Dress in Hall

Rules and Guidance

Events in Hall are formal occasions and everyone attending should be respectably dressed in appropriate clothes, having regard to the nature of the occasion. If you bring guests, please remember to make them aware of the dress code in good time. 

Business Suit (sometimes referred to as Lounge Suit)

When Business Suit or Lounge Suit is specified, members and guests should wear a black (or dark grey) suit and tie, or a dress which should not be above knee length and should cover the shoulders.  A good rule of thumb would be to aim for the kind of clothes you would wear in court.  

Members must wear gowns where specified (see below).

Black Tie

When Black Tie is specified, members and guests should wear a black dinner suit with a white dress shirt and black bow tie, or equivalent (cocktail dress, long or knee length, with shoulders covered). Highland dress or dress uniform are also permitted.

The dress code for Grand Day and Annual Hall Dinner is Black Tie.  Black Tie is also preferred on Private Guest Nights and the Reader’s Feast, although business suit is acceptable.

Members must wear gowns (see below).

Smart Casual

When Smart Casual is specified, this means that the dress code is less formal than business/lounge suit, but specifically no jeans or trainers. For example trousers/skirt with a smart top, a dress, or trousers with a button-down shirt and jacket.  A tie is optional.  Shoes should be smart.  

Members do not wear gowns.


  • Student gowns are provided by the Inn and are available in the cloakrooms.  They must be returned at the end of the evening. 
  • Barrister members are required to provide their own gowns. 
  • Gowns are not worn by guests. 
  • Gowns are not worn at certain events, e.g. Guest Lectures or for Sunday Lunch.  Check the dress code for each specific event for details.

Lectures and Sunday Lunch

The regulations for Lectures and Sunday Lunch are not as strict since gowns need not be worn, but members and their guests should wear smart clothing. Instead of a suit, a sports jacket or blazer with a collar and tie is acceptable. Smart trousers are acceptable, but jeans are not.

Lunch (12.30 – 14.00 on weekdays, term time only, excluding Bank Holidays)

Lunch is an informal meal and the above dining regulations do not apply.  Members should bear in mind, however, that Hall is the luncheon room of a professional body. The dress code in Hall for lunch is business suit, court dress or smart casual dress. Jeans may be worn if both clean and smart. We will not permit guests who are wearing: trainers, shorts, T-shirts or ripped/dirty clothing.