Why Caps and Gowns Are Significant
The idea of wearing a cap and gown at graduation ceremonies originated in medieval Europe. When students graduated from the universities and schools there, they were required to conform to the laws of the church and wear the proper dress code mandated by those laws. This garb traditionally included a cloak and hood, which the cap and gown of today are meant to resemble.
Each gown has a special meaning behind it. It can be made from all kinds of materials and in all sorts of colors. The gown usually coordinates with the school colors. These gowns often vary based on the specific occasion and the people wearing them. There are all kinds of additions that can be worn over the gown as signs of certain achievements, awards, or other things.
At college graduations, people who have earned different degrees will wear different outfits based on the levels and types of those degrees. A bachelor’s degree gown versus a PhD gown would look a lot less dignified because it is of a lesser standing. The colors also vary based on the kind of degree. For instance, a master’s degree in math would look one way while a master’s in art would look another.
The Cap and Tassel
The cap that is most often seen at graduations today is also sometimes called a mortarboard. These caps are the typical square, kind of silly looking ones to which a tassel is attached in the center. The tassel will usually have the colors of the school or university, and the cap will be of matching color and material to the gown. Together, these two items top off the graduation attire. Typically, when the graduate receives his or her diploma, the tassel will be swapped from one side of the cap to the other, signifying this major step in life.