What to Wear to Court – For Women
Justice is supposed to be blind; however the way you present yourself in court can affect the outcome of your case. You always want to dress in a way that show that you are a respectful and responsible person. You always want to be clean and neat when you are in the courthouse. When you dress professionally, it shows the court that you respect the seriousness of the situation and the court’s authority.
Women have more options when it comes to dressing professionally, and they also have more pitfalls to avoid. It’s ok to dress in a way that shows your personality as long as it doesn’t suggest that you are defiant or disrespect the court. Here are suggestions regarding how you should dress for your court date.
- If you own a suit, wear it. That’s what the attorneys will be wearing.
- If you do not own a suit, wear a blouse or sweater with slacks or a professional skirt. You may also wear a professional dress.
- No matter what you wear, your clothes should not be too baggy or too loose.
- If you wear a v-neck shirt or sweater, layer a shirt or camisole underneath it to avoid exposing too much cleavage.
- Under no circumstances should you wear a tank top, strapless top, t-shirt, sweatshirt, hat, flip flops, or shorts to court.
- When it comes to shoes, wear professional flats, conservative heels, or boots.
- Don’t wear anything to court that you would wear to the gym or to a club.
- Your hair should be neatly pulled back and your bangs should be out of your eyes.
- If you wear makeup, it should look natural. Avoid extreme colors and heavy eyeliner.
- Your jewelry should be conservative. Avoid large earrings and anything that makes excessive noise – like jingly bracelets.
- Your underwear should never be visible when sitting or standing. Your bra straps should never be visible.
- If you wear a tank dress, cover your shoulders with a jacket or cardigan.
- If you wear a skirt or dress, your hemline should be at least at your mid-thigh. Knee length skirts are better.
- If you are visually impaired and you have the choice to wear glasses or contacts, wear your glasses. People assume that people who wear glasses are smarter. It’s a stereotype, but it works.
- Never wear or carry anything that suggests that you use illegal drugs or engage in a partying lifestyle.
Perform the following tests before leaving the house.
- The Sit Test: Practice sitting in your outfit. Your skirt should not come up too high. If you are wearing pants, there should not be any bunching in the inner thighs.
- The Hemline Test: Stand and place your hands at your sides. The hem of your skirt should be at least as long as your middle fingers.
- The Midriff Test: Stand in front of a mirror and raise your arms above your head. If any skin is visible at your midsection, your top is not long enough. Put on a longer blouse or sweater and/or pants with a higher rise.
How you dress in court will affect your credibility in front of the judge. If you are dressed appropriately, it will be easier for the court to believe that you are an upstanding citizen who made a mistake.
Photo credit: Frank Kovalchek from Flickr