Oxford University rewrites gender dress code

Oxford University students will no longer have to wear gender-specific academic clothing, after concerns that it was unfair to the transgender community. It will mean men can attend formal occasions in skirts and stockings and women in suits and bow ties, reports the BBC.

The new rules come after a motion by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer society (LGBTQ Soc) was passed by the student union earlier this year. The changes, to start from 4 August, have now been agreed by the university.

Jess Pumphrey, LGBTQ officer, said the change would make a number of students’ exam experiences significantly less stressful. Under the old laws on academic clothing – known as subfusc – male students were required to wear a dark suit and socks, black shoes, a white bow tie and a plain white shirt and collar under their black gowns. Female students had to wear a dark skirt or trousers, a white blouse, black stockings and shoes and a black ribbon tied in a bow at the neck. If a transgender student wanted to wear subfusc of the opposite sex they had to seek special dispensation from university proctors.
Full report on BBC site