The Fundamentals of Wearing an Academic Regalia

The doctoral degree graduate wears a burgundy robe with black braided sleeve decoration. You will also wear a burgundy robe to represent two postgraduate degrees as a doctoral graduate. The robe should be ornate for your formal dress and represent two degrees, not one. The colors and styles of academic regalia vary significantly by institution, and it can be tricky to pick the right one.

Doctoral degree graduates wear a burgundy cloth robe with a black braided sleeve decoration.

The academic regalia for doctoral graduates varies by institution. Undergraduates wear a black gown with 10 cm red silk facing, while doctorates in philosophy and professional studies wear burgundy gowns with red edging. Members of the university council wear black woolen robes with gold trim. In addition, all doctorate graduates must wear black gloves and a burgundy hood with braided sleeve decoration.

In the 1890s, robes for doctoral degree graduates were made of wool flannel, panama, or other superfine cloth. The length was not specified. Early doctoral gowns featured 18-inch-wide bars, but most manufacturers favored generous dimensions. By the 1930s, facings and sleeve bars tended to be four to five inches in width and a length of fifteen to sixteen inches.

Academic robes are plain.

Generally speaking, academic robes are plain. This is not a change from medieval times when monks and priests wore hoods and cloaks. Academic robes were once worn in the Middle Ages but gradually became more sophisticated and comfortable. They were usually black and lacked any fancy drapings. The colors of the robes did not become standard until the late 1800s. In addition, they varied from country to country and university to university.

Academic robes are made from various materials, from inexpensive polyester to costly silk. While bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates often receive souvenir regalia, which is usually quite plain, many doctoral graduates rent their regalia for a short time. The rented regalia are almost always made from polyester or man-made synthetic fiber. The only exceptions are gowns made from artificial silk and Russell cord.

Doctoral robes are ornate.

The robes worn by Doctoral students are very ornate, and many universities have specific color schemes. Most Doctoral robes are velvet and have a hood. They also have three stripes on the arms and are either light blue, Kelly green, or brown. The discipline determines the color of the doctoral robe the doctorate is working in. While most robes are white, some institutions add trim and ornamentation to distinguish between postgraduate degrees.

In American universities, the style of the gowns for different degrees is generally standard. Doctoral candidates at Georgia Tech, for example, wear gold regalia with velvet facings and bars on the sleeves. The doctoral hood has a blue trim, representing the school’s philosophy. The hood is also lined with blue velvet. Some schools also make the hoods more ornate by choosing a color other than black.

Academic robes should represent two or more doctoral degrees.

Academic robes should be able to communicate your degree. Most universities have specific colors for each discipline. While the robes for graduate and post-graduate degrees are usually black, doctoral regalia may have a different color. Therefore, the colors of the hoods should match the color of the doctoral degree. It is also wise to wear hoods to show your commitment to intellectual life.

As the oldest formal robe, doctoral hoods should represent two or more doctoral degrees. Typically, postgraduate hoods are blue with gold tassels. Doctoral hoods should be red, but a green hood is acceptable. Two or three sleeve bars are required for two or more doctoral degrees.

Materials used for academic regalia

Academic regalia, also known as cap and gown, vary according to the level of scholarship and the degree conferred. Bachelor’s regalia is often simple, with a small hood or cap. Master’s regalia is more elaborate, often featuring velvet and three stripes on the arms and hoods. In most cases, a professional company makes the materials used for academic regalia. 

Academic regalia can be made of several materials depending on the style, ranging from very cheap to very expensive. Souvenir regalia are often given to bachelor’s and master’s degree candidates but rarely used. Doctoral students may choose to rent regalia, which is more affordable and generally made of polyester or man-made synthetic fiber. Purchasing academic regalia is a more expensive option unless you can find a gown made of 100% polyester, which is the most common fabric used for academic regalia.