What To Wear Under Your Graduation Gown

Some institutions have formal dress codes, some do not, but if you are graduating at a ceremony, then here are some things to consider when deciding what to wear on the day.

The first is not to wear any extreme examples of the current fashionable styles. Go for a classic look where you are the centre of attention, not what you are wearing under your gown. Your photograph is going to be on the wall for a long time! 

Given that you have invested so much time, energy and money in gaining your award, why not spend a few minutes preparing to look your best when you receive public recognition for your achievement?

Traditionally most graduands wear dark clothes with light or white shirts or blouses. Jackets are a great idea as they give the gown a better shape and mean your photographs will look even better. National dress or, if you are in the Services, your uniform can be worn under your gown.

Then there is the graduation hood. This is worn around the neck and over the gown. It used to have a loop on the neck band so to hold it in place on a button on a shirt or blouse but these days, most hoods are mainly attached by Velcro to the gown. The use of Velcro was an innovation we are proud to claim as we introduced it in 2005. Hoods can be pinned but this can leave a mark or a tear on the shirt or top, so avoiding the use of pins is good.

Weather is also a factor to bear in mind. The robes were originally designed to keep out the cold in so they can make you very warm. On warm days, wear lightweight clothes as changing once you are robed may not be convenient. You may have to return to the Robing Room to get your hood, gown and hat adjusted before the ceremony to ensure you look your best. Some times your academic dress will be checked and adjusted if necessary just before you go on stage. 

Finally, hair. The wearing of hats is traditional in many places, though not all! Hats come in a number of styles, the most common often known as "mortar boards". They do not accommodate lumps and bumps like buns, hair ties, pony tails, spiky gelled hair etc very easily. Our subtly elasticated sided hats rarely need hairgrips (unlike more traditional  mortarboards) but hairgrips are normally available in the Robing Room if you need that reassurance. 

Please bear in mind that your carefully prepared hairstyle may be squashed or otherwise spoiled by the hat, so to avoid disappointment and time spent repairing that "look" after you return your robes, try to keep your hairstyle relatively simple for this day.

We hope you have found this information useful. Ultimately the ceremony is a fun day for all, and with the right clothes under your robes, you will relax and enjoy the day to the full.