Naturalization Not on the test

What to Wear at the Oath Ceremony

Hooray – you’ve passed your Naturalization test, and you’ve been called for your oath ceremony. But wait!

In big underlined capital letters on the hard to read purple invitation, it says


Yes, it really is in all CAPS. They really want you to pay attention to what your fans wear at this solemn and meaningful event. So you have to dress in proper attire. The dignity of the event must be respected. It even clearly states, no jeans, shorts or flip flops. Even in Austin, TX, where proper attire normally means you just have your genitals either covered up or painted.

But what does it mean? In the formal wear of your home nation? Mu-mus and baskets of fruit on your head and so on may be de rigeur back home, but in America, I think it means something like khaki pants and a polo neck. Shudder. Or a little black dress if you’re a man.

Surely if it says no nut-hugging jean shorts nor flippy floppies – the only named exclusions – does that mean anything else goes – unitards, tiaras, EL-wire butterfly wings and cod-pieces.

I’ve never seen Coming to America: outfits shown here,


but I have seen this:

captain hook
Please hold up your right, and only hand

Also, checking out related posts on immigration portal about what to wear, it seems the consensus is somewhere between “your best clothes”, “a floral dress”, and “nothing too sexy.” Looking at this crowd shot of an oath ceremony, I would say “butt hugging” seems to be recommended. And if you are going to wear a hook, do it in place of your left hand.

By Fred Morse

I moved from Wales to the United States in 2005 and have been through the US immigration process and have learned all about citizenship and nationalization on the way. I currently live in Texas with my wife and two dogs

3 replies on “What to Wear at the Oath Ceremony”

There were many well dressed people at my oath ceremony. There were also a few people who looked as if they had just left the running track. I don’t think anyone really cared – they all got to become citizens

I recently attended an Oath ceremony for my daughter-in-law. After the ceremony started, an officer told my husband I must remove my head dress (hat). I was dressed appropriately and had a matching outfit with matching dressy hat. It was not a baseball cap. I was in no way presenting to be disrespectful, I felt my attire was stylish and had no idea to be disrespectful. I was dressed better than most people who were actually taking the oath. I was merely lending support and pride to my daughter-in-law. What is the problem? I realize men always take off their hats, but women all over the world wear hats and ladies do not remove them during events. My hat was part of my outfit. Any comments on this subject?

The problem is the misuse of authority on the part of the officials in my opinion. Maybe there should be some more clear rules

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *