Officially, the conferment ceremony begins with a ceremonial sword-whetting dinner for the doctoral graduands and their companions.
At the sword-whetting dinner, women wear a colourful full-length evening dress. (NB! A black evening dress can be turned into a colourful dress by wearing colourful accessories, such as a bolero or a scarf.)
Men wear evening attire, i.e., white tie, with a white waistcoat or a uniform.
No doctoral hats are worn or swords carried at the sword-whetting dinner; also, no decorations are worn.