Graduation Attire Resources


Each senior is required to wear full length, formal white attire for graduation that has been approved by Ms. Hanifin, assistant to the Head of School. Please bring your dress or entire outfit for approval to her office outside the Head's Office in Main by April 9, 2021. No appointment is necessary. 

In order to be approved, graduation attire must meet: 

  • The color requirement (paper white) 
  • The length requirement (full length) 
  • Must be appropriate in style for the occasion. 
  • Garments can be strapless but not backless, sheer but not see-through. 

Students are required to wear “paper white” formal attire, with limited adornment, no slits above the knee, and nothing risqué. No gloves, hats, wreaths or tiaras are allowed. We rely on parents to provide counsel about tastefulness, and undergarments are required.  Since students may walk on a path through the woods, it is practical to have hems about two inches above the ground. White shoes are required; lower heels or flats are encouraged as the pathway is steep and potentially difficult to navigate. 

In all instances, approval is dependent on the appropriateness of the outfit for the occasion. Photographs and swatches can be approved for color and style, but students are still required to present completed graduation attire for final approval. All approved graduation attire will be photographed by Ms. Hanifin. Girls whose outfits have not been approved will not be allowed to march. 

We have “paper white” fabric swatches at the AOD desk for your convenience. If you are not on campus, we suggest using a piece of white copy paper which matches the color requirement. 


The Rent the Runway event will be held on February 26, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. A number of Madeira alumnae have donated graduation dresses for those students who would like to borrow a pre-approved heirloom rather than purchase a dress. The cost of 'borrowing' a dress is $75.00 which covers the cost of dry cleaning the dress. Students may make an appointment with Ms. Macias or Ms. Pubal to browse donated dresses and make arrangements to borrow a dress any time.  

Recommended Attire Resources

The Dessy Group

The Dessy Group offers a wide variety of dress styles by several different designers in white. Links to each fabric type that is offered in white are listed below. Dresses can be ordered online, and Allison Baumgardner, a stylist at Dessy, has offered to assist anyone who needs help with sizing, color, or availability by emailing  stylists@dessy.com. Dessy dresses can also be ordered through Nordstrom and a variety of other bridal shops around the country as well as some international locations.

Each student is welcome to reach out to Dessy if sizing assistance is needed- stylists@dessy.com

Links to white dresses (please note that some dresses are offered in white and ivory, so don't dismiss a dress because the photo shows an ivory dress-please open the link to the dress to see what colors are available):

Most Dessy Group dresses cost less than $250, and require 8-9 weeks lead time.

Bella Bridesmaids

Bella Bridesmaids offers white formal dresses by a variety of designers. Dresses can be ordered at one of their locations or online. Most dresses on Bella Bridesmaids cost between $200 and $300. The following designers offer dresses in white on the Bella Bridesmaids website:

Joanna August-white wedding is the preferred color. Dresses require 8-12 weeks lead time.

LulaKate – preppy styles. Dresses are in the $200-$300 range

Anna Elyse-preppy styles. Long dresses start at $285. Design your own dress using an online shopping too.

Hayley Paige Occasions has many styles in “White”.

Kathlin Argiro

Kathlin Argiro offers semi-custom white graduation dresses in a variety of styles. Ms. Argiro is a Georgetown Visitation grad who has been designing Visi's graduation dress each year. All of Ms. Argiro's dresses will meet the color requirement for graduation attire. Ms. Argiro's designs cost upwards of $300 and require 8-12 weeks lead time.

Coren Moore

Coren Moore offers the opportunity to design a preppy style dress on the website. Currently, only dresses that are offered in faille fabric are offered in white. 


David's Bridal

David’s Bridal offers many white dresses that are mostly bridal gowns. The dresses run the gamut of sizes and styles, as well as prices. David's Bridal salons are located throughout the United States, and there are several in the Greater Washington DC area.

Azazie Dresses

Azazie offers a variety of dresses and formal jumpsuits at reasonable prices.

White Bridesmaids Dresses