Note to Harvard: I love you, but please get rid of the polyester. Even if a gown made of good-quality material costs more, more of us would buy one.
UPDATE (28 May): Anders writes:
NOTE: Jim over at Paleojudaica has accused me of "dissing" the Harvard gown - I prefer to think that I was merely drawing attention to it.
Well, drawing attention to something under the rubric "blatant absurdity" isn't all that neutral. But don't worry, I wasn't offended: I don't like it either.
See the same link ("scholarly threads continued" - good one!) for more on academic regalia.