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Thread: School Robes

  1. #1

    School Robes

    I'm writing a fic, and this has been bugging at me. What exactly do the robes look like? Are there differences between the robes of Slytherins and Gryffindors, and so on? Do you suppose the robes have been changed in style since any older time?

    This has really been bothering me, and I can't find anything that's better than movie canon (which isn't true in this case, I know). Thank you all in advance for your help!


  2. #2
    I can't give you the direct quote, but I remember clearly on Harry's first school list, he was required to buy plain black robes for school use and one pointed black hat. After that, I believe I remember a few references to robes being pulled over people's heads, and the unmistakable reference to a "dress" when Ron sees the dress robes his mother got for him in GoF, so I believe they're all one piece. But there are also references to people wearing Muggle clothes underneath their robes, like Harry wearing a shirt with a breast pocket under his Quidditch robes so he could carry his wand with him secretly in PoA in case the dementors showed up.

    {Sometimes I get the feeling that the robes looked like JKR needed them to look as the case came up. ^_~}

    Dress robes seem to have a completely different style attributed to them and can look very different from some of the descriptions I remember at the Yule Ball. But the robes do not look different depending on the House--it was clearly mentioned at the beginning of GoF that the foreign students made the Great Hall look very crowded because of the different colored robes in among the mass of black robes the Hogwarts students wore. I think that if they had House-specific aspects to their robes, like the movies want to suggest, then they wouldn't have to wear special things with their House colors on Quidditch match days. Often, it was just something green for the Slytherins or something blue for the Ravenclaws rather than something specific because they just wanted to show support for their House. "Look, you can tell by looking that I'm a Ravenclaw, and guess who I'm supporting!" If they had something which distinguished them just by looking at them, then the Quidditch support items would be more specific than just colors {which sometimes they are, don't get me wrong}.

  3. #3
    Fourth Year Ravenclaw
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    The way the movies portray them are floor length bathrobes, with patches on them to distinguish house.

    I remember reading something about them pulling the robes over their head, so I'm guessing that they might be somewhat like dresses, as weird as that sounds. I also think that they would have some kind of distinguishing thing on them, be it a patch, a scarf, or something else, because the wizards were always able to distinguish house from the robes.

    As for the dress robes, I think that they would be lighter, more colorful versions of regular robes, maybe with some kind of embroidery or decoration.

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  4. #4
    Rhi for HP
    Okay, everyone here's already covered the basics with colour and so on.

    Personally, I see the robes as being of a thicker material, like a bathrobe, I suppose, and floor-length. I think they're one-piece and v-necks, so they can hang over ordinary clothing (though I suppose you can wear them with nothing underneath, like Harry did in King's Cross in DH; that would explain why wizards don't understand Muggle clothing).

  5. #5
    I also think that they would have some kind of distinguishing thing on them, be it a patch, a scarf, or something else, because the wizards were always able to distinguish house from the robes.
    Actually, I think that might be more due to the fact that the wizarding world seems so much smaller, and everyone does know each other, especially the pure-bloods. In SS/PS, it says in the supplies list that the students need "plain black robes (for day wear)". Nothing about distinguishing marks was mentioned, but it is so much a part of movie canon that you might be able to get away with it. As to style, it was clearly stated that Ron's dress robes were out of style, but I don't know that something as simple as school robes would change much.

  6. #6
    The robes prescribed in the school list is 'plain black' because the incoming student has yet to be Sorted. That's how I see it. After Sorting, the house elves take care of the students' robes, I imagine (as they do with the trunks), magicking badges into existence and conjuring the appropriate scarves and other accessories matching each student's house.

    There is also the telling detail in GOF where we are shown Hogwarts' uniform is black, Beauxbatons'- blue, Durmstang's- red. Robes all.

    As to how robes look like, remember Uncle Vernon's indignance in the beginning of PS. The closest comparison to robes in my mind are modern day graduation robes, (closed of course) only with different designs and colors. The Wizarding world seem to have slowed their adaptation to Muggle fashion. In the early centuries, they do follow the times-- re: the portraits and ghosts. Or perhaps they did stop with the fashion of the previous centuries.

    Wizards don't seem to wear trousers (see GOF's old wizard wearing negligee). As for witches, I like how they'd attired those in line for Lockhart's autograph in the COS movie. That's how I imagined fashionable witches. In the GOF movie's Yule Ball, it was too prom-ish.

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