I was sitting in court last week waiting for my case to be called and I couldn't help but to partake in one of my favorite pastimes - people watching. I saw some folks who looked like they'd just rolled out of bed. A young lady entered the courtroom looking like she was fresh off of vacation in a shoulder-bearing maxi dress complete with hat. The bailiff asked her to remove her hat and she left the court. The slouchy pants, the outfits some might wear to the mall instead of the court. The one lady who gave courtroom attire a try but didn't realize the skirt needed to be longer than a mini. It kind of shocked me. Maybe people don't know what you're not supposed to wear to court. Well, here are some general guidelines:
Would you walk into a house of God with your Fruit of the Looms showing? I sure hope not. That teeny dress you wore to the club the other night that might be a size too small but hugs all your curves in all the right places that might be a size too small? That's not right either. Like Church, appearing in court commands a certain amount of respect. Think "church clothes" when you're picking out your court outfit. If you wouldn't wear it in front of Jesus, don't wear it to court.
What NOT to wear:
Lindsay's dress is way too tight and revealing for the courtroom.
Some examples of what to wear:
Remember, you're standing in front of a judge either at a criminal hearing or as a party or witness in a trial. Your credibility will be determined by a variety of things, including your appearance. Making an appropriate impression based on your outfit is important. Think conservative - it's great to express yourself and make a statement, but make sure you're making the right one in court!
I saw a lot of denim at the courthouse last week. I actually don't even mind jeans in the courtroom on the parties or witnesses, as long as it looks professional and classy. Here are some examples:
And finally, my fellow lawyers are not immune from dressing inappropriately in court. I've seen lots of women in oversized dresses and untailored jackets. All you need is one good fitting dark suit - I go with basic black but also have grey and dark blue. Buy a three-piece if possible - jacket, skirt and pants - that way you can mix and match. I suggesting investing in at least one really good statement suit that you feel amazing in - it will last you a while and can serve you in the courtroom, at an interview or maybe an important client meeting. The money will be well worth it because you'll feel good, and that confidence will carry over into the courtroom or meeting.
My favorite suits right now are by J. Crew but I've also found a set at Express that fits well and looks good. And for tall girls like me, tall sizes are available.
Remember, you're appearance matters at court. Dress appropriately and conservatively.