I've got an admission to Cambridge University and have been asked to attend an afternoon tea event at my future college, it is a matriculation event. In contrast to all other invitations there has been no reference towards the expected dress code.

Are there any implicit/explicit expectations on what to wear as a female attendant? In many pictures I saw people wearing hats to such an occasion. Is it compulsory?

Thank you for any answers and your help.

  • 13
    Have you considered asking them?
    – StrongBad
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 19:29
  • 8
    Don't wear a silly hat :)
    – Nick S
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 19:32
  • 3
    Hats certainly aren't compulsory, it's not a wedding... Are you matriculating as an undergraduate or a postgraduate? Either way, something "smart"? As @StrongBad says - ask them, the colleges will be more than happy to help out! Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


I think a hat would be overdoing it. Men will typically wear chinos, a collared shirt and a jacket to such things. Ladies have somewhat more choice: perhaps a dress, or smart trousers and a nice jumper. Colleges vary; some are smarter than others!

Ultimately, the most important thing is to be comfortable - the point of the reception is to meet people and make new friends, so you want to feel as relaxed as possible! So don't feel you have to dress up unduly if that's not your style.

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