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Old Style Open-Front Commencement Gowns Revived Next Year Because of Greater Comfort


Samuel Eliot Morison, professor of History, announced last night as chairman of the Committee on Arms, Seals, Diplomas, etc. that beginning with the Commencement Exercises of 1938 the official bachelor's gown would be of the short, low-necked type rather than the longer, high-necked style characteristic of recent years.

This change, Morison stated, is motivated by the facts that the new style, as worn in most universities, is more becoming, cooler, and no longer draws the objection once raised to it. Not only is the neck cut lower, in the newly revived type, but the gown itself is nearly a foot shorter.

When bachelors' gowns were revived here, around 1890, the open-front type was used exclusively. A few years later, seniors began wearing their gowns all through May and June. At that time the style was altered to high-necked, in order to obviate wearing a cost under the gown.

As the practice of wearing a gown about the Yard in the spring months has ceased, and gowns are worn only on Class Day and Commencement, and as everyone wears a coat under his gown on these days, the Committee decided that the old more becoming style should be revived.

In regard to the costume to be worn under the gown, the Committees stated that a dark suit, black low shoes, a soft white shirt, and a not too flamboyant necktie are proper attire.

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