It’s grad season for a lot of high schools/colleges/universitys right now and so I thought I would give my two cents about graduation fashion and mix it up with my Sunday posts about St Andrews!
When I graduated from my undergrad, we were allowed to wear whatever we wanted. I was so jittery, I spent weeks trying to find the perfect dress. I ended up getting a colourful dress full of purple and pink hues. I wanted colour to put under my black gown. It was fun! It was very undergrad! (Note: I have to say I was less than thrilled to see fellow graduates arrive in Metallica t-shirts and flip flops…but anyhow.)
When I got into St Andrews, I quickly noticed the dress code that was asked of graduands: Women must wear a white top, dark trousers or skirts and black shoes. // Men must wear a dark suit, dark shoes, white shirt and white bow tie. // Everyone is allowed to wear the traditional dress of their country.
It was simple. I wore a black pencil skirt and bought a classic white blouse for the occasion. I also paired the outfit with my grandmother’s pearls and some black heels. Some wore flats, some wore high heels and some were actually thinking of the Scottish November weather and wore booties. The other fun thing was seeing the traditional dress of people who came from across the world! There were traditional dresses from Africa and Asia, and the most common was the Irish/Scottish tradition of the kilts. My boyfriend is a Scot and was wearing the kilt and white bow tie. So nice!
I LOVED the black and white. I thought, looking back at the pictures, that it made the whole thing look classy and we just look so great all together. It all fits so perfectly!
Like everything St Andrews does, its graduation is a bit different from other universities. They called out names depending on the qualification we were receiving, MA, BSc, MLitt, MSc, PhD, etc. When they call your name you walk across the stage to go kneel in front of the principal who then confers the degree upon you by tapping you on the head with a sort of bonnet (which was apparently John Knox’s). They then place your hood on you and you can officially start adding the letters to your name.
Wanna know a little secret? The only thing I worried about with my outfit was the fact that I had to kneel down in high heels. I’m already a bit clumsy in high heels and I was so scared I would have a malfunction on stage.
So after living both the ‘free for all’ and the dress code, I think I preferred the dress code. But I also think they both fitted different stages of my life. The wilder and bit more awkward years of undergrad and the more self assured time of grad school. I’d like to think I have it more together now 😉
What do you think? Did you have a dress code for graduation? Do you think it’s okay to tell students how to dress? Were there any weird traditions for your graduation? xx