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How to DIY the New UW Commencement Gown

Red and black is the new black. That’s right, traditional isn’t good enough anymore. UW commencement gowns are getting a metaphorical facelift, and much like a regular facelift, insurance doesn’t cover it. Sure, the red and black combo looks sharp, and the Wisconsin crest exudes Badger pride, but all of that comes at a cost. You can’t just run to the costume shop for some cheap makeshift gown. You can’t even steal your brother’s old one. There’s nothing like celebrating your magnificent achievement, which cost tens of thousands of dollars, by spending more money for an ugly thing you’ll wear for 2 hours. We at The Black Sheep have come up with a cost-effective alternative. That’s right, we are going all Martha Stewart on that gowns ass. DIY baby!

Step 1: Procure a normal, boring, plain black graduation gown

As stated above, there are many ways to get your run of the mill graduation gown. An older sibling or cousin is a surefire bet. Once one family member goes to UW, they all do. You can also check your local Halloween shop or Craigslist. If you’re really lucky, maybe your high school cap and gown still fit.

Step 2: Time to spice it up with some red

Alright, this part get’s a little tricky. Dig through your closet and find the shittiest of your thousands of Wisco t-shirts. Turn it inside out, grab your scissors, and hack that bad boy to bits. More specifically, cut off the sleeves like those douchebags at the SERF. Except, instead of leaving that one little inch at the bottom holding it all together, cut that right off. Slip it right over your head, and boom, you got yourself a red square.

Step 3: See those sweet red stripes? Time to replicate

This next step is crucial, so please, follow ourinstructions exactly. Go to the Dollar Store. Head to the candy aisle and grab some Twizzlers. That’s right, you see where we’re going. Dollar Store candy is perfect because it’s expired, a little stale, but still malleable. You’re going to fire up that hot glue gun and stick ‘em on there. Plus, it doubles as a mid-commencement snack!

Step 4: Getting the UW crest just right

Alright, for this step, we have two options. You can do the classy thing and pick up a Wisconsin crest pin from the University Bookstore. OR, you can do the right thing and find a pixelated picture on the internet, print that sucker off (probably in black and white because it’s cheaper) and tape it front and center on your gown.

Step 5: Dress it up!

Time to accessorize. Some red shoes, shiny jewelry, maybe even swap out that cap for a Cheesehead if you’re looking to sport some extra Wisconsin pride! And buy yourself some flowers to carry, because you’re expecting someone to get you some, and they probably won’t.


Like booze before noon? So do these guys…



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