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Graduation Cap 101: Mastering the Art of Wearing and Tassel Placement

by Leah from Picta

Reading time: 7 minutes

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How to Wear a Graduation Cap

Graduation cap being worn by a graduate

Cue Pomp and Circumstance and get your outfit ready! It’s almost graduation time! Time to celebrate you and all of your school accomplishments leading up to this big day. After the graduation invitations are sent out, your graduate cap and gown are picked up, and all your credits are filled, there are still some last things to tie up (pun intended!).

1. Practice makes perfect!

Graduate practicing wearing the graduation cap

As silly as it sounds, make sure you try on your cap before the big day to make sure you can see how it fits on your head and how you plan on styling your hair (if this applies to you!)

Make sure your cap is on the right way

Close-up of the correct positioning of a graduation cap

The pointed tip of your cap faces forward and should be placed on your forehead. Usually there is some elastic on the other side, and this should be the “back” of your cap.

Check your angles

Graduate adjusting the angle of their cap in front of a mirror

No, I don’t mean to find the best selfie angles, but you do you! Make sure your cap fits snug on your head and that it is not too tilted on an angle.

Safe & Secure

Secure placement of graduation cap using bobby pins

Don’t be afraid to secure your graduation cap on your head, especially if there is going to be wind on your graduation day! Use bobby pins or little clips with your same hair shade to make sure everything stays in place.

2. Tassel Time!

Colorful graduation tassels on a display

The tassel is the star of your cap! They can be different colors, or have your graduation year on them as a little decoration.

What side does the tassel go on before graduation?

Group of graduates discussing tassel position

Not going to lie, “graduation tassel side” was the hot topic of my high school graduation between the group of people with last names F-G that I found myself in. And it turns out, everyone had a different answer “Does the tassel go on the left or right?” “Do we move the tassel from left or right?” … we were very divided between left and right to say the least! If you find yourself in a similar situation, have no fear, the answer is here!

  • For middle & high school graduation: Start with the tassel on the right, and then during the ceremony when they announce that you can move your tassel, it moves from right to left.
  • For college bachelor degrees: The tassel also starts on the right and get moved from right to left.
  • For college master & doctorate degrees: Your tassel starts on the left and doesn’t move throughout the ceremony.

What side does the tassel go on?

Graduation cap showing the correct side for tassel placement

See above but the question depends on if you have already graduated or not!

For middle, high school and college bachelor degree graduations the tassel starts on the right and ends on the left once you have graduated or once you have received your diploma.

How to put the tassel on your cap

Hands fixing tassel onto a graduation cap button

Easy! The center of the cap should have a little button that your tassel wraps nicely around. Some tassels have loops that you can hook over the button. Make sure it is nice and secure and won’t fall off!

Other Tassel Tips & Tricks

Graduate brushing out their tassel for a neat look

Brush out your tassel to make sure it lies flat and is nice and pretty for your big day. Feel free to take some pictures of the grad hat and gown before your graduation day, you don’t want to forget any details.

And last but not least, take in all the moments of your graduation day! You worked hard for your degree, now if your time to celebrate it.

Meta description: Ready to rock that graduation cap like a pro? We've got you covered! From tassel placement to how to wear your cap, get ready to slay your graduation day with our graduate guide! Leave everyone in awe of your cap-tivating style!