5 Ways To Customize Your Graduation Stole

Graduation Stole

In a traditional setup, stoles are decorative sashes that many students who graduate put on their shoulders. These sashes can mean something special with regards to academic achievements or membership in a particular club.

There are Greek graduation stoles, valedictorian stoles, and stoles that are specific in field-related achievements.

What to put on graduation stole? Traditionally, you can only wear the stole provided to you by the graduation committee, so it is a plain color with some labels on it depending on your school. But some decorative ones depend on your club and your achievements.

Learn more about graduation stole and what is the history behind it in this article. You can also find here some ways to decorate your own graduation stole, depending on your school regulations and personal preferences.

What Is A Graduation Stole?

A graduation stole is usually referred to as a sash, and it is one of the most prominent graduation accessories out there.

Students in their graduation wear this over their graduation gown when they walk during their commencement exercises. It is proof that showcases your experiences over the last four years of your high school or college life.

Graduation stoles represent anything from the department you are in, what level of degree you are earning or the kind of organization that you are involved in.

Also, most honor students have their own graduation stoles, depending on their level of accomplishments. Wearing stoles or sashes can distinguish a student, but the sashes must distinguish themselves to do that.

It is why many graduation stoles come in different colors, and these colors can signify different meanings. If you aim to understand the students in a graduation ceremony, you have to get familiar with different colors and what they really mean.

The History Of The Graduation Stole

Believe it or not, the cap, gown, and hood have been around for many years now, as well as the stoles and cords.

Historically speaking, stoles and cords have actually existed decades before the cap and gown but not necessarily in an academic position. Stoles are known to be around since the 12th century and usually work by priests to identify their position.

While the American Academic Costume code dictates the standards for cap, gown, and hood, they do not dictate any standards for stoles and cords.

It is because the decision of whether or not students wear it and what color is up to different schools and organizations’ discretion.

High School Graduation Cords And Stoles Meaning

Stoles can be worn either at your secondary or tertiary level, but wearing graduation stoles will still be up to the school administration in secondary education.

Some schools give students a choice to wear stoles or grant stoles to certain individuals based on their achievements. For example, most valedictorians and salutatorian students are usually granted stoles and the student organization president.

There are some cases where stoles are granted to high school graduates who have achieved volunteer work throughout their high school careers.

On the other hand, some school institutions give stoles to some students who achieved and won a foreign-language award. It is the same for many graduation cords; many graduating students will get both during their commencement exercise.

While stoles and cords are not as common in many high schools as college campuses, there are still those who opt to include them.

This setup offers it to their students who achieved remarkable academics, honor society, language club, etc. It depends on the high school and what they feel is the best representation of their school and graduating students.

How To Earn A Graduation Stole?

Many graduation stoles represent fields of study, and anyone can earn a stole if you completed any degree in your major.

In addition to that, those who have been in many organizations like fraternities or sororities throughout their college years can earn a stole for it as well. But be mindful that different universities set different rules for stoles.

It means that depending on which kind of stoles you wear will still be up for the graduation committee’s discretion. If you are permitted to wear a graduation stole, you will have to purchase it for yourself in most cases.

It can be available in your university or online in one of the various companies that sell them. But if you achieved an honorary recommendation, you won’t have to worry about it as the school will provide it for you for free.

Ways To Customize Your Graduation Stoles

Graduation stoles can be customized depending on your personal preference and in alignment with your graduation policies.

When it comes to customization, sometimes they show off extracurricular activities like sports, choirs, and band membership. Here are some ways to decorate your very own graduation stoles:

1. Crafts Party At Your Fraternity Or Sorority

Sorority and fraternity graduation stoles will help your Greek brothers and sisters have some fun and special bond.

If you are on a budget, your Greek, a graduation stole can be crafted in a DIY setup, and you can even do this during your pre-graduation party. You can use your space in your blank stoles to share your Greek house, chapter, and the graduating class.

Make sure to use some markers, patches, and your imagination to design your very own Greek graduation stoles. It can be depending on what is your theme for your sorority or fraternity house.

If you have a larger budget, you can have them professionally done, so you have all the amazing designs for your commencement exercise.

2. Attach Some Rhinestones

Adding some rhinestones in your graduation stoles is one way of decorating it, and stick-on gems are the perfect way to do it.

It does not have to be the best gems out there; you can easily find ones that cost a few dollars. You can use these stick-on gems to spell out a message, your graduating year, your major, or you can make up your own.

3. Represent A Social Cause

The next idea that you can try is to use the stole’s blank canvas to spread awareness in whatever cause you are fighting for.

Whether you are passionate about climate change, world hunger, women’s rights, or equality, you can always make a statement and represent what you are fighting for.

You can even come up with some wording for your own stole and then share it with your graduating class. Just remember to keep your message politically correct to avoid being barred from your graduation.

4. Commemorate Your Class

You can also try to give a special shout-out to your class year, so you can add it in the blank spaces of your graduation stole.

You should be proud of it and wear it with pride as over the last four years, you’ve been through a lot. It signifies strength, perseverance, and tackling all the challenges during your academic years.

5. Professionally Design A Custom Stole

Last but not least is by tapping professional custom graduation stole for your upcoming graduation ceremony. You can choose from 15 different colors of stole and text, and in addition to that, you can select either embroidery or screen-printing depending on the look you want. Many available professional designers will take care of your details. Many available professional designers will take care of your details. Just send them your artwork or text, and they will design it from scratch.

Facts About Graduation Stoles

Regardless if you are graduating this year or in the years to come, graduation stoles are one of those things that every student will become familiar with.

You might know what they look like, where to get them, and their purposes, but there is more to unpack about these special accessories. Here are among the few important things that you need to know about your graduation stoles:

Stoles And Sashes Are The Same Things

You might hear these two things stoles and sashes used when describing a full graduation attire. But you do not have to complicate things as these two are essentially the same thing.

Most places that offer stoles and sashes have the same design, a fabric that drapes on the shoulders rather than across your body.

Stoles Used To Be Worn By Priests

Believe it or not, stoles did not have an academic beginning as many Catholic and Anglican priests commonly used it. It is way back in the 12th century, and it was commonly used to denote an official’s position.

Over time, many English scholars in the medieval times used them to distinguish them as a scholar.

Different Colors Mean Different Things

While, for the most part, your stole can be of any color of your choosing, different stole can also define different studies.

They can be helpful if you are having trouble trying to find which colors suit you. For white stoles, it usually represents students from Humanities, Arts, and English, while Beige is usually for business studies.

For green stoles, it represents Medicine, Pharmacy, and Physical Education. Orange stoles are for Engineering, brown stoles for fine arts and architecture, gray for husbandry and veterinary scientists, light blue for education.

Pink is for music, and purple is for law, yellow is for mathematics and science, while dark blue is for philosophy and political science.

Stoles Are Made From Satin

Usually, the material used for stoles is satin fabric, which is a smooth and glossy silk fabric. It is crucial to keep in mind as you want to make sure it is washed delicately.

If your stole ended up being dirty before your graduation, it is highly recommended to wash the stoles using a delicate cycle.

Different Cultures Have Different Fabrics

Having a graduation stole does not mean you can only settle for just a generic plant satin stole. There are a wide variety of fabric options for people who want to represent their cultural identity.

It includes Filipino graduation stoles, Kente stoles, Serape stoles, and some Native American stoles.

Stoles And Cords Serve Different Purposes

Many students who are just ready for graduation are still getting confused with stoles and cords. On the other hand, stoles can be just about anything you want to put in it, whether about the student body, cultural identity, etc.

Additionally, cords can be easily stacked atop each other, where stacking stoles is less ideal. It means that you won’t be able to see the other stoles hidden beneath the other, which is why it is important and standard to wear just one.

Stoles Or Sashes Are Optional

Stoles are actually optional to many school institutions, but they are 100% recommended. Most schools do not require stoles to be worn at the ceremony, and many choose not to wear them. But the vast majority of students prefer to have them.

Not only does t help them display their achievements and groups, but it is also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do so.

Design And Order Your Graduation Stole Quickly

There are a lot of resources that can help you to find the stole you are looking for. If you are graduating this year or somebody who is, you can try a different design app. These applications will help you create the perfect accessory for your commencement exercise.


To sum it up, wearing the graduation stole during your most awaited completion is an achievement whether you are an honorary student, a student body president, or a student.

This, together with other graduation accessories, is proof that you accomplished great success in your academic years. So, graduating from college or high school is not an easy thing.

Spending several years studying and completing college and high school requirements needs effort, perseverance, and dedication. During your graduation, be proud of what you achieved and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime highlight of your life.

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