What Not to Wear to Court

Clothes hang on a shelf in a designer clothes store for a warrenville drug charge lawyer
Posted by Shannon P. O'Malley

What Not to Wear to Court

If you need to appear in court to defend your case, you need to look like you take the court and the criminal defense process seriously. If you have never been to court before, you might not know how to dress appropriately for the occasion. As a general rule of thumb, anything that is appropriate to wear to an interview for a white collar job is appropriate to wear to the courtroom.

If you are unsure about an outfit or accessory, ask your criminal defense lawyer for guidance. Do not take any chances with your court day outfit. How you look will impact how you, and by extension, your case, are perceived and can influence the court’s ruling.

Styles Men Should Avoid

Men should dress conservatively for court. A male should not wear makeup or unnaturally colored hair to court. If you have long hair, consider cutting it into a more traditional style or at the very least, wearing it in a constrained, professional style. Other than a wedding band, jewelry should not be worn.

Avoid mismatched outfits. If you wear a suit to court, wear a matching suit and an appropriate length tie. If you do not wear a suit, a dress shirt and slacks should be worn. Never wear shoes other than dress shoes.

Fashions Women Should Avoid

Women should avoid any makeup or jewelry that can distract the court. Natural makeup and demure jewelry are best. For women, a conservative hairstyle in a natural color is a must. Nail polish should be in a conservative color as well if it is worn.

Women have a few more options than men when it comes to courtroom attire, but like men, must wear professional clothing in neutral tones. Skirts should be knee-length or longer and tops should not show any cleavage. Women should wear closed-toe dress shoes with a low heel. Flat shoes can also be appropriate, but high heels such as stilettos are not.

Items for Both Sexes to Avoid

The goal for both sexes is to not look sloppy in the courtroom. Your outfit should be clean, neat, and fit your body appropriately.

Individuals of both genders should cover any visible tattoos with clothing or makeup intended for this purpose. The following items should never enter the courtroom on an individual of either sex:

  • Sneakers;
  • Jeans;
  • Shorts;
  • Sleeveless shirts;
  • Facial jewelry;
  • Sunglasses, unless they are prescription sunglasses for a blind individual;
  • Hats other than religious head coverings;
  • Sandals; and
  • Loud, neon colors and clashing patterns.

Work with an Experienced Orland Park Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are in the midst of a criminal trial and you need to appear in court, it is important that you present yourself in a professional manner. Looks matter, and how you look in court can impact how the jury perceives you and your case. Perhaps it is not fair, but it is reality. To learn more about preparing your case for court, contact Shannon P. O’Malley, Attorney at Law today to set up your initial consultation in our office with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.