Going to Court? Dress to Impress

Being called into court for a hearing is always stressful. That is true whether you are fighting a traffic ticket or you’re facing serious felony charges. You probably know that you need to compile evidence and documentation that helps your case or that you should consult with your attorney before your court date. What you might not know is that what you wear can have an effect on how your case will play out.

How You Should Dress in Court

If you go into the courtroom wearing ragged jeans and an old t-shirt, you won’t be taken seriously no matter how well you plead your case. If you have to appear in a courtroom for any reason, you have to know how to dress. That’s where these tips will come in handy.

Dress Conservatively

The most important rule when dressing for a court date is to dress conservatively. This means wearing mostly neutral colors, professional footwear, and dress pants or longer skirts. You shouldn’t wear anything that shows any skin, so sleeveless shirts or dresses that show your bare shoulders are out.

Tattoos should be covered up, and facial piercings should be removed before you go into the courtroom, although modest earrings will usually be okay. You can cover tattoos in hard-to-hide places like the neck or face with makeup.

If you normally don’t dress conservatively and you’re not sure what to wear, think about how you would dress for a job interview. If you don’t think an outfit would make a good impression on a prospective employer, it certainly won’t make a good impression on a judge.

Formal or Business Casual

Wearing a formal or business casual outfit is always a safe move when you have to appear in court. Men can wear a suit with a tie, a sport coat, a button-down dress shirt, dress pants, and formal shoes. Women can wear a nice dress, a pants suit, or a modest top with long dress pants.

Nondescript jewelry such as rings or earrings is usually okay, but remember that less is more as far as this is concerned. You also shouldn’t wear a lot of expensive jewelry if your defense is based around not having a lot of money.

Wearing Clothes That Fit

You should always wear clothes that fit. One would think this would go without saying, but ill-fitting clothing in the courtroom is more common than people realize. If you’ve recently gained or lost a lot of weight, much of the formal clothing in your closet might not fit anymore. Instead of trying to pull off an outfit that hangs off of you or is too tight, get something that fits.

If you cannot afford to buy something, see if someone you know can loan you an outfit. Wearing something that doesn’t quite fit isn’t as bad as wearing shorts or showing too much skin, but it’s still not a good look when you have to appear before a judge.

Use Common Sense

Knowing how to dress in a courtroom is mainly about having common sense as well as a healthy respect for the court. Visit this link if you want to see a guide on what to wear to court from a law firm. After all, they’re the experts.

The court represents law and order in the United States, and it is where the most important decisions in people’s lives are made. No court case should be taken lightly, so you should never dress like you just rolled out of bed or like you’re going to a party.

Making a bad first impression on a judge could be all it takes to completely sink your case, so take it very seriously. You are heading into what might be the most important meeting of your life, so dress like it.