Before I begin this, I know it's a bit crazy and Hogwarts-esque but that's half the fun of these old traditions!
The University of St Andrews has so many traditions partly because of it's age, it was founded over 600 years ago which makes it one of the oldest universities in the Western world! The gown was introduced post-reformation with a number of uses.
The red gown in these photos is part of the academic dress for undergraduate students, it's our "everyday" gown if that's even a thing! We don't wear it to graduation but instead it was traditionally mandatory to wear it around the town to distinguish us from older students or locals, so that undergrads couldn't sneak into pubs! Nowadays we only wear it on occasions and it's never mandatory. You have the option to wear it to Pier Walks which happen every Sunday if you attend them; to halls of residency's formal dinners; assemblies and any formal or semi-formal events if you want to! You would be surprised at their uses!
How you wear the gowns is a little more confusing, and I must confess in these photos I am doing it wrong (out of vanity's sake)! You never fasten the gown, as that is seen as bad luck. But how you wear it depends on what year you are in- if you are in first year you wear it on both shoulders, then on alternate shoulders in second and third year and finally in fourth year off both shoulders. So how I am wearing this in these photos is first year style, but that's because the fourth year style is just so unflattering!
So there is a little introduction to the red academic gowns of St Andrews, I hope you found it interesting (and liked me fancy pants photos). If you like these little snippets of St Andrews life please let me know, as I'm feeling a little nostalgic now I've graduated!