Anniversary galas, sitsis & dress codes

Anniversary galas

A couple of times a year, teekkaris dress up and celebrate at annual galas. The annual gala dress code is black tie or dark suit for men and full-length evening gown for women and academic decorations.

Party etiquette is observed at annual galas. However, the idea is not to be stiff and stuffy but to have a fun evening. Before the main event there is a cocktail reception for invited guests during which various groups and entities honour the organising body by presenting traditionally large, heavy and useless gifts. However, most of the guests do not arrive until the main event. The welcome drink is followed by the dinner during which loud schnapps songs are sung. Various speeches are given between courses. Coffee and digestive are followed by dance which continues in the after-party often followed by another after-party at dawn complete with sauna. The grandest affairs end in brunch the following morning.


Sitsi is a smaller and less formal occasion. They are organised by guilds and clubs  both in  celebration of their anniversaries and fun theme sitsis. The dress code at sitsis is smart casual, no black tie necessary. Men wear pressed trousers and a jacket, although a dark suit would not necessarily go amiss at anniversary sitsis. Women can wear a trouser suit or skirt/dress of any length. Theme sitsis obviously call for theme attire.

The Tampere sitsi tradition includes good food, abundant drink and plenty of singing. A buffet is often served at sitsis and depending on the occasion or theme, programme numbers, speeches, gift-giving and even dance, if it’s an anniversary, may occur amid dining. This party does not end before sunrise. Freshmen get to practice sitsis at special fuksi sitsis in the autumn and spring.

Dress codes

Dress codes are typically used in teekkaris’ and other students’ parties, anniversary galas and other events. Dress codes help to create an atmosphere and look of certain dignity. For example in anniversary parties the dress code is typically black tie or white tie, and it can be found in the event invitation. Dress codes are not meant to be strict rules, but an instructive guide on how the event organizer wishes that the participants are dressed. Remember, that the biggest etiquette mistake is to point out someone else’s etiquette mistake! The most important thing is that every participants enjoys themselves in the event.

Smart casual

This dress code is very broad and can be shortly expressed as “neat”. Smart casual outfit can be implemented in many ways, but typically it consists of clean, unbroken and neat clothes, that are often slightly more festive than everyday clothes. Smart casual is more casual than black tie, so usually tie or bow tie is not used.

Smart casual can consist of for example

  • collared shirt, suit jacket, blazer, sweater or other neat blouse or shirt
  • jeans, chinos or other neat pants
  • dress or skirt
  • neat, discreetly coloured shoes

Black tie

Black tie is typically used in neat sitsis, like Fuksi council’s fuksi sitsis and associations’ anniversary parties. With black tie, you can typically use small badges, but always refer to the guide of the association that granted it to you on how to wear the badges.

Black tie is typically one of the following

  • Black, dark blue or other dark-colored suit. Discreet stripes are okay, but pinstripe should be avoided. The shirt used with the suit is white especially in more festive events, but if the occasion allows, other discreet colours can be used. Shoes should be suit shoes. Tie or bow tie can be any colour, but the most festive choice is pearl-grey tie or black bow tie. Watch is usually not worn with black tie dress code.
  • One-piece or two-piece, floor-length, ankle-length or knee-length dress made out of festive material. A formal overall can also be used. The colour of the outfit does not matter. Shoes should be festive shoes, with or without heels. Accessories should be formal. A watch can be worn, if it is a jewellery watch.

With black tie, one should wear an outdoor jacket that suits the formality, for example a formal woollen jacket or other formal jacket.

White tie

White tie is the most formal dress code used in evening parties, and it is also the most precisely defined. Typically white tie is used for example in the anniversary parties of Tampereen Teekkarit and student unions, as well as associations’ even annual parties, and in some cases in other anniversary parties. With this dress code, academic honours are usually mentioned, and they will be discussed in the next section.

White tie is typically one of the following

  • White tie. White tie can be replaced with a black suit, but never with a tuxedo. When white tie is replaced with a black suit, the suit is supposed to be, indeed, black and the tie be pearl-grey. Pocket square is white and it should show only little. If one uses ribbons, pocket square is not used. With white tie, a pocket watch can be used, but with black suit a watch is not usually used.
  • A long dress or gown made of festive material. The length of the dress/gown is ideally such that only the tip of the shoes can be seen when standing. A formal overall can also be used. The colour of the outfit does not matter. Shoes should be formal, petite shoes with sealed tips, with or without heel. Purse should be small and formal, without a strap. Shoulders should be covered, usually with a formal shawl until main course. Jewellery should be formal, preferably made of silver or gold. When afterparty begins, the dress can be changed to a shorter one or shoes to more confortable ones.

In addition to the outfit, long (shoulder-length) hair should be tied up. Outdoor jacket should be a formal jacket that suits the outfit. With white tie, one can also wear a cloak.

Academic honours and badges

Academic honours include academic badges, ribbons and for example Kelpo Teekkari’s key. Small badges do not exactly count as academic honours, as they are classified as decorations. The most important thing with all academic honours and badges is to carefully read the rules and instructions given by the association that granted you the honour. The next chapter describes only common practices regarding academic honours and badges.

Traditionally people use only one ribbon at a time in Tampere, but nowadays and especially in other cities people use many different ribbons. However, one should not use more than three ribbons at a time. If one uses many ribbons, the most precious is the uppermost. With the order of ribbons, one can use their own judgment, as long as one does not break the rules of each honour. Often, if one represents an organization in an event, the ribbon of that organization is the uppermost. There are narrow and wide, the latter of which are usually more precious. Academic honour badges are often worn in the middle of ribbons. Ribbons and other academic honours should not touch bare skin.

Traditionally people use only one, the most precious, small badge at a time. If one, however, uses multiple, should the most precious be the uppermost, if the small badges are attached to the collar of a suit jacket. If multiple small badges are in a row on a dress or other outfit, the most precious should be nearest to the heart.