27 April 2020

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The University Portuguese Costume

Exploring the streets of our cities, foreigners can notice that some young people are dressed in total black, with capes around them! What is this?

This is the traditional costume that our university students wear to go to class!  They dress this costume with pride and for generations to come they will continue to wear it! This traditional costume changed along the centuries and started because of the influence of the Catholic Church on education.

The Church was responsible for University teaching till the XVIII Century, influencing the way students dressed. Priests dressed in brown and black, because strong colors were forbidden. Students who were not priests, felt compelled to dress like them. For example, during the XVIII the University costume could change according to fashion trends.
The need to be identified as a University student was also important, so they dress alike. For a long time the use of the Cape and Cassock (“Capa e Batina”) was mandatory. Between 1718 and 1834 this rule applied to all students inside the cities. From 1834 till 1910 it was only mandatory inside the University perimeter.

In 1957 according to the University law, the University costume is a symbol for all the students that should be used, to avoid differences between social classes. All students are equal! Rules are imposed and there should be no tags or symbols that promote status or social differences!

The University costume represents humility, respect and fraternity! According to the region, the University costume can be slightly different!

The University feminine costume appears in the city of Porto around 1920!

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