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Dressing for Court

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

Looking presentable for your court appearance.

Going to court can be a nail-biting experience for anyone. One of the best ways to ease your pre-court jitters is to present yourself in the best light possible. This means looking your best. You can actually trick yourself into being more confident than you feel by dressing up for an occasion. It’s classic “fake it until you make it” logic, and it works.

The courtroom has a reputation for being an overly formal, stuffy place. While the formality of court should be respected, it’s nothing to be feared. The best court attire is business casual; a nice pair of slacks and dress shirt or a nice dress will do just fine. Even if you don’t have any clothes to fit this bill, don't worry. Wear the best you have, even if that means clean jeans and a T-shirt.

Here are a few tips on what to wear to court.

What to Wear:

  • Your best clothes - Make sure your clothes are clean and fit you properly – nothing too big or too small. If you are coming to court before or after work, feel free to wear your work clothes. The Judges are understanding.

  • Comb your hair - It is best if your hair is clean and well-kept just like your clothes. You don’t want to look like you just rolled out of bed.

  • If possible, shower before court - you want to be as clean as your clothes.

What NOT to Wear:

  • No hats, sunglasses, or offensive logos

  • Avoid strong odors – perfume, cologne, alcohol, marijuana

Light perfume and cologne is okay, but the scent of alcohol or marijuana is not. Smelling like alcohol or marijuana makes you look unprofessional, and it hurts your credibility with the judge. You also need to remember that you will be in a confined space with others.

If you have questions about what to wear to court, follow this simple rule:

If you would wear it to the beach, don’t wear it to court.

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