You’ll never get another chance to make a first impression when it comes to court. Believe it or not, how you present yourself will factor into a judge’s decision. Judges are human too, and appearances can affect how they think of you in the courtroom. Whether it’s a criminal case, or a DWI case, knowing how to dress in court is crucial.

How you dress can say a lot about you as a person. It portrays an image and conveys your attitude about your case. Most times, the impression you make takes a quick second, and sometimes that second is all you have. People will subconsciously assess your competence, character, and credibility by your appearance and demeanor.

A courtroom is a somber place, and appearing before a judge should be taken very seriously. Your demeanor should be respectful, and that respect is reflected in your appearance. The image you portray can significantly influence your outcome regarding matters in the courtroom. If you have an upcoming court case, keep reading for four tips on how to dress for court.

Dress conservatively. 

Ensure that your outfit for the day is professional; think church attire. Both men and women should wear clean clothes and ensure they are ironed and well-fitting.

  • Men should wear a nice, button-down shirt, dress pants, a tie, and appropriate shoes. If it is cold, you can throw in a sweater or, if you own a suit, you can’t go wrong with that.
  • Women should wear an appropriate skirt or dress pants with a blouse or a sweater, a suit, or a dress. Wear close-toed shoes in a neutral color.

Clothing pieces to avoid in the courtroom.

It may be easier to highlight what not to wear to court instead of directing individuals to what is best. In general, avoid anything that looks casual, unserious, or unkempt. This includes:

  • Jeans
  • Short skirts
  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Sundresses
  • Sneakers
  • Flip flops
  • Revealing clothes
  • Sunglasses
  • Disheveled or ripped clothing

Keep your outfit simple.

Keep the jewelry to a minimum and avoid hats or other distracting accessories. While it may be your intention to look your best, there is such a thing as overdressing for court. Accessories or bright colors are great and highlight your personality but is not the best choice for the courtroom.

Keep your pockets empty. Bring only your wallet and keys and turn off your cell phone.

[First time in court? Click here for more important tips!]

Ensure you are well-groomed.

Be sure to style and tame your hair. Shave, or if you have facial hair, neatly trim your beard or mustache. Brush your teeth, trim your fingernails, and wear deodorant.

Treat this like a job interview or a first date. You want to put your best foot forward and make an excellent first impression that lingers with your audience.

The attorneys at Ludlum Law Firm have over 50 years of experience and are here to make sure that our client’s voices are heard in negotiations and court if necessary. We help make sure your interests are represented throughout the claims process. Our attorneys will be right beside you if your claim goes to court.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced Ludlum team member, contact us today by phone or online.