Also known as academic dress dates back to the early years with the establishment of universities in Europe. It is a traditional form of clothing worn in the event of graduation or upon completion of a course in the university or colleges. It consists of a gown (robe), with a separate hood and usually a cap.
What is worn under the robe has evolved over the years but it is common to wear official clothes such as a suit for men and the equivalent for the women. Some universities are known to prevent those not properly dressed from joining the procession. Casual wear is not allowed during such ceremonies.
In the past, robes were worn while open at the front. This trend has also been seen among graduates of various institutions but the most recent trend is wearing the robe fully closed at the front.
The make and material depends on the climatic conditions and weather of the location of the institution. Materials used also vary from extremely economical to the very expensive. In the United States, Bachelor and Master Degree candidates are presented with the very expensive type of regalia. Doctoral graduates only wear their gowns during commencement and therefore rent their gowns instead of purchasing them.
Academic regalia vary by country. Each country has its own form of dress. Colors of the dress are also determined by the course undertaken in the University or college.
In the United States, Herff Jones has been known to be a supplier of regalia to various universities and colleges for over 85 years. He runs a successful business where he is entrusted to provide academic regalia to candidates of many universities in the U.S.
Academic regalia are here to stay; what changes are the designs as well as trends due to the evolving fashion industry. So let’s keep with the season as we all advance in education.