Graduation post 3 (final) – the gown and hood

Yes, I’m milking this for as many posts as I can!

My father was an academic and had several occasions each year where an academic gown was required. He died almost 30 years ago and his gown would have been at least 15 years old when he died. My mother kept it, ‘just in case’, and stored it for all these years.  She sent it to me for my graduation.

Contemporary gowns are polyester blends and can be many different colours, black or navy are the most common. This gown is black and made of heavyweight linen. It was made by Ede & Ravenscroft in London. They started business in the late 1600’s, are still trading and are still in Chancery Lane.

On this gown the sleeves are very long with a hole at elbow height for your arms to stick through.

The gown sits over a shirt or suit jacket and the weight of the gown keeps it from shifting.

Finally the hood goes over the top. It is either safety pinned onto the gown or attached to the button of your shirt. Usually the outside is the University’s colour and the inside is the faculty colour. Mine is dark blue, lined with cherry red. I bought this!

This gown is at least 45 years old, possibly more. It shows signs of wear and has thinned in areas where it was folded and stored. When I got it, it was almost grey in places. I took it to the dry cleaners with some trepidation. Happily it came back looking very black and good.

I did some darning and mending on the more obvious holes and decided not to worry about any others. This gown is elderly, no longer perfect, has clearly been used and has a family history.

The actual day was special on many levels. It was lovely to graduate again, I am very proud of having done a thesis. My family were there throughout the thesis and were there to share the graduation joy. The gown connection with my Dad was also special.









Click for links to the posts about my silk blouse and black trousers.

About Accordion3

I sew, ride a bike, bake, read a lot of books and sometimes skate. I also play several instruments, one of them is the Accordion.
This entry was posted in Bobbins and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Graduation post 3 (final) – the gown and hood

  1. Pingback: Top 5 – the sewing hits | Bobbins, Bikes and Blades

  2. Firstly, I’m sorry to be so late to the party with commenting, but my internet connectivity has been, well, tricky to say the least, so I’m only now catching up with belated blog-reading (and keeping my fingres corsesd whilst commenting).

    Secondly, warmest congratulations on your graduation. Well done. I’m sure there was a lot of very hard work in there. It’s a huge achievement that deserves to be well celebrated. Your outfit also looked fabulous. I’m sure it was a very emotional day all round, and how special to have that connection to your Dad.

    Thirdly, but following from the previous comment, I was delighted to read that you’d used an older gown with a history; we plan to do that when my son graduates this year (from the same uni where my husband was an undergraduate, so absolutely no doubt about the gown being the right style). The hood will be different; and, I’m happy to say, they now wear mortar boards, so the potential for sunburn on folks with a little less on top is greatly diminished.


    • Accordion3 says:

      Well hello! I am late to replying too. Many thanks for your kind words, I still smile when I think of finishing and graduating. Mortar boards are cunningly designed to make all wearers look like a dork.

      Congratulations to your son too. How lovely that he’s graduating from the same uni as his Dad! My eldest has just started at the same uni as my husband and me.


I love comments! I always read them and try to reply.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.