Dress code and etiquette
The conferment ceremony is a spectacular celebration where visual elements and tradition play a key role. In this, a strictly regulated dress code is useful. A uniform dress code enhances a sense of community and establishes a solemn atmosphere. We ask all participants in the conferment ceremony to comply with the following dress guidelines.

Traditionally, ceremonial dress has been strictly gender based. Below, the dress codes for each event included in the conferment festivities are presented by participant group (graduands, companions and other invited guests), itemised by men and women. Each individual can choose the most natural option from the dress options of their group. However, clothing must consistently adhere to the chosen option throughout the conferment festivities. 

The festive atmosphere also includes the consideration of other participants. Below the dress guidelines, we have compiled general instructions, which we hope will be observed in the conferment festivities. 

 

Conferment ceremony rehearsal and rector’s reception, 8 June 

The rector’s reception, to which all of the graduands and their companions are invited, will be held after the conferment rehearsal compulsory for graduands. The dress code for the reception is dark suit. For men, this means a black or other dark-coloured suit. The shirt must be white, but the tie can be colourful but subdued. Women can wear long or short gowns without any restrictions on colour. Trouser suits are also accepted. The key is for the outfit to be festive and dignified. Please note that the reception will follow the rehearsal without a break, leaving no time for changing clothes in between.  

 

Conferment ceremony and church service/secular event, 9 June 

Graduands (including jubilee and honorary doctors) 

Women 

Women wear a uniformly black full-length dress with a high neckline. The dress must have full-length sleeves that extend down to the wrist as well as a simple neckline. The wearer of the dress must be able to walk up and down stairs in a solemn procession. At the conferment ceremony, clerical robes (long hem) are also permitted. The material of the dress worn in the conferment ceremony should be restrained, with no glitter or transparent elements. In addition, the fabric also may not include separate ornaments, such as sequins.  

The shoes and socks worn with the dress are black. The shoes must not be open-toed or backless. When choosing shoes, it should be taken into consideration that the conferment ceremony involves a great deal of walking and standing. In spite of the long hem, shoes will be visible when ascending the conferrer’s podium. 

Jewellery must be simple. Gloves and purses are not used. Any necessary small items can be hidden, for example, in a concealed pocket sewn into the gown. 

Men 

Men wear either an evening dress with a black waistcoat or their clerical robe. The dress shirt must have a starched winged collar and simple cuffs, and the tie must be white. Ruffled or pleated shirts must not be worn with the evening dress. The dress shirt buttons must be either pearl or gold. A breast pocket handkerchief is not used with a black waistcoat.  

Shoes must be black, preferably with laces. The socks must also be black. No white gloves and no wrist watch are to be worn with the evening dress. When wearing a pocket watch, the watch chains should be only moderately displayed.  

 

Graduands’ companions 

The same dress code applies to the companions of the graduands as to the graduands themselves. Instead of an evening dress or clerical robe, male companions can wear dark suit, which denotes a black or other dark-coloured suit. The shirt must be white and shoes black. The tie must be one-colour, dark or silver. 

 

Invited guests  

Women 

In the conferment ceremony, the women who have been invited observe the same dress code as female doctoral graduands. The audience must not wear any hats other than doctoral hats, which those members of the audience who have completed a doctoral degree should bring with them and, at a sign given by the conferrer, place on their heads. 

 

Men 

In the conferment ceremony, the men who have been invited observe the same dress code as the male doctoral graduands, or wear dark suit, which denotes a black or other dark-coloured suit. The shirt must be white and shoes black. The tie must be plain. The audience must not wear any hats other than doctoral hats, which those members of the audience who have completed a doctoral degree should bring with them and, at a sign given by the conferrer, place on their heads. 

 

Decorations 

In the conferment ceremony, only state decorations are worn in accordance with the relevant instructions. Medals of service awarded in the academic community are comparable to state decorations. Holders of Finnish decorations are obliged to wear their decorations, which are worn in full size (not miniatures). The decorations are to be worn on the left. Men place decorations above the breast pocket so that the top of the ribbons will be about two centimetres below the buttonhole on the lapel. Women also wear their decorations on the left. The most prestigious decoration is placed furthest on the right. Academic decorations and badges of merit or the ribbons of student nations, faculty organisations and other parties are not worn. 

In addition, doctoral degree holders attending the conferment ceremony bring with them a doctoral hat in accordance with their field of science or similar insignia of their academic degree. 

 

Conferment dinner, 9 June  

Newly conferred doctors (including jubilee and honorary doctors)  

Women 

Women wear a black evening gown or their clerical robe (long hem). The evening gown can be the one worn in the conferment ceremony, but it can also be more festive in terms of both material and design. The purse should be small and delicate, and the jewellery elegant. No wrist watches are worn. 

 

Men 

Men wear an evening dress with a white waistcoat or their clerical robe. With the evening dress, black patent leather shoes must be worn. The socks are black. Wrist watches and gloves are not worn with the evening dress. Instead, a white breast pocket handkerchief is used with a white waistcoat. 

 

Companions of newly conferred doctors 

The same dress code applies to the companions of the graduands as to the graduands themselves. Male companions can alternatively wear a dark suit, which denotes a black or other dark-coloured suit. The shirt must be white, but the tie can be colourful. 

 

Invited guests 

Women 

The women who have been invited wear a colourful or black festive gown. The material of the gown can be, for example, silk, velvet, brocade or chiffon. The purse should be small and delicate, and the jewellery elegant. No wrist watches are worn. Instead of a long evening gown, women can wear their clerical robe (long hem).  

 

Men 

The men who have been invited wear either an evening dress with a white waistcoat or their clerical robe, or a dark suit, denoting a black or other dark-coloured suit. International guests may wear a formal dinner jacket corresponding to evening dress.  

 

Decorations 

At the conferment dinner, only state decorations are worn, but miniature versions are permitted as an alternative to full-size decorations. Medals of service awarded in the academic community are comparable to state decorations. Academic decorations and badges of merit or the ribbons of student nations, faculty organisations and other parties are not worn. 

 

Excursion, 10 June 

The sailing excursion calls for a smart and comfortable attire, taking the weather into account. The dress code is smart casual. Clothing with obvious logos and overly athletic outfits are not appropriate. A traditional Finnish student cap can be worn outdoors and indoors on the trip.  

 

Etiquette and general instructions 

The conferment ceremony must be a safe event for all participants. We therefore require that the participants comply with the separate instructions for a safe space throughout the festivities. In addition, participants must be considerate of others in their behaviour. For example, talking and other unnecessary disturbances must be avoided during speeches and performances. 

Strong fragrances (perfumes and aftershaves) should be avoided. 

All events included in the conferment festivities will be photographed, and the photographs will be made available to the participants. In the conferment ceremony, the church service and the secular service as well as the related processions, photography is prohibited, including selfies taken with a smartphone.