Today is your court date and you have to get ready, but you’re unsure about how you ought to appear. Although proper court attire may seem like a simpler area when dealing with the judicial system, it is frequently an issue that is raised by clients. So if you’ve contemplated how you ought to appear for your court date, we have some helpful tips to point you in the right direction.
When you first walk in any room (or court for that matter), one of the first things people tend to notice is your clothing. Is it disheveled? Wrinkled? Perhaps you have an obvious stain on your shirt? All of these are factors you ought to consider when dressing appropriately for an appearance before a judicial officer.
The most important thing to focus on is looking presentable. Now don’t misunderstand us, we’re not encouraging you to spend a ton of money on a new suit or dress. If you have these things, great. Make sure they are cleaned and/or pressed if necessary, and in decent shape. However, if you don’t own a suit or dress attire, don’t fret. It is most important that you appear clean, respectful, and mature.
This is pretty quick and simple. Abandon the t-shirts with clever slogans, advertisements for adult beverages, or from your favorite music festival. If you have a polo or button-up, something semi-professional, or just something not too revealing, that is probably going to be the best option. If all you own are t-shirts, perhaps consider expanding your wardrobe to include at least 1 suitable top for court. If you are unable to afford something new, at least look for something that doesn’t have holes, large stains, or doesn’t fit you well.
Again, this is fairly straightforward. As before, cleanliness and acceptable condition are probably the most important. Something that can’t be stressed enough here, do not wear shorts or cutoffs! While this may be appropriate for other venues, the court is a serious place, so take it seriously. If you have slacks, a dress, or an appropriate skirt, this is probably best. If not, then just make sure that your leg attire is in decent condition.
Now you may have a little more wiggle room when it comes to your shoes. While dress shoes are encouraged, they’re not a necessity. Here, you’ll want to find a pair that doesn’t have major scuffs, tears, or obvious wear and tear. If you have something that looks slightly more formal (e.g. heels, boots, loafers, etc.), that is probably the best route to take. If not, try to steer clear of sandals or running shoes if possible. Again, you are trying to convey an appearance of adulthood, maturity, and respect for the court.
A quick and easy tip here: lose the hat! Wearing hats indoors is generally considered to be improper, and this is especially true in the court. Now, the same is true of Bluetooth earpieces. If you are appearing in court, especially if it is your case, you want the court to know that your case is important to you.
As for hair, take the time to look decent. Now you don’t have to go and get a haircut or a perm, but again, you should look presentable. So make sure your hair is washed and combed or styled. On a similar note, if you have facial hair, take the time to groom a bit before showing up in court. An unkempt beard or mustache can look pretty sloppy.
Appearing respectful and serious at court is extremely important. You want to communicate to the court that you value its time and that you take these matters seriously. The last thing you want to do is to make a bad impression because you hadn’t taken the time to look presentable. As always, if you feel that you may need the assistance of legal counsel, do yourself a favor and get in touch with one of our attorneys for a free consultation today.
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