What should you wear under your graduation gown?

After 3 years of hard work and dedication the day has arrived. Graduation is a day to be proud, so you want to look your best not only for your ceremony but also for your photographs.  We hope that each and every one of you will get the chance to attend your graduation and below are some tips to consider when deciding what to wear.

Extreme examples of current fashion are generally unsuitable.  Moreover, dark clothes with light or white shirts/blouses are preferred against those that linger on the retina.  For men, most universities encourage a suit or similar formal outfit. Women are encouraged to wear skirts and avoid wearing trousers.

What should I wear under my graduation gown?

It is wise to wear an outfit with a button at the top, such as a shirt, as your Graduation hood has a loop, which should be fixed to that button. For ladies, wearing a low cut top makes securing the hood difficult, so please be aware and avoid choosing such a garment to stop any gown related problems. For students of different nationalities, most universities also welcome national or cultural dress.

One of the most important factors to consider is the weather. Graduation gowns were historically designed to keep out the cold, so they will inherently make you warm. For summer graduations, a gown can feel like an inferno so consider wearing lighter garments such as those made of cotton. On warm days, wear lightweight clothes as changing once you are robed may not be convenient.

As well as following your university dress code, don’t forget to wear sensible footwear! Trainers are definitely off the cards, and if the ceremony involves walking on grass, flat footwear may be more suitable for the ladies.

Remember, graduation is tradition as old as higher education itself, and so many universities expect you to follow the dress code. Your university may decide to stop you attending if you are not following the rules, so stick to the guidelines!

It can be difficult coupling both comfort and style so here are a few extra tips help make things easier:

1.Mortarboards do not accommodate lumps and bumps like buns, hair ties, pony tails and spiky gelled hair very easily. Try to keep your hairstyle relatively simple for this day.

2.You may find it useful to bring some safety pins or hairgrips to help with securing your hood and mortarboard.

3. Due to its shape, it can be tricky to keep the hood in position. All hoods have a small loop sewn onto the neckband, so remember to wear an outfit with a button at the top.

4. Wearing a suit jacket is a great idea, as they will give the gown better shape. On a hot day it is worth considering wearing the jacket for your photos only.

Finally, remember you are now heirs to a great tradition, so make sure you feel comfortable and enjoy your day. We hope you have found this information useful; to find out more about the significance/tradition of graduation, please read our other blog entries.