In light of my ordination next Wednesday evening (25th), our church is considering changing from the black academic robe to the white robe. In studying the issue I came across this quote from Harry Boonstra:
White seems more appropriate than black (at least in most cultures), because in Scripture white is often associated with celebration and black with mourning. In addition, one can accentuate the liturgical season by wearing a stole with liturgical colors and symbols.
Concerning the black robe, French Reformed liturgical scholar Richard Paquier:
The Genevan gown, this anti-liturgical, secular vestment, which appears in the color of the shades of darkness, this clothing which is comparable to the sack cloth and ashes of mourning in the old covenant, is the negation of the right of the church to rejoice and be consoled in the presence of the heavenly Bridegroom. Perhaps for the synagogue, in its tribulation, to wear such a vestment would be the normal thing. But in modern Protestantism it is a depressing sign that we are not more aware of the nuptial joy of the Eucharist and that we do not believe in the victorious struggle Christ led against the world. (Dynamics of Worship: Foundations and Uses of Liturgy [Fortress Press, 1967], p. 142).