Graduation and choir gowns have the singular characteristic of being the basis for numerous costumes that can be used for anything from stage costumes to Halloween costumes. Angels, judges, professors and wizards easily emerge from this piece of clothing with very few changes to the structure. Sometimes the materials you need are in your own closet or attic.
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Basic Preparation and Fitting
A graduation or choir gown can be used to create a costume for either sex, adult or child. You can dye the gown black or purple if needed, but if you need a light color you'll have to start with a white or pale-colored gown. If the gown is too long, you can simply hem the bottom using a needle and thread or iron-on adhesive tape. The same can be done for shortening the sleeves.
You will need to use a white or pale-colored graduation gown for this costume. You can accessorize with halos and wings, which can be purchased in any store that sells Halloween costumes. The wings can be pinned on the back of the fitted gown if they do not have elastic straps to fit around the wearer's shoulders. You can also make simple halos from silver pipe cleaners, and wings from heavy stock paper, using pins or double-stick tape to fasten the wings to the back of the gown.
Judge or British Attorney Costume
This graduation robe should be black. You can dye it if needed before fitting the costume. Then, all you have to do is accessorize the robe with a wooden gavel. To turn the American judge into a British barrister, simply add a powdered wig. If you want to create the appearance of a British judge, dye the robe red.
There is not much adaption required to turn a graduation gown into this costume. To achieve the look of a professor, you can wear the graduation gown open over a suit and carry a book or briefcase. Oversized or narrow reading glasses can add an additional look of studiousness.
You can use any color gown for a wizard's costume. Roll a piece of Oak Tag brand paper or poster board in a color that matches the graduation gown into the shape of a cone, fitting it to the wearer's head, and fasten it together using a staple, trimming off any excess to make the edge even. Then, you can cut out star and quarter moon shapes about 2 inches high from white or yellow paper, applying a little glue and adding silver and gold glitter to the stars. Then you just glue the star and moon shapes to the hat. You can add a magic wand from a costume shop or make one from a smooth stick or 1/4-inch dowel. You can cut the dowel or stick down to 18 inches in length and paint it black with an acrylic paint.