Did you know that there is a reason for people wearing formals and look presentable in court? It’s not just to look attractive and neat. It’s, in fact, important for men to wear suits and ties, and women to wear something modest and conservative.
And why is this so? It’s because the first impression is the best impression; even in the courtroom. There are so many people involved in a trial of judges, juries and the opposing parties and counsel. Many a time their thoughts and decisions depend on the first impression you create for them.
Whether you know it or not, your appearance releases invisible cues that play a huge part in how the people around perceive you. Not everyone will be able to get past your appearance, to gauge and assess you based on your actual personality and just not your looks.
With the court session being a decisive period in your life, there is absolutely no reason to take any risks. When you can actually use a plus point to your advantage through your clothes and appearance, wouldn’t it be better and worth spending some time choosing the best clothes to wear?
7 Tips for dressing appropriately for court
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should wear your Sunday best to all your court sessions. It’s just that everyone at court, including the defendant, prosecutor, lawyer or bail agent who don’t act appropriately, are late and unprepared for the session or who comes with an untucked shirt or messy hair remain highlighted and are noticed.
This means that no matter how quirky or sharp your mind or defense may be, your attire may just about foil everything. If you need some help deciding on what to wear to court, these 7 tips should prove helpful to you.
1. Wear something with a proper fit
Jeans and a sweatshirt are indeed comfortable to wear. However, it’s not appropriate for court. You can instead wear slacks around your waist with a belt, and shirt tucked in.
It’s important your pants are around your waist. Quite a few men have been excused from the court for wearing pants low on their hips. This may be the time to wear that button up shirt and tie that’s lying in the cupboard.
Just make sure it fits you, it’s clean and has all buttons. Don’t make the mistake of wearing slippers or flip flops. If you wear laced shoes, tie the laces. Wear something formal with socks, while your casual ripped jeans, cargo shorts, and sneakers are a no-no.
In the case of women, avoid wearing anything with plunging necklines or too short skirts and shorts. Once again, closed shoes are a better option to flip flops.
2. Be aware of the dress code
Though this may seem obvious to you, it may not be to many people. It’s especially important if you have no idea about what to wear to court. The courthouse website can help you find out what’s considered appropriate to wear there. You can also call and ask them if you don’t get any ideas here.
Depending on the state you live in, you can alternatively ask your bail bond agent, or lawyer for suggestions as to what’s acceptable and what isn’t. This is because there are some considerable differences in the rules and regulations between rural and metropolis regions.
3. Be comfortable
Whatever you wear, make sure you are comfortable in it. You may be wearing it for a short court session but you never know how long a certain procedure may last.
So wear clothes that will keep you comfortable through the day. Wearing uncomfortable or stiff clothes only end up affecting your posture, and focus. If you wonder how it affects your focus, well you’ll end up fidgeting because of the clothes, which can distract your views and what you have to say in court.
4. Get rid of piercings and camouflage tattoos
It’s nowadays acceptable to most offices, families, and friends to wear tattoos. However, it’s better if you cover them up while appearing at court because you never are sure who’s okay with tattoos. Some may be okay with it, while others who simply despise and cannot tolerate it.
5. Be well groomed and mannered
It’s not enough to just wear appropriate and presentable clothes. All the time and fuss spent on choosing it will go to waste if you turn up to court in messy hair. If possible, style your hair or at least keep it tamed and in place.
Don’t forget to shave, and if you have a beard or mustache, keep it neatly dressed. It goes without saying that you have to brush your teeth, wear deodorant and keep your nails trimmed.
No chewing gum. No matter what the reason may be, no one likes talking to, or even seeing someone with gum in the mouth. Remember, it’s your first impression you are creating, make sure it has an impact.
6. Keep it simple
While you have to look neat and presentable, don’t go out of the way and overdress so that you look flamboyant in court. Wear minimal jewelry and nothing gaudy or big like necklaces.
Wear a simple watch but don’t wear hats because it is distractive. While carrying your wallet and keys are naturally permitted, you have to turn off your cell phone or even better, leave it in the car.
7. Be punctual
In addition to being well dressed, it’s important for everyone, including witnesses, clients, experts, bail bond agents, and attorneys to be early or on time, but never late. This proves that you respect the other people around you and their time.
In short, you have to be at your best behavior and attire during a court session. Basically, wear something you will be comfortable wearing in front of your grandmother. Your aim is to create a good first impression.
While you may not have any control over anything else in the case, your attire is something you can decide to create the best first impression to the jury members, and everyone else at court.