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Why would Hogwarts students be required to bring dress robes? Think of one or two occasions in which dress robes may have to be worn.

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Dress robes could be worn for the presence of visiting dignitaries or persons of interest.  Say that Hogwarts was hosting a world-wide conference of the Headmasters and Headmistresses of all the schools of the wizard world (well, those who would attend).  Of course this would be different from greeting students from other schools in their regular clothes (black robes etc).  There would probably be at least one formal dinner with all of the school in attendance. Then there would probably be dining situations where perhaps the Prefects of the Houses would be acting as servants (and guides after the dinner, if desired, to show different parts of the school to the visitors) where more formal clothing than the regular would be appropriate.

Another opportunity for dress robes might be the celebration of a wedding. The putting on of more formal (or fancy) garb indicates a respect and appreciation of what is happening. (It all sort of depends on who is getting married, though. I'd get dressed up for this wedding!)

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Edited by Prof. Tarma Amelia Black
found picture!

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I think they have to bring dress Robes for the End of the Year ball for the 7th years, and the Yule Ball for all years. The Yule Ball was dismantled around 1975 due to growing Dark Forces, and although dress Robes were then only needed for 7th years, it was still written on the parchment as tradition.

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