Every year when we hit the graduation extravaganza, I contemplate buying academic regalia. I hate trying to remember to order robes, going to get them, and remembering to return them. I have a skill set...this kind of minutiae just isn't part of that skill set!
A colleague of mine who is in her 60s bought a brand new set of regalia. Her husband joked with her and asked if she planned to be buried in them. My partner wagers that she was tired of her original robes--pretty old and worn by this point--and that she couldn't imagine renting robes for the next 6-10 years.
As all of you academic-types know, those suckers are expensive. They average between $400-600 just for the robe, with extra expense for the hood and the cap. I had no money to afford robes when I graduated, and neither did my mom. I rented a gown, borrowed a cap, and only bought the hood.
I have heard that some schools pay for robes for their new hires--a nice perk for a young faculty member, and a good way to start a new job. Needless to say, I never worked at one of those schools.
I couldn't have afforded them before now, but I have recently considered using some (well, all) royalty money from my book to pay for them. Of course, that is money I could easily use some other way...say, a vacation, home repairs, or even conference travel money.
So far in my academic career, I have attended 11 years of graduations and hoodings, including my own doctoral hooding. At $20 per year, I have spent $220 in rentals. A few more decades, and I will have paid for the regalia. I cannot see waiting until I am in my 60s to buy some.
So, should I go ahead and make the purchase? Has anyone bought them and regretted it? Any recommendations on where to get it?