“What do I wear for my court hearing”? This is one of the most common questions a lawyer will hear from clients across the board. A lawyer will suggest a conservative style is best and go for a business casual or business professional look. The keyword is business as in you are there to handle your business. It does not matter if you are going to court for a traffic ticket or custody hearing; remember first impressions count, and they speak volumes more in the courtroom.
A general rule to follow is to ask these three questions. First, would you wear this to a family barbeque? The second question would you wear this to a night club? The third question would you wear this outside to perform yard work? If the answer is yes to any of those three questions, then you do not wear that to court. Let us start off a general list of things you should not wear to a court hearing. You do not wear shorts, hats, halter/tanks tops or flip flops; those items are more suited as beach attire, not the courtroom. You do not wear club attire to the courtroom those items are as follows: see-through clothing, any outfit that exposes your underwear or bare your midriff, or torn jeans. This next one may be considered obvious clothing choice to avoid however I still need to inform you. You do not wear any clothing with words, pictures or phrasing that demonstrate or promotes illegal activity. You do not want to upset a judge for wearing something disrespectful to the court. That being said you will not want to wear clothing depicting profanity, illegal drug use, sexual innuendo nor promoting violence. Above all else, if you only remember this one thing, please do not wear baggy pants, below your waist, you will be starting off on the wrong foot with the judge and you will be called out on it. You do not want to upset a judge or a jury, for wearing something disrespectful to court and have that affect your outcome or verdict.
Now let’s move on to what you should be wearing to court. When dressing for court you want to focus on looking professional and or conservatively polished. For men or women, a freshly pressed suit is always a simple and good choice. If you do not own a suit, you have other options too.
For men, it is important to show up with a relatively fresh haircut and clean-shaven face. Also, you cannot go wrong with a button-up shirt and pressed slacks or even khaki pants. Matching your belt with your clean dress shoes is always a good idea. A tie is not mandatory but again it is a nice touch.
For women it is important to remember the word appropriate, think Sunday Best dress. You want to wear either a button up shirt or even a nice blouse. If you wear a skirt or a dress, our hemline should be an appropriately long length. You should keep your makeup light and natural looking and no bulky jewelry. Your shoes are very important too. Polished, closed toed shoes are the best choice. You do not have to wear heels. However, if you must wear heels, make sure you can walk in them and tolerate wearing them for long periods of time.
Well, I do hope this clarified somethings for you on proper courtroom attire. If you have any questions you can always contact an Arlington family lawyer with any questions.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC for their insight into family law and how to dress for court.