3 ways to wear a college gown

3 ways to wear a college gown
3 ways to wear a college gown

University gowns are part of ceremonial dress and are most often worn during academic events and graduation ceremonies. Unlike other outfits of its kind, college gowns are meant to cover the back and around the neck. Wearing this type of clothing properly and being comfortable in it can be the most complex part of a graduation ceremony. However, if you know how to properly arrange your gown, you won't have a hard time tailoring your overall appearance to the height of the event. It is also important to note that university gowns are quite common in the United States, but not very much in France.


Method 1 of 3: Put on your own gown

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Step 1. Determine your university's requirements for wearing gowns

How you put on your gown will depend on whether you will need to put it on yourself or whether it will be up to a teacher to have it worn for you during the ceremony. If you are participating in a ceremony, you may need to put your outfit on your arm or shoulders and wait for it to be placed over your neck. Check with your university for the instructions and deadlines for wearing your university gown.

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Step 2. Unfold your gown

Chances are your gown will be delivered to you neatly folded and wrapped in a plastic bag or simply placed on a hanger. Shake it so that it is fully unfolded. Then lay it on a flat surface to make sure it is properly prepared, before putting or wrapping it on your shoulders or arm.

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Step 3. Turn the velor liner over

You will find that your gown has a velor lining that runs from top to bottom and where you will need to put your head. This highly colored velvet indicates the type of diploma you are about to receive, which implies that it will have to be directed outward. So you should not hide the colors that show what you have accomplished!

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Step 4. Turn the satin trim over

At the bottom half of the velor lining, you'll notice that most college gowns will have a satin trim that reflects the institution's colors. Fold the latter so that the velvet remains visible on the upper half of the dress and the trim appears at the lower half. Gowns usually have a string and a small button that you can attach horizontally halfway down to keep the satin trim visible.

This trim will need to be placed under your shoulder blades once the hood is on your head

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Step 5. Pass the gown over your head

A university gown is made so that it falls over the back and hangs around the neck. You need to make sure that the small, pointed end, which is also usually lined with velvet, stays flattened at the base of your neck.

Remove your faluche when putting on your toga, just to prevent it from getting tangled in it

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Step 6. Secure the gown using the string and a button or pin

Most gowns have a small cord that holds the triangular end that wraps around the nape of the neck. Form a knot with this cord on a shirt button or on a button made intentionally inside your gown in order to keep it in place. As soon as the gown is attached to your garment or inside itself, you can then close it.

  • If you do not intend to put on a dress or shirt with buttons and your gown does not have a button made for this purpose, you can use a safety pin in this case.
  • In the event that your toga does not have a string or the string breaks, then you can use a strong thread and a large needle to make a string yourself. However, be sure to use a cord the color of which matches that of the gown. Black is generally more suitable.
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Step 7. Have a friend or family member check the folding

It could happen that you upset the folding when you put the gown through your head. Since this state of affairs can no longer be easily corrected when the gown is worn, it is advisable to have someone else nearby if needed.

Method 2 of 3: Have the dress put on at the ceremony

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Step 1. Bring your gown to the graduation ceremony

The officials of your university, your hierarchical superiors and your professors will congratulate you on your course by making you wear the academic gown during the ceremony.

There are some universities where you won't need to bring your gown. Instead, you will need to drop it off in advance. It is therefore important that you follow very closely the guidelines put in place by your university in this regard

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Step 2. Put the folded gown over your shoulders or arm

You should fold your academic gown in half and make sure that the velor lining is fully visible. The stripe of the velor should be placed on the front part of your arm, while facing outwards. The small end (or neck) should face your body.

If the toga has a string or button, like the satin trim, make sure these are loose. Your teacher will fix them for you during the ceremony

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Step 3. Bring your gown on stage

It is important that you take into account the guidelines given by your establishment to make sure that you are using the correct arm. Most schools will require you to use the arm closest to your teacher and furthest from the audience, which is usually your left arm. It is important to note, however, that for some graduation ceremonies, you may be required to put on your academic gown on your right arm.

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Step 4. Turn away from your teacher and remove your bundle

Your faluche can hinder you during the ceremony. To do this, simply remove it and turn your back towards the professor. This will allow the latter to easily put the gown on your garment.

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Step 5. Allow your teacher to put on the gown

Your teacher will pass the gown over your head and place it on your shoulders. It will then connect the rope to your neck. After that, he will place the velor lining along your shoulders so that the toga can suit your back. The lower half of the academic gown will also be rotated to make the satin trim visible. Finally, the teacher will tie the rope in the middle of the gown to secure the fold.

Method 3 of 3: Buy the perfect gown

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Step 1. Rent or buy an academic gown

Most universities will give you the option of either buying or renting an academic gown. For the majority of people, renting this type of clothing is more economical. However, if your dream is to become a professor, you may have to wear the gown as a faculty member in the future. If so, it would be better to buy your own gown.

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Step 2. Take a look at your university's restrictions on the gown

There are many universities that have a specific academic gown supplier and therefore will not allow you to purchase your garment elsewhere. On the other hand, other establishments will allow you to rent or buy the gown from the supplier of your choice or perhaps even lend it to a former student. Always make sure you comply with your university's requirements so that you can fully participate in the graduation ceremony.

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Step 3. Tell your gown supplier what degree you want to receive

Academic gowns vary depending on the type of diploma awarded. To be sure that you are purchasing the right type of clothing, let your supplier know whether you will be awarded a BTS, Bachelor, Master or Doctorate.

  • In most universities, the university gown is not necessarily required for students at the BTS level. Those who adopt it do so just to increase the scope of the event.
  • The university dress for the License can be distinguished, because it has straight sleeves. It is also important to specify that some institutions do not make it a necessity for the graduation ceremony of their students.
  • Regarding Master's degrees, the university gown stands out by the presence of cuts with closed sleeves. Once again, this only applies to establishments that wish it.
  • The college gown adopted for the doctorate in most universities that allow it comes with bevelled sleeves.
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Step 4. Give the name of your establishment to your supplier

If the gown you will put on is not made by a supplier recognized by your university, then it is important that you make sure that your tunic meets the standards set by the school. Also take the trouble to make sure that whoever makes you your college gown has all the relevant information about your institution, so that the attire you will wear matches perfectly with that of your colleagues.

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Step 5. Inform your supplier about your area of ​​training

Even if the wearing of university gowns is not really anchored in the habits of French higher education institutions, it must be said that its adoption has been the subject of regulations over the generations. This is how you will see that there are standard color sets that indicate and inform not only your field of study, but also your degree. So you should check these kind of rather important details with your university to make sure that you are purchasing the required dress.

At one time in France, law and economics students wore a scarlet-colored gown and black belt, while those of exact and experimental sciences wore an amaranth-colored gown and belt. In addition, the university degree was distinguished according to the number of ranks of ermine in the epitoge. Thus, the students who defended in doctorate had 3 ranks of ermine


  • Going to a graduation ceremony wearing a college gown is not a formal rule and you should check with your institution to see if this is really necessary.
  • Each degree and each institution generally requires a specific dress. So you need to make sure you check your university's requirements for this to avoid making mistakes.

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