Terminology Tuesday #1 Quirky and curious fashion terms: Mortar board

Do you know your Derby’s from your Oxfords? Or you Boater from your Breton? Or in fact your plaid from your tartan? There is so much fashion terminology that we hear bandied about and it can get quite befuddling.

In the interest of…………….. well… interest, and clarity in moments of discourse regarding costume, I hereby officially pledge to share with you on Terminology Tuesday, each week a quick explanation of a quirky or curious costume term.

First up is:

The Mortar board


source: http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=62657&picture=mortar-board-graduate-cap

You know the one. This is the funny looking head wear of university and college graduates. It consists of a large square black brim attached horizontally to a cap.

Commonly worn with an academic robe featuring the colours representative of the faculty of study, this academic dress, has been in use since the 14th century.

Over time and in different cultures the rules and customs governing its use have diversified.  However in many customs the large centrally attached tassel is positioned to the right before graduation and switched to the left afterwards. (So yep he has graduated.)

Other names used to refer to this item include: cater cap, corner cap, cornet, Oxford Cap, trencher cap, and square cap.

Go here to read the Wikipedia and a more comprehensive lowdown.

Happy Tuesday,


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