Disclaimer: The below is solely intended for informational purposes and in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations.
What you wear to court matters. A lot. Appropriate attire shows respect for the judge, the people in the courtroom and your situation. Dressing in a respectful and modest manner conveys that you understand the seriousness of the occasion.
Dress inappropriately and you may be asked to leave. Or, you might lose your case. Yes, what you wear to court is that important.
Dressing For Court Success
Tips for what to wear and what not to wear for your court appearance:
1. DO Dress Respectfully
Think of how you might dress for a job interview.
Wear clean clothes that fit you appropriately (not too tight).
2. DON’T Dress Distractingly
Best to take out any piercings you have (i.e. nose, tongue, eyebrow or lip piercings) for your court appearance. Also, cover up any tattoos.
Outside of the courtroom, how you express yourself is up to you. However, inside of the courtroom, it’s more fitting to keep your appearance on the conservative side.
You’ll also want to wear clothes that are simple and neutrally-colored. Anything that grabs attention probably isn’t a good choice.
3. DO Have Good Hygiene
Brush your teeth and your hair. Perhaps, even consider getting your hair trimmed a week or two before your court appearance. Take a shower beforehand and wear deodorant.
Men – shave or trim your beard or mustache.
Women – makeup should be kept to a minimum with neutral colors.
4. DON’T Wear Any Of The Following To Court
• Low-cut pants
• Low-cut skirts or dresses
• Strapless dresses or tops
• Spaghetti straps
• Baggy pants
• Tennis shoes
• Clothing with rips or stains
• Clothing that exposes your midriff
• Clothing for exercising
• Clothing with any graphic images or messages that might suggest inappropriate or illegal activity.
5. How Men Should Dress For Court
Wear long pants with a belt, shoes with socks, a long-sleeve collared shirt (that’s tucked in) and a jacket. Or, you can go with a classic suit and tie.
6. How Women Should Dress For Court
Wear a knee-length (or slightly longer) dress or skirt or long dress pants, with a blouse, a sweater or dress shirt. Flats are best but if you wear heals, make sure they aren’t higher than two inches. You may also choose to wear a business suit.
First impressions are especially important in the courtroom. What you wear can affect the outcome of your case.
If the judge views you as being disrespectful or inappropriate, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Show that you understand the seriousness of this occasion with what you wear to court.