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How to Dress for a Court Appearance

There are all kinds of reasons why someone might find themselves in a court of law. Whether they’re a witness, a member of the jury, or perhaps even the defendant themselves, what they wear is going to matter a lot. Even though in most other areas of life, clothing isn’t overly critical, especially if you simply enjoy being yourself and being comfortable, you have to ensure you are wearing the right clothing when you are in court. Not only do you have to show respect for the process of law, but you also need to make a good impression, no matter what side of the argument you might be on.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to work out what you’re going to wear to court well ahead of time and make sure that it is all ready for you – clean and pressed – the night before you are due to go. In this way, you can concentrate on the reason for being in court in the first place and not have to worry about your outfit. Read on for some ideas about what you should wear to make the best impression.

Plain and Simple

One of the most essential rules to think of but also one of the easiest to remember is that whatever you wear, whether you are male or female, the clothing needs to be straightforward and simple. It shouldn’t be distracting in any way, otherwise you might find that whatever it is you have to say, even if it is crucial in terms of your post-conviction relief or your witness statement, is secondary to what you’re wearing. That’s the last thing that anyone would want.

This means wearing darker colors, not wearing prints, not wearing anything that someone might consider ‘out there’ or unusual. It should be, for want of a better word, boring. Even if it’s something you would never wear outside of a courtroom, the importance of the task you have ahead of you is too great – too much is riding on it – to detract from it.

Color Splashes

As much as we’ve said that you need to wear darker clothing that doesn’t distract, that doesn’t mean you can’t also have just the smallest splash of color to make it your own if that would help you to feel more comfortable in the courtroom.

You might, for example, choose to wear a colored pocket square or tie or a bright brooch or blouse. This might even make the outfit look better and give those around you a better opinion of you and your personality. Always try on your options before arriving at the court so you can decide in advance what works best.

You Don’t Have to Buy New

Many people enjoy buying new clothes, and will often do so if there is the occasion for it. However, if you don’t like shopping or your budget is limited, or you prefer not to spend money on something that you’ll only wear once because it’s not your usual style, then remember that you don’t have to buy new.

You could look at a thrift store to begin with. You’ll be spending much less than you would in a store, but you can find some beautiful clothes that have been donated. Or you could ask friends and family if they could lend you something just for the duration of the trial.

As long as the clothes are clean (having them professionally cleaned can often be a good idea) and look smart, it won’t matter if they’re new or not.

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