Groves classification system
The Groves Classification is a numbering system to enable the shape of any academic gown or hood to be easily described and identified. It was devised by Nicholas Groves to establish a common terminology for hoods and gowns to remedy the situation of individual universities using differing terms to describe the same item. As such it is used in same manner as an heraldic blazon whereby a textual description enables a coat of arms to be drawn. The system was first described in the Burgon Society's annual in 2001 and adopted as standard by robe makers and scholars of academic dress.
The original Groves Classification included a standardization for shapes and patterns of hoods and gowns worn by graduates and undergraduates. Further information was given regarding the use of different fabrics and standardization of colors, but the focus was placed on gowns and hoods which are explained further below.
The Classification undergoes periodic revision as new hood and gown patterns emerge.
Hoods in the Classification are divided into three different types as summarised in the table below. Unlike the gowns and robes, these are based on the shape of the hood rather than the degrees for which they are worn.
- [f] full shape hoods are those that have a cape, a cowl and a liripipe.
- [s] simple shape hoods have only a cowl and a liripipe.
- [a] Aberdeen shape hoods have only a cape and a vestigial cowl.
Rear view. Flat view
|Full shape hoods|
|[f1]||Cambridge||Cape with square corners.|
|[f2]||Dublin||As [f1] but the liripipe is curved at the inner corner.|
|[f3]||London||As [f1] but the cape corners are rounded.|
|Used for doctoral degrees at the University of Durham. As [f7] but the liripipe is cut at a 45 degree angle and the cowl is slanted downwards.|
|[f5]||Oxford Full||Used for doctoral degrees at the University of Oxford. As [f7] but larger and with a narrow squared 'slot' between the liripipe edge and the cape.|
|[f6]||Durham BA||Traditional shape for BA degrees at the University of Durham. As for [f7] but with a large, semi-circular cape, and the space between the cape and liripipe is cut in a quadrant arc. The liripipe is sewn on separately.|
|[f7]||Durham BSc||As [f3] but the bottom of the cape has a rounded, semi-circular edge.|
|As [s4] but with a cape sewn on the back.|
|[f9]||Glasgow||Larger version of [f1], with a longer cape and a long narrow liripipe. Typically made with a wide neckband.|
|[f10]||St Andrews||Similar to [f3] but the liripipe is slightly slanted outward and has a slight bell-shape to the end.|
||Created to resemble the more ancient version of the hood.|
|[f12]||King's Full||Designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood in 2008 and features two long (4') streamers which serve as gown facings. There is no neckband, and the hood is held in place by a button fixed to the each shoulder of the gown. Owing to its unique shape the hood cannot be folded flat. For clergymen that require it, a version with a neckband is available.|
|[f15]||Toronto||As [f14] but the liripipe is vertical rather than slanted.|
|Simple shape hoods|
|[s4]||Edinburgh||As for [f8] with the cape portion removed.|
|Designed by Aileen Stewart in 1993|
|Aberdeen shaped hoods|
Gowns in the Groves system are divided into three classes. These generally follow the shapes associated with each different academic degree in the British educational system.
- [b] bachelor's gowns typically have large open sleeves
- [m] master's gowns typically have long closed sleeves with armhole at elbow level
- [d] doctor's robes vary in shape widely between institutions and are all classed as [d].
|[b1]||Basic bachelor||plain open sleeves, point reaching knee|
|[b2]||Cambridge BA||sleeve has slit in foream seam|
|[b3]||Cambridge MB||front of sleeve has foldback and cord and button|
|[b4]||London BA||front of sleeve is pleated and held by cord and button|
|[b5]||Durham BA||lower 8" of forearm seam left open, and held by button and loop|
|[b6]||Wales BA||lower 6" of forearm seam left open and folded back, held by 2 buttons, with third button on seam in middle|
|[b7]||Bath BA||as [b5], but with button at top of slit|
|[b8]||Oxford BA||as [b1], but sleeves reach hem of gown|
|[b9]||Belfast BA||bell sleeve, pleated as [b4]|
|[b10]||Dublin BA||as [b1], but sleeves much smaller|
|[b11]||Reading BA||as [b2], but sleeve point is rounded off|
|[b12]||Sussex BA||bag sleeve with small armhole|
|Degree||Oxford MA||Cambridge MA||Dublin MA||Wales MA||London MA||Victoria MA||Lampeter BD||Leicester MA||Bristol MA|
|Basic Master||Lancaster MA||Scottish MA||Not used||Open||Warwick MA||Bath MA||Sussex MA||Manchester MA||King's MA|
|[d1]||Cambridge doctors||wide open sleeves, similar to [b1], with the wrist turned back and held with a cord and button|
|[d2]||Oxford doctors||bell sleeves|
|[d3]||Cambridge MusD||small bell sleeves with cuff|
|[d4]||Cambridge LL.D undress||flap-collar (QC's) gown|
|[d5]||Oxford convocation habit||sleeveless habit closed with two buttons at the front|
|[d6]||Sussex doctors||MA-style sleeve with vertical slit, base hollowed into B shape|
|[d8]||Cambridge DD undress||bell sleeves gathered at wrist|
|[h1]||Mortarboard||a square board attached to a skull cap, often with a button and tassel|
|[h2]||Tudor bonnet||a round soft hat with brim, often with a cord and tassels|
|[h3]||John Knox cap||a square soft cap|
|[h4]||Bishop Andrewes cap||like [h1] but soft and with a silk tuff in lieu of button and tassel|
|[h5]||Oxford ladies' cap||a soft square cap with a flap at the back and held up with two buttons|
|[h6]||Sussex pileus||a round cylindrical cap with a covered button on the top|
|[h7]||Leicester doctoral cap||a modified biretta|
|[h8]||UEA BA||a skull cap with upturned brim (no longer used in practice, though still prescribed officially as the undergraduate cap)|
|[h9]||UEA MA||a skull cap with a triangular structure on top (no longer used by students, though worn by the Registrar at congregation ceremonies)|
The Groves classification system was first published in 2001. Since that time, it has been adapted and changed to include newly devised academic dress and revisions of existing schemes. The Burgon Society maintains a comprehensive listing of system shapes on its website. In addition to those included above, the current list classifies undergraduate gowns in use throughout the United Kingdom and academic headwear.
American doctoral robes
In 2012, David Boven devised a system of classification to include unique doctoral robes in the United States of America. The Intercollegiate Code describes the form of dress for doctors at American institutions, but many have changed the colors of their robes. Several institutions have even developed unique forms of robes for the doctoral graduates. In all of these instances, there are some cases where 
|Code||Gown Color||Facing/Bar Color||Piping|
|[c1]||ICC black||ICC black (or discipline color)||Colored|
|[c2]||ICC black||Colored||Colored (or black)|
|[c3]||Colored||ICC black (or discipline color)||Colored (or black)|
|[c4]||Colored||Colored||Colored (or black)|
|[c5]||Princeton||Similar to ICC, but velvet removed from the robe and replaced with faille orange facings and sleeve bars. Sleeves shortened and orange lining added. Designed to be worn open.|
|[c6]||Stanford||Modified version of the Cambridge doctors [d1] robe. Side panels of gown body cardinal red with black facings and black yoke. Sleeves black with cuffs covered in red and also lined in satin indicating discipline. Facings bear coat of arms. Designed to be worn open.|
|[c7]||Stony Brook||Blue robes with no sleeve bars, but three gold rays extending from bottom of sleeves and coming to point at shoulder. Right shoulder bears small representation of university’s seal. Rays attached to sleeve at wrist and shoulder, but remain unattached for rest of length.|
|[c8]||RIT||Based on standard ICC robe with velvet facings and sleeve bars, but with addition of long pointed sleeves similar to the Cambridge doctor’s [d1] robe|
- Groves, Nicholas (2001), "Towards a Standard Terminology for Describing Academic Dress", The Burgon Society Annual 1: 9–12, http://www.burgon.org.uk/society/library/trans/annual2001.pdf .
- "The Design of Academical Dress". The Burgon Society. http://www.burgon.org.uk/design/groves.php.
- Boven, David T. (2012). "A Touch of Colour: Surveying Variation in American Academic Dress and a System of Categories for Departures". Transactions of the Burgon Society 12: 86-102. doi:10.4148/2475-7799.1102. https://newprairiepress.org/burgonsociety/vol12/iss1/7/. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
- Nicholas Groves (ed.) (2011) Shaw's Academical Dress of Great Britain and Ireland; 3rd ed. Published by the Burgon Society, ISBN:978-0-95612723-5
Original source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groves classification system. Read more