In this sci fi future/fantasy: There are worlds interconnected by ships that sail across the space vacuum. Most worlds contain both mages and non mages. Cones versus top hats. A mage wears a cone to symbolize his power and class. Mages are automatically higher than non mages. Stars on the cone indict how powerful his magic can get. Mages can earn more stars if they are successful with a higher classed magic. The color does not change.
You are born to a color hat: gold, silver, white, brown, and black. Gold is royalty. You have to be a direct descendant of the king and queen at birth to gain gold. If your grandfather is king, you get gold. If your brother is king, you get silver.
Silver hats are given to high nobles. These have position in high government and/or massive lands. You have to be born to a noble to be given a silver hat.
White hats can be found among the silvers. They have money, power, and ability. They were born in a home by an actual doctor. Normally these are children of mages who haven’t reached government or extensive property yet. White hats can create silver hats.
Browns are ones who have a family and a job. There is income and stability to an extent. A brown rarely jumps to white unless they do something massive for a silver or gold or have magic. Brown cones are rare though.
Blacks are without knowledge. They are born without family or connections, on the street, or with someone who wants nothing to do with them.
Even though you are born to a color, you do not gain it until you are eighteen and adult. It is during schooling where every child goes for their childhood that it becomes known whether you are a cone or top hat. For your graduation, you gain your hat to wear and keep for the rest of your life.
There have been a few cases of blacks in the silver group. Born of mistresses, so unwanted. So if the black child is accepted by their family before they reach eighteen they gain silver not black hat. Blacks are the only hat that can be changed between birth and adulthood. The rest are secure in coloring.
In the school system, you can be in class with any color. The uniform is provided by the school, as are the dorms. Little is known by your classmates unless you tell them or they met you outside of class. You only start schooling at six.
Few mages know they are mages before school starts. It’s during classes where they figure out their skills in magic. Everyone is trained to use magic, just in case. Once someone is known as a mage, they get a more in depth review of the magic in the world.
Oooooo colors will definitely need to be changed. That’s bad.
But I’m not working on this world at all right now. I have far too many stories to mess with this one.