Dressing for court can be tricky. You want to make a good impression, but if the issue at hand is one of financial difficulty, you also don’t want to have the appearance of having spent a small fortune on your outfit.
Here are a few hints for putting your best foot forward at your court date:
Think “Job Interview”
- In a few words, dress in a Professional and Respectful manner, and don’t stand out on the basis of your clothes.
- For men, this typically is the look of a pair of black or gray dress pants (not jeans!), and a button-down shirt in a solid color (jacket & tie optional). You don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard (full formal suit) or that you just rolled out of bed and couldn’t be bothered. For ideas, see styles at Brooks Brothers or Banana Republic.
- For women, this could include a knee-length skirt or tailored pants (no jeans!) in black, gray or navy blue, and a button-down shirt, blouse, or knit top (jacket optional). For ideas, see styles at Ann Taylor or Banana Republic.
Lean to the Right (Conservative)
- No flashy colors here, and nothing too tight, low-cut, or revealing for you ladies.
- Your goal in choosing an outfit for court is to blend in with a business/conservative crowd. Unlike what we’ve seen recently from Lindsay Lohan this is definitely not the time to stand out for your choice of clothing.
Beware Those Accessories
- Along the same lines as above, you don’t want your accessories to detract from the proceedings of your case. Distracting jewelry such as large belt buckles, jingling bracelets, and huge dangling earrings will only make you look like you care more about your flashy jewelry than the matter at hand. Keep jewelry and makeup minimal – conservative and professional.
- And even if your expensive bag, watch, jewelry or shoes were a gift from your grandmother, now is not the time to bring them out. When you’re involved in proceedings due to financial difficulty, you don’t want to look like you’re wearing a thousand dollars worth of accessories, even if you didn’t purchase them yourself.
The key to dressing for court is to solidify the understanding that you are a reliable, professional, respectful, and honest person, and that your arguments should be taken seriously. By making poor choices in your wardrobe, you run the risk of having the court perceive you as someone who doesn’t have those qualities.