The Student Room Group

Cambridge formal

I’m attending a formal dinner (PostGraduate) and it’s my first one. I hired my dinner jacket (bow tie and all) and all is well, except that I don’t like the fit of my dinner jacket as I’m a large person and it makes me look weird. If I wore my gown over my shirt and waistcoat throughout the event and ditched my jacket is this ok? My white sleeves show of course, but I’m worried this makes me look like I’m graduating instead. Has anyone been to a formal without their jacket? Also it will be a hot day.
Original post by MrDude21
I’m attending a formal dinner (PostGraduate) and it’s my first one. I hired my dinner jacket (bow tie and all) and all is well, except that I don’t like the fit of my dinner jacket as I’m a large person and it makes me look weird. If I wore my gown over my shirt and waistcoat throughout the event and ditched my jacket is this ok? My white sleeves show of course, but I’m worried this makes me look like I’m graduating instead. Has anyone been to a formal without their jacket? Also it will be a hot day.


You can't see the fit of anything under a gown. It would look a bit odd not to be wearing a jacket, so as long as you can move in it, I'd wear it. The gown covers shoulders, waist, hem line etc - it also drags things out of shape anyway.

Generally though, attendees at formal events at Cambridge are so international, that while it might seem 'the right thing to do' to fit in with the formality, in truth many people don't and come in their own interpretation, and that is fine. Why on earth should everyone perfect an upper-middle class, English, 1950's style of dress?

With any luck, someone will come in a kilt, and that will take all the attention!

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