All persons being admitted to degrees wear dark clothes with their academical dress. 'Dark' means 'black', although very dark grey or very dark blue would suffice. The principal goal is a formal, neat and tidy appearance.
Men wear a black dinner jacket or a plain dark suit and trousers. A plain white shirt with a white bow tie and bands must also be worn.
Women wear a dark suit or long-sleeved dress, or a dark skirt with a white long-sleeved blouse. Trousers may be worn, in which case they should be dark, smart and full length. In addition, a white or black cardigan may be worn.
Shoes must be black and of a sober style. Coloured shoes, very high heels, sandals or boots are not permitted. Socks must be black. Women may wear stockings or tights which should be unpatterned and black or neutral in colour.
Exaggerated hair styles or colouring are inappropriate and heavy jewellery should not be worn.
Gowns and hoods
The general rule is that Cambridge graduates wear the gown and hood of the highest degree that they have already received from the University.
Students taking their first Cambridge degree wear the Caius undergraduate gown if they are undergraduates or affiliated students, and the BA status or MA status gown otherwise. All wear the hood of the degree (or the higher of the two degrees) that they are about to receive.
Fellows being admitted to a degree by incorporation or to the degree of MA under Statute B,III,6 wear the gown and hood of the degree that they are about to receive.
The following tailors may be able hire academical dress to graduands:
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 Praelector to check the details well in advance to avoid embarrassment on the day.