Graduation is a formal occasion and an appropriate standard of dress, and correct academic gown, is expected. If you do not observe the dress code, you risk exclusion from the ceremony by the proctors. If you are in doubt, please contact the Praelector’s Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What dress code must I follow?
Option 1 (suits and trousers)
- Suit: black, very dark grey or very dark blue. Must be dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown.
- Shirt: must be plain, long-sleeved, and white.
- Shoes and socks: Shoes must be formal and black, with no buckles. Heels should be below two inches. Open toed shoes and sling-backs are not permitted. Sandals should not be worn. Socks must be black. Tights must be plain black, nearly black, or natural coloured.
- Bowties: must be white and bands must be worn.
Option 2 (skirts and dresses)
- Dresses: dark, long-sleeved. Dresses must be below the knee and dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown.
- Skirt suits: black or very dark, worn with or without a jacket. Skirt suits must be below the knee and dark enough not to contrast obviously with a black gown.
- Shirts or blouses (unless a long-sleeved dress is worn): must be plain, long-sleeved, and white.
- Shoes and tights: formal black shoes with no buckles. Heels should be below two inches. Open toed shoes and sling-backs are not permitted. Sandals should not be worn. Tights must be plain black, nearly black, or natural coloured.
- Accessories: Conspicuous jewellery and hairgrips are not permitted. Bands are optional for women; they may be worn only with a properly collared white shirt.
What type of gown should I wear?
The robemakers where you chose to hire or purchase your gown are very helpful in helping you to select the correct dress. However, we have also created a flowchart to assist you.
If you have further queries, please contact Jess Bartley (Praelector’s Secretary) at email@example.com
Where can I purchase or hire a gown?
Please note that you must collect your items personally, despite some websites indicating that gowns will be delivered to College.
Ede & Ravenscroft
71-72 Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB2 1RJ
Tel: 01223 350048
Ryder and Amies
22 King’s Parade,
Cambridge, CB2 1SP
Tel: 01223 350371
A & E Clothier
Unit 5 Convent Drive
Waterbeach, CB25 9QT
Tel: 01223 441710
How do I pin my hood to my gown?
Instructions on how to pin your hood to your gown can be found in this information sheet.
Can I wear national dress to my graduation ceremony?
You must receive permission from the Praelector if you wish to wear national dress, service uniforms or clerical dress. Please contact Jess Bartley (Praelector’s Secretary) at graduation@st-edmund’s.cam.ac.uk at least three weeks in advance of the ceremony you are due to attend and attach a photograph of the proposed dress or uniform.
Can I wear a headdress to graduation?
Unless for religious reasons, headdresses should not be worn inside the Senate House.
The square cap or mortarboard is optional, but you must take it off and carry it in your left-hand inside the Senate House.