Academic scarves are a style of scarf worn by university students and alumni to show their support for their school. Typical academic scarves are approximately 2 meters long and constructed out of wool; though neither of these is a strict requirement.
Academic scarves are decorated with a series of colored lines meant to represent the wearers’ university. Each university has their own set of colors, stripe width and stripe placement measurements to help distinguish themselves from one another. It is also possible to find variations in stripe color and pattern within the same university to denote what department or athletic team the wearer is representing.
The wearing of academic scarves is generally considered to be a British and Irish tradition. Academic scarves should not be confused with simple university branded scarves available from most university clothing shops. Academic scarves are a part of a long-standing academic tradition whereas branded clothing typically changes over short periods of time. Besides wearing academic scarves the use of silk ties, sometimes also known as regimental ties, are commonly worn.