a slightly longer version. I find that length creeps up on me and barely covers my bottom. Not a good look.

      • I’m not actually wearing a Verily slip underneath – I’m wearing my one from Sancerre. And what you see in the photo is the main layer of the dress, not the slip. x

  • Julie

    Great outfit Nikki! Phew, I feel a bit whacked just catching up on your past week, but loved reading it all the same 🙂 Now, I do like a white dress, I have 2 in my wardrobe, one a very plain t-shirt dress I call my tennis dress, the other a lighter broderie anglaise (not sure how to spell that blast from the past!), both of which require boring nude underwear (I bought 4 pairs last week…husband not impressed!). Wine and food stains have been shortlived BUT how do you avoid yellow sunscreen stains on white clothes? It’s ruined a couple of tops 🙁 Thanks for the wardrobe inspiration – I like the details on your dress which make it dressy xx

    • Ah, the yellow sunscreen and deodrant/sweat – do not like that on my whites. Frequent napisan soaks before it shoes is a good idea but unfortunately white clothes just don’t have the same longevity as others.

  • What_Sarah_Did_Next

    You look fabulous, Nikki! Too young to have a boy out of high school, that’s for sure! And I love the necklace layering – especially the rose one – that’s gorgeous.

    My eldest boy finished HS a while ago now, middle son has two years left and my baby is about to start HS next year! Still trying to get my head around the fact that I won’t have children in primary school anymore. Where does that time go?


    • If you find that time, could you please let me know where it’s hiding 😉 I’ll be doing this again next year then another 10 years for my youngest!

  • You look fabulous! Congratulations.

  • I do love a white dress. There’s something so elegant and chic about it. You look fabulous as always, Nikki and congratulations once again for raising such an incredible young man. xx

    • Thanks Sonia … and white helps to keep your cool, when you’re not feeling so cool 😉

  • B

    Oh I love the idea of white. But, with a two year old I think I might have to wait a little while.

    Love the pop of neon. I NEED some yellow beads! I just can’t seem to find them. I am going to hunt yours down…. Well, not YOURS – oh… you know what I mean!

    Hope the ‘hayfever’ is clearing up…. *wink*

    • Perhaps but at least this one is a throw in the wash and napisan kind of dress – so not so much hard work keeping clean. And check out Piper Jordan … you won’t be disappointed!

  • rachelmp

    Your dress looked fantastic and I love the pop of colour too. Keep those sunglasses handy if you need to do the “leave them at Uni residence” event too

  • Lisa Mckenzie

    I love that white dress on you and I love how you have styled it and LOVE that flower necklace it is stunning and the pop of yellow lovely,I do Likey a white dress in summer.That is a great idea with a slip under I have a few dresses I wear a slip with and also am now a fan of what I call My “big Girl pants” they are just full briefs but under a bit of a tummy touching dress I feel more covered ,never used to worry me but alas that is what happens when you get older and wiser,and they are surprisingly comfy as well.I hope your “hayfever” clears up soon or has already,it is a very emotional time ,I remember bawling at the graduation ceremony too.

    • I’m all a bit whacked still Lisa … emotionally draining this stuff. That’s why a pop of colour and some fresh flowers help!

      • Lisa Mckenzie

        Yes I thought you would be, it does take it out of you emotionally,and yes the yellow and the flowers do help your mood x

  • Peta

    Hi Nikki,
    I just have to ask what is the nail polish that you are wearing on your toes? Love it!

  • abeachcottage

    ooh yes, love it, especially the pop of colour…love a neutral with a pop x

    congrats on the big day…I will be there sooner than I had ever thought possible too soon x

  • Gorgeous outfit Nikki. I’m a bit teary reading about YOUR baby graduating because it’s making me think about MY baby graduating and that won’t happen for another 13 years. I better start looking for some big sunglasses now though I think. Congratulations to your baby!

    • Yes, start looking! My youngest came to watch his big brother on Friday and I couldn’t help but think how the next 11 years will fly for him!