News - September 22, 2004

Dress code

Ever wondered what you are supposed to wear under the black gown that is compulsory dress for professors attending the opening of the academic year and other official ceremonies?

‘On days like today, it’s far too hot for this kind of ‘uniform’, especially the heavier velvet bits,’ comments Linus van der Plas, professor of plant physiology after the ceremony. Frans Kok, professor of nutrition and health, lets it be known that the warm weather and dress code were the subject of a number of jokes. ‘I would have been more comfortable in swimming trunks.’ Nevertheless Kok knows exactly what the rules are: ‘Under a gown you have to wear dark trousers, dark socks and dark shoes. And it has to be a white shirt with long sleeves, and the top button done up, even if it’s hot.’ A different colour shirt, or short sleeves, brown shoes or light-coloured trousers are definitely not done. Women on the other hand can get away with more variety, as Anke Niehof, professor of sociology of consumers and households proved: her red shoes struck a different but tasteful note.