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Graduation Gowns – The Present Day

by Dominic Chandler
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Graduation celebration - Evess Group

With the advent of so many new universities, each requiring a distinctive system of robes, academic dress has changed significantly. However, for centuries it has been the shape of the sleeve that has served as an indication of the degree for which is represented and fortunately, this is a feature that remains today!

Bachelors wear gowns with long, pointed bat-wing sleeves; Masters wear gowns derived from Tudor fashions with long closed sleeves, and Doctors nearly always have a full-dress robe in scarlet cloth (for PhDs, the robe is more often in another shade of red, such as claret or crimson). More recently, the newest of the Universities have introduced a wide range of different colours into the system, such as the Grey of York and Blue of Kingston, marking a notable change in academic robes since its infancy.

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