Like many universities in the United Kingdom, St Andrews has a distinctive traditional type of student dress. While everyday use has long gone out of fashion, the red undergraduate gowns are still used on a number of occasions throughout the academic year, and almost weekly at Pier Walks.
|On the left is a graduate gown, on the right is an undergraduate gown|
Gowns are never buckled at the neck as it has long been considered cursed, owing to a story in centuries passed about a unfortunate student who ventured into the sea in his gown buttoned at the neck to assist those that had shipwrecked off shore and inadvertently drowned himself no thanks to his gown.
|In a gown during the Easter Pier Walk|
Gowns are now worn in a fashion that can only be described as an "academic striptease." First years firmly wear the gown on their shoulders, while second years have their gowns just off the shoulders. Third years wear in completely off a single shoulder, students in the Arts wear it off the left shoulder and students in Sciences wear it off the right, as they are "always right." And finally students in their final year, wear the gown hanging at their elbows, ready to shed themselves of the undergraduate garb.
|As Kathy and I prove, the gowns also make for excellent fun|