There is always an opportunity to dress your best. How you dress can say a lot about how you manage your life and business. Lately, business professionals have been curious about how to dress up for court in these post-COVID days. Either as a juror, visitor, or (god forbid…) as a defendant. While jurors and criminal defendants are expected to meet a certain level of professionalism and respect in court, hearings are long, and your clothing should be comfortable.
When attending court as a juror or defendant, you should expect to wear business casual attire at a minimum. Avoid shorts, tee shirts, uniforms, hats, or any clothing that contains statements or offensive symbols. Failure to dress appropriately can hurt your perceived credibility. Thankfully, the team at our firm will help our clients pick the right attire for court.
Jury Duty Attire
When attending jury duty, it is important to dress in a manner that reflects the seriousness and professionalism of the court proceedings. Strive for conservative, business casual attire. Men should consider wearing dress pants or khakis with a collared shirt and a tie for a more professional appearance. Alternatively, a collared shirt without a tie, such as a polo, can be acceptable for a business casual look, especially in hot weather. Women can opt for dresses, skirts, or slacks paired with blouses or conservative tops. Choose clothing that is clean, well-fitted, and free of wrinkles, as it conveys a sense of respect for the court. And don’t be afraid of a little color – “Barbiecore” is very popular this summer, and Legally Blonde is so deeply embedded in our collective cultural consciousness that courtroom attire is certainly able to include bright pinks.
Comfort is also essential, considering the potential duration of jury duty. Select clothing that allows ease of movement and feels comfortable throughout the day. Footwear should be appropriate for a professional setting, such as closed-toe shoes or dress shoes. Avoid overly casual or revealing outfits, as jury duty is a formal occasion that requires a more conservative approach to dressing. But remember that you’ll be sitting in these clothes for at least six to eight hours, so make sure to account for that.
By dressing appropriately for jury duty, individuals can present a positive and responsible image to the court and other participants in the legal process. A respectful and professional appearance demonstrates understanding and appreciation for the importance of the juror’s role in upholding justice. Try to avoid wearing something offensive – this is not the opportunity to wear your anti-government anarchist wear. It also won’t stop you from being selected, as many attorneys and participants actually like to have a little free-thinking rebelliousness in their jurors.
Attire for Criminal Defendants
Defendants should opt for clean, conservative attire that is appropriate for a formal setting. Men may consider wearing dress pants or khakis with a collared shirt. A suit and tie can also create a more formal and professional look and show that you are taking the proceedings seriously. Women can choose dresses, skirts, or slacks paired with blouses or conservative tops. The goal is to present oneself in a way that demonstrates responsibility and seriousness; juries look for that, even if they don’t intend to. If you look like you don’t take yourself or your situation seriously, it can plant a bad vibe in the minds of jurors.
When comparing the attire of criminal defendants to jurors, there are similarities. Both defendants and jurors should dress in a manner that reflects the formality and importance of the court setting. Conservative and business casual attire is generally appropriate for both parties.
However, in general, defendants’ attire should be slightly more formal. This is because defendants are directly involved in legal proceedings and are more closely scrutinized by the judge, jury, and other court officials. Their appearance can have a significant impact on how they are perceived and, potentially, on the outcome of their cases. As a result, defendants may benefit from dressing more formally, especially if advised to do so by our criminal defense lawyers.
What Not to Wear to Court
When appearing in court as a juror or defendant, there are certain clothing choices that you should avoid. Clothing that is too casual or revealing should not be worn, as it may not be appropriate for the seriousness of the court environment. Therefore, items like shorts, tank tops, flip-flops, ripped jeans, or overly provocative outfits are best left for other occasions.
Also, avoid wearing clothing with strong political or personal statements, logos, or graphics. This appearance may be perceived as biased or distracting. Courtrooms are places of impartiality, and such clothing can undermine the perception of fairness and neutrality.
Furthermore, excessive or flashy accessories should also be avoided, as they can draw unnecessary attention. Loud or distracting accessories can detract from the focus on the legal proceedings and the individuals involved.
In summary, one should not wear overly casual, revealing, or provocative outfits to court. Steer clear of clothing with strong statements, logos, or graphics. Keep accessories modest and unobtrusive, allowing the focus to remain on the importance of the court proceedings and the respect owed to the legal system.
Why Do You Need to Dress Up for Court?
Dressing up for court is essential because it demonstrates respect for the judicial system. A well-groomed and appropriately attired appearance shows that individuals understand the gravity of the legal process and are willing to adhere to the established norms of the courtroom. Dressing up also creates a positive impression on judges, jurors, attorneys, and other participants. You’re dealing with professionals who understand the power they’re wielding – don’t give them a chance to use it against you. Being well-dressed doesn’t just make a good impression, it feels great to dress your best whether it’s for your business or if you’ve been issued a court summons.