The Praelector is under the necessity of stressing to Graduands the rules for dress for those taking degrees In Person.
Dress Option One
black/very dark grey/very dark blue (not brown) lounge suit or dinner jacket without adornments. These must be dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown.
plain, collared and white (long sleeves)
wing collars may be worn, but are not required
white bow tie with white 'bands' must be worn
unpatterned black/very dark grey
formal, black (not boots, not sandals)
Dress Option Two
Suit or Skirt
black/very dark grey/very dark blue trouser or skirt suit, or a dark skirt without a jacket, or a dark long-sleeved dress. These must be dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown.
plain, white (long sleeves unless a long-sleeved dress is worn)
unpatterned black/nearly black or natural coloured
formal, black (not boots, not sandals)
|white bow-tie and bands may be worn (optional) but only with a properly collared white shirt.|
A black cassock may be substituted for a dark suit, skirt or dress in either Dress One or Two, but it must be worn with either a white bow-tie and bands or a clerical collar and bands.
The rules also exclude conspicuous jewellery and hair-grips. Exaggerated hair styles or colouring are inappropriate. Handbags should not be carried.
Please note that the national dress rules have been tightened up considerably. Now, national dress, uniforms etc. are generally allowed only if the national dress is black, white and grey, and if the national dress is what the graduand would usually wear at other formal University occasions. Exceptions are made if there are religious requirements. Please note that for sleeves, long ones (that come down further than the gown sleeve) are preferred. If you wish to wear national dress it is essential that you contact the Student Services Officer at least 3 weeks before the Congregation, as permission will need to be sought from the Proctor.
The square cap, or 'mortarboard', is optional for graduands at Cambridge. If you do decide to wear one on the day, you should take it off and carry it in your left hand inside the Senate-House.
Gown and hood
- Graduands already holding a Cambridge Degree: Gown and hood of the highest Cambridge Degree the Graduand already holds.
For those conferred to two degrees at once (such as the BA & MMath) and are then going to be conferred to an MA for example, you would need to wear the MA gown with the MMath hood. Otherwise, if you were to have a BA and are going to be conferred to an MA, you need to wear a BA gown with a BA hood (irrespective of age).
- Graduands not already holding a Cambridge Degree: Graduate Students in this category wear a BA Status gown or (if granted MA Status) an MA Status gown - if you are 24 years or over you will need to wear an MA status gown if you do not hold a Cambridge degree. Undergraduates proceeding to the BA degree wear an undergraduate gown. All Graduands not already holding a Cambridge degree wear the hood of the degree to which they are about to proceed.
- For incorporations and MA under Statute B III 6 (you will be aware if this applies to you): Gown and hood of the degree to which the Graduand is about to proceed.
'Bands', Gown and Hood can, of course, be hired locally. The following tailors may be able to hire academical dress to graduands:
- Ede & Ravenscroft, 71-72 Trumpington Street
- Ryder & Amies, 22 King’s Parade
Contact details for the above listed companies can be found on the University website: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/degrees/dress/
The University’s practices for graduation are archaic, eccentric and strictly enforced by its officers. Anyone with any doubts about the procedures should contact the Student Services Officer to check the details well in advance to avoid embarrassment on the day.