When it comes time to have your day in court, you want to dress properly for the occasion. According to Psychology Today, how you dress affects how you are perceived. This is true in the courtroom as well as other settings. Give your case the best possible chance of succeeding by going to court in an outfit that communicates that you take the legal process seriously.
You might find yourself asking “what do I wear to court?” especially if it is your first time entering a courtroom. Speak with your car accident attorney about appropriate wardrobe choices for court, and if you are ever unsure about a particular piece, ask him or her about it. Your attorney is as invested in your case’s success as you are and will provide you with advice about how to best present yourself.
For women, the best choice of attire for court is a suit. This can be a pantsuit or a skirt suit. What is most important about your suit is that it fits you properly. If your suit is too large or too small, have it tailored so it fits you correctly.
Another option is a dress or a blouse and skirt combination. If you choose this route, select a skirt or dress that has a hem that falls at or below the knee. Be sure to choose a blouse or dress that has sleeves, unless you plan to wear a suit jacket over it. Avoid any top that shows even a hint of cleavage. Stick to conservative cuts at both the top and the bottom of your outfit.
Never enter a courtroom with bare legs. If you opt to wear a skirt, wear nude or black pantyhose under it. Do not wear any type of bold pattern on your legs. Do not, under any circumstance, pair a top with leggings or yoga pants as your court outfit.
Although a professional manicure is not required, your hands and fingernails should be clean. If you do come to court with manicured fingernails, choose a neutral color and a conservative shape. Jewelry should likewise be limited to small, tasteful pieces.
For men, the right choice for a court outfit is also a suit. Choose a dark, neutral-colored shirt and suit with a demure tie. If you opt to not wear a suit, choose a well-fitting dress shirt with ironed slacks. Wear a sport coat or suit jacket over your shirt that matches with the rest of your outfit.
Make sure you wear socks that match your shoes. Dark, polished dress shoes are an important way to tie your court outfit together.
What You Should Wear to Court
Regardless of your gender, it is important to err on the conservative side with your sartorial choices. This means avoiding bright colors like orange, yellow, and neon, as well as loud prints like leopard spots or stripes. Instead, seek dark, neutral colors like navy blue, black, and gray.
Use your experience with job interviews to guide your court outfit selection. If you would wear something to an interview for a professional position, you are probably safe wearing it to court. If you are ever unsure about a piece, talk to your attorney about it to get his or her opinion.
Although obtaining an appropriate court outfit can seem like a significant expense, you can find these pieces for fairly inexpensive prices at secondhand stores, outlets, and discount retailers. Look for clearance sales and make it a point to shop around to find the best prices.
What Not to Wear to Court
When you are determining the outfit you will wear to court, it can be helpful to narrow down your choices by eliminating inappropriate pieces. Stay away from anything that could be seen as unprofessional and distracting.
Keep the following in mind as well when determining what you will wear to court:
- Do not wear jeans to court. It does not matter if they are dark wash or designer jeans – denim has no place in the courtroom.
- Wear appropriate footwear. For women, this means a closed pump or flat in a conservative color. For men, this means dress shoes. Leave your sneakers, work boots, flip flops, Crocs, and Uggs at home.
- Hygiene is a priority. Even the most tasteful outfit can be ruined by sweat stains, greasy hair, or body odor. Take a shower the day you go to court and make grooming a priority. Men should shave their facial hair off or into neat styles, and people of both sexes should come to court with clean hands and fingernails, brushed teeth, and combed hair. Avoid strong-scented perfumes and colognes.
- Choose human-colored hair and conservative makeup. If your hair is currently an unnatural color like pink or lime green, dye it to a naturally occurring hair color before your court date. Similarly, if your hair is cut into an unusual style, see a stylist to have it done into a more professional style. Neither sex should wear heavy or unnatural-looking makeup to court. Women who choose to wear makeup should come to court with a minimal, natural look.
- Take off your hat before entering the courtroom. This refers to baseball caps and other fashionable hat styles, not to religious head coverings or scarves used by individuals who have lost their hair to cancer treatments.
- Remove and cover tattoos and piercings. If you have facial piercings, take them out. For noticeably gauged ears, seek a pair of flesh-colored plugs to insert on your court date. Cover tattoos with long sleeves or makeup meant to cover tattoos. Men should remove earlobe jewelry and women should stick to small hoops or studs, rather than large earrings.
Work with a Flagler and Volusia Counties Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been involved in an accident and must now appear in court, work with an experienced Palm Coast attorney to protect your rights. Contact the team of car accident attorneys at Chiumento Dwyer Hertel Grant today to schedule your initial legal consultation with our firm. We are here to help you work through the legal process to get you the compensation you deserve for your losses.