Beyond the Size

The Ultimate Guide to Graduation Caps: History Sizing and Customization

Graduation season is a time of excitement and anticipation as students prepare to take that all-important walk across the stage to receive their hard-earned diploma. While many students pay close attention to their graduation outfit, one important component often goes unnoticed the graduation cap.

In this article, we will delve into the world of graduation caps, including sizing, how to wear them, and some frequently asked questions.

Standard Graduation Cap Sizes

Square academic caps, commonly known as mortarboards, are the most commonly recognized graduation cap. These caps typically measure between 8.5-12 inches or 22-30 centimeters in length and come with an elastic headband to fit securely on the head.

When selecting a graduation cap, it is important to ensure that it fits properly. If the cap is too small, it will be uncomfortable and difficult to secure on the head.

Alternatively, if the cap is too large, it may wobble or fall off. Many online suppliers such as Balfour and the University of Texas offer standard graduation cap sizes, but if you find that your head size is outside of the norm, you may need to opt for a custom-made cap.

Sizing Your Gown and Graduation Cap

To ensure that your graduation cap fits properly, it is important to first have your head size measured. To do this, wrap a measuring tape around the widest part of your head, just above your eyebrows and ears.

Take note of the measurement in inches or centimeters. If you are ordering your graduation cap online, be sure to check the sizing chart carefully and select the appropriate size.

It is also a good idea to try the cap on as soon as it arrives to make sure that it fits properly. Some students may find that their graduation cap is a little wobbly or loose.

In this case, it is perfectly acceptable to use bobby pins or double-sided tape to secure the cap in place.

How to Wear a Graduation Cap

Putting on the Graduation Cap

Wearing a graduation cap can be a bit tricky if you’ve never done it before. Here are some steps to follow to ensure that your cap looks just right:


Hold the cap by the pointed end and place it on your head. 2.

The sides of the cap should be parallel to the ground. 3.

The front of the cap should be centered on your forehead. 4.

Adjust the cap slightly to one side to create a slight angle. 5.

The tassel should be located on the right-hand side of the cap.

FAQ About Graduation Caps

Tam or Mortarboard? There are two main types of graduation caps the tam and the mortarboard.

The tam is a round, flat cap with no visor, while the mortarboard is the more traditional square-shaped cap with a visor. The mortarboard is the most commonly used cap in the United States.

Do I Wear the Cap or the Gown First? When getting dressed for graduation, it is important to put on your gown before your cap.

Once your gown is securely in place, you can add your graduation cap. Can I Decorate My Graduation Cap?

Many students choose to decorate their graduation caps with personal touches such as quotes, glitter, or drawings. It’s important to check with your school beforehand to find out if there are any rules or regulations regarding cap decorations.

Why is the Graduation Cap Square? The square shape of the graduation cap is rooted in tradition.

The cap was first worn by European scholars in the 14th and 15th centuries and represented the shape of the books they carried. Over time, the square academic cap became associated with academic achievement and is now a staple of graduation ceremonies around the world.

What if My Graduation Cap Falls Off? If your graduation cap falls off during the ceremony, don’t panic.

Simply place it back on your head and continue walking. If you’re worried about your cap falling off, you can secure it with bobby pins or double-sided tape before the ceremony.

In conclusion, the graduation cap is an important part of the graduation ceremony. By selecting the appropriate size, learning how to wear it properly, and adding a personal touch, you can make your graduation cap a memorable part of your graduation experience.

3) History of Graduation Caps

The history of the graduation cap can be traced back to the English universities of Oxford and Cambridge in the 14th century. At that time, undergraduate students wore rounded caps, while master’s degree and Ph.D. candidates were distinguished by square caps with tassels on top.

In the centuries that followed, the square cap became a symbol of prestige and academic achievement. By the 19th century, the square academic cap had become a standard fixture of graduation ceremonies in Europe and the United States.

According to National Geographic, the tassel on the graduation cap also has significance. The side of the cap on which the tassel is worn has changed over time, with some universities opting for the left side and others the right.

In the 20th century, it became more common for universities in the United States to place the tassel on the right, with the understanding that it would be moved to the left side once students received their degrees. Today, the square mortarboard cap is commonly worn by high school and undergraduate students, while master’s degree and Ph.D. candidates often wear rounded tams.

4) Custom-Tailored Graduation Outfits

While many students opt for standard graduation outfit sizes, custom-tailored graduation outfits have become increasingly popular in recent years. Custom-tailored graduation outfits refer to outfits that are specifically tailored to the individual student’s body shape and size.

Benefits of Custom-Tailored Graduation Outfits

One of the main benefits of a custom-tailored graduation outfit is that it can be designed to fit the unique body shape of the student. Off-the-rack graduation outfits are designed to fit a range of body types, which can result in an awkward or uncomfortable fit for some students.

Custom-tailored graduation outfits are also designed to fit the shape of the student’s head. This is particularly important when it comes to the graduation cap, which must fit securely on the student’s head.

A well-fitting cap can prevent discomfort and prevent the cap from falling off during the ceremony. Finally, custom-tailored graduation outfits can provide a level of comfort that off-the-rack outfits may lack.

Graduation ceremonies can be long and uncomfortable, and a well-fitting outfit can help make the ceremony more enjoyable.

Price Range for Custom-Tailored Graduation Outfits

While custom-tailored graduation outfits may sound expensive, there are affordable options available. Some online suppliers offer custom-tailored graduation outfits at prices that are comparable to standard-sized outfits.

It’s also important to note that some schools may offer rental outfits that are customized to fit the student’s body shape. For students who are interested in a high-end custom-tailored outfit, prices can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

It’s important to consult with a reputable tailor or supplier to determine the best option for your budget. In conclusion, custom-tailored graduation outfits and the history of graduation caps are two fascinating aspects of the graduation ceremony.

By opting for a custom-tailored outfit or learning about the origins of the graduation cap, students can add meaning and personalization to their graduation experience. In conclusion, as students prepare for their graduation ceremonies, it’s important not to overlook the importance of the graduation cap and gown.

By selecting the appropriate size, learning how to wear it properly, and adding personal touches, students can make their graduation outfit a memorable part of their special day. Custom-tailored outfits can also provide a level of comfort and fit that off-the-rack outfits may lack.

To help address common questions, here is a list of frequently asked questions:

– What is the history of the graduation cap? The square academic cap originated in English universities in the 14th century, and has since become a symbol of prestige and academic achievement.

– How do I select the correct graduation cap size? Measure the widest part of your head with a measuring tape, and check online sizing charts or try on your cap as soon as it arrives to ensure a proper fit.

– How do I wear a graduation cap? Place the cap on your head with the pointed end facing forward, and adjust slightly to one side to create a slight angle.

The tassel should be located on the right-hand side of the cap. – Can I decorate my graduation cap?

Check with your school first to see if there are any rules or regulations regarding cap decorations. – Should I opt for a custom-tailored graduation outfit?

Custom-tailored outfits can provide a well-fitting and comfortable option, and there are affordable options available for those on a budget. It’s important to also consider rental options offered by some schools.

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