In an ideal world, every court case would be determined solely on the merits of the arguments and the quality of the evidence. The truth is that the law, like everything else in life, is more complicated. One element that can make an impact is how individual appearing in court present themselves.
To help our clients and others make sure nothing superficial sabotages their case in court, the lawyers at Jebaily Law Firm, P.A. have provided the following tips on what to wear to court.
For men, the best option is a well-fitting suit. If you do not own a suit and can’t borrow or get one in time, the next best option is a pair of slacks with a dress shirt tucked in and a tie.
Men should also limit jewelry to their wedding ring and a tasteful (but not too expensive watch). Piercings should be taken out and tattoos should be concealed if possible. Style your hair in a conservative fashion and return it to your normal color if it has been dyed. Men should either shave or make sure beards and mustaches are neat and well-groomed.
Finally, make sure to wear deodorant, and a splash of cologne is fine (but make sure not to overdo it).
When deciding on how to dress for court, women should also aim for a professional, conservative look. A dress, pantsuit, or skirt-and-blouse combination are all good options. A sweater may also be appropriate, depending on the time of year.
As with men, women should limit jewelry by removing all piercings, while avoiding a large number of bracelets, necklaces, and rings. Hair should be a natural color and styled, and long hair should be pulled back away from the face (this helps avoid subconscious, nervous fidgeting). Tattoos should be hidden, and a modest amount of deodorant and perfume are a good idea.
Studies have found that color is almost as important as style when it comes to proper courtroom attire. Avoid bright colors, non-traditional colors, and unusual patterns, because they make people concentrate on the clothes and not on the individual. It’s also best not to wear black, since that can seem cold and authoritative, removing a sense of sympathy for the individual.
The best color to wear to court for men and women is either dark blue or dark gray, since these colors are formal, professional, and neutral.
As a general rule, T-shirts, shorts, revealing clothing, hats, flip-flops, open-toed shoes, sunglasses, pajamas, old and unkempt clothes, and other items should not be worn. Ultimately, you want to appear as presentable, professional, and serious as possible for your day in court. Even if you are not going to be called upon, your appearance can send silent signals to the judge, jury, and everyone else in the courtroom.
Have questions about a potential injury claim? Need legal help? The South Carolina injury attorneys of the Jebaily Law Firm, P.A. are here to help you. Contact us by phone, fill out a contact form on our site, or chat with us live to schedule a consultation with us today.
Jebaily Law Firm, is one of South Carolina’s long-established and well-respected legal practices. Located in Florence, S.C., we are trial lawyers focused on plaintiff litigation in personal injury, workers’ compensation, social security disability, and criminal defense. Established in 1969, we have more than 100 years of combined legal experience in protecting the rights of clients and advocating for the safety and well-being of South Carolina citizens.