The MCR and College organise a number of events during the year that will have a set dress code. This can often be daunting to the newcomer who is unfamiliar with the distinction between black tie and lounge suits, so below is a rough guide to decoding Cambridge dress requirements. Information about Dining at Caius can be found here. For anything else, contact our MCR Dining Officers (email)
Members of the College are required to wear gowns during meals attended by the Fellows – these include Formal Hall and some other events, like Matriculation or BA Dinner. For graduate students over the age of 24, the appropriate gown is an MA gown (i.e. one with long sleeves that end in a pocket); for graduates younger than 24, a BA gown (i.e. with short sleeves) is in order. Many gowns will have two black ribbons attached to indicate that you obtained your undergraduate degree from Cambridge: if that is not the case, then these should remain hidden (or cut off).
Lounge Suit: The most common dress code.
Gentlemen – suit, necktie, and dress shoes.
Ladies – dress ranging in length from just above the knee to about two inches above the ankle. Alternatively, a nice skirt/trousers with shirt.
Black Tie: Most common dress code for special occasions such as Superformals.
Gentlemen – dinner suit (UK)/tuxedo (American), comprising a black jacket with silk/satin lapels, bow tie, white dress shirt with wing-tip or fold-down traditional collar, black socks and dress shoes, black trousers with one braid/stripe of silk/satin
Ladies – evening gown or cocktail dress of any colour, typically reaching the knees or longer
White Tie: The strictest, most ”formal” dress. It is only required rarely, for Balls mostly.
Gentlemen – black tailcoat, white bowtie, white low-cut waistcoat, white stiff-fronted shirt with a stiff winged collar, black trousers with two braids/stripes of silk/satin, black socks and patent leather shoes
Ladies – ball gown at least ankle length, open shoulders with shawl as shoulders should be covered, small clutch-type bags, gloves