What Is Proper Attire for a Court Hearing?

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Unless you provide legal services at a law firm or find yourself facing legal issues often, chances are that going to court and attending court hearings is not a regular part of your everyday life. As such, figuring out what you need to do in order to prepare for a court hearing. Your immediate need will often be finding legal resources that can provide you with legal advice and support during a hearing.

However, one major aspect of going to court that many people forget about is how to dress appropriately. If you want to make sure that you’re dressed for success in a court of law, let’s break down the do’s and dont’s for what constitutes proper attire in any court of law.


1. Dress Conservatively and Professionally

No matter what type of legal issue you are facing, the way you dress does have an impact on how you are perceived. Wearing the right clothes shows respect within a court of law and, according to legal stylist experts, it can change the way that people can see you and how harshly they may judge you for what you are being charged with (of course, this may not apply if you are facing small charges that won’t force you to stand in front of a jury).

Whether you are facing minor charges or major charges, however, the way you dress is always important. The best way is to make sure that you are wearing clothes that are both conservative and professional. Examples of this may include wearing a new dress suit or pantsuit or choosing a long skirt and a solid blouse to wear at your hearing. If you do choose to go out and purchase a dress from your favorite local or online dress store, make sure to choose one with a solid pattern that you would feel comfortable wearing to work. There are plenty of great options out there, and there are generally more acceptable clothing options than ones that would not be suitable for a courtroom.

Remember, if it is too revealing, too sloppy, or too distracting, it’s not a good choice!

2. Stick With Neutral Colors

Wearing vibrant colors that are distracting may make you seem less approachable to those in the courtroom. For example, if you are wearing a bright yellow party dress with orange heels and tons of colorful and loud accessories, you may be making the wrong impression. Instead, look for clothing options that feature neutral colors like blue, gray, beige, or brown to make you seem like a reliable, approachable individual. With that said, not all neutral colors are great. For example, black is often a color to be avoided as it may make you seem apathetic rather than empathetic.

3. Limit Accessories to Basics

Much like you can go too far with colors, you can go overboard with accessories as well. Whether you are wearing too many bracelets, high-end jewelry that is too much for the courtroom, or wearing heels that have unnecessary additions (like spikes or other features), less is always better. Limit your accessory choices to basic items like wedding rings, small watches, small earrings, and plain heels. Going plain is always the best choice if you want to make a good impression.

While finding legal services and enlisting the help of a law firm is at the top of your list of priorities, figuring out what attire you will need in the courtroom will become a priority somewhere along the way. Once you have all of your legal services squared away, use the brief guide above to plan out the right outfit for your court hearing.

Nola Blanton researches, organizes, and delivers high-level and impactful strategic content that helps OI's readers understand, discuss, and prepare for emerging trends in business and marketing.

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