When you have to make a court appearance, dress in a way that not only makes a good impression but also shows respect for the judge and court. The way you dress can affect how jurors view you and when your fate is in the hands of the jury, you want to show your best side. Whether you're on trial, acting as a witness or part of a court hearing, it's
Violating a court's dress code can lead to removal from the court and possible charges of contempt of court or failure to appear.
When choosing your clothing, opt for dark-colored, professional clothing.
Men should choose a suit or dress pants, button-down shirt and tie.
- Women should opt for a dark-colored pant or skirt suit, a modest dress, or a skirt or slacks and a blouse.
Iron your clothes, avoid clothing with rips, tears or holes, and tuck in your shirt.
What to Avoid:
- Bright colors and patterns
Shorts, tank tops and T-shirts
- Chewing gum, eating or drinking during the proceedings
Your personal hygiene is also important when making a court appearance. The American Society of Trial Consultants recommends men shave or groom their facial hair and wear their hair neat and groomed. Women should wear their hair nicely groomed and pulled back if long. Some lawyers and law professionals also suggest taking out obvious piercings and covering visible tattoos, especially in conservative courtrooms.
The exact dress code varies, depending on the court. Some courts have specific rules as to what is and is not allowed in the courtroom. For example, in the City Court of Slidell, Louisiana, you may not enter the courtroom if you're wearing shorts, hats, halter tops, T-shirts, flip-flops, baggy pants below your waist or midriff-bearing tops.