The week of May 10, 2010, The University of Illinois’ Alma Mater will be donning a Herff Jones CustomRental™ outfit. The photos above show just how large the outfit is and the specs below are overwhelming when compared to an average outfit. What a great way to showcase graduation and show how old and new traditions can intermingle. 

  • An average graduation gown uses about 5 yards of fabric. Alma Mater's gown used 19 yards. We used 2 yards of fabric each for the cap and the stole.
  • A 5'10" person wears a size 54 graduation gown. A tall basketball player like Mike Tisdale, at 7'1", would wear a size 69. Alma Mater's is a 100.
  • The yoke is the basic building block of the gown that fits over the front of the chest, over the shoulders and across the back. A yoke size for a college grad of average proportions would be a 2 or 3. Alma Mater's yoke size is a 25.
  • We had to make Alma Mater's gown in two halves, as she refused to bend her arms to put the gown on. So, we installed hook and loop fasteners on the back of the yoke and two 45" zippers to close the back opening of the gown. We also used two 45" zippers on the front closure, where a size 54 gown has one 33" zipper.
  • An average cap size is a 7 to 7 1/2, for head measurements from 22" to 23 1/2". Alma Mater's cap is a 15 1/2, with a head measurement of 49".
  • A standard tassel measures about 8", not counting the cord it hangs from, and has about 65-70 strands of thread. Alma Mater's tassel is 18" long, and has about 428 strands of thread.