Thursday, May 27, 2004

ANDERS BELL is dissing the Harvard doctoral gown at the instigation of Ryan's Lair and Brad DeLong. But commenter Bill Poser is spot-on: the problem is not the color per se, it's the material. Besides being uncomfortable, the polyester doesn't dye well and I suspect that's why the noble Harvard crimson comes out icky pink. The older, actually crimson, gowns are cool. When I graduated, I couldn't bring myself to buy a pink polyester one for I-forget-how-many hundreds of dollars. The only academic gown I own is a black one, which we found here in a local charity shop.

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.

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