Though the unknown author(s) of The British Medical Journal's 1910 publication, "Academic Costumes," presented a vehement argument regarding deficient knowledge of academic costume, they acknowledged that "the history of academic costume is somewhat obscure" (204).
These standards were based on Leonard's original regalia designs and were solicited as strong recommendations rather than strictly enforced rules ("Historical Overview of the Academic Costume Code" 2018).
In 1932, continuing the work of the US Intercollegiate Commission, the Academic Council on Education (ACE) further codified the characteristics of the modern American academic costume so that the wearer's degree, area of study, and granting institution were easily identifiable.
It was specified in early academic costume codes that the hoods worn by those possessing a bachelor's degree were to be no more than three feet in length.
According to the American Council on Education: "It should be noted that it is impossible (and probably undesirable) to lay down enforceable rules with respect to academic costume. The governing force is continuity of academic symbols from the Middle Ages.
Students should be afforded opportunities to learn the history behind academic costume, how the history of their own college or university has made use of these symbols, and, as a result, how each student's academic experience is tied to the complex history of global higher education.
Similar desires for institutional connectedness via academic costume and commencement ritual have been illustrated in the US.
"Academic Costume Code." American Council on Education.
Herewith, a head-to-toe deconstruction of the academic costume:
Moore Company of Albany, N.Y., as "official and sole depository of the Intercollegiate Bureau of Academic Costume," assigns each school a slightly different shade.