What To Wear To Court

A judge in Pennsylvania really posted a sign that said, "PAJAMAS ARE NOT APPROPRIATE ATTIRE FOR DISTRICT COURT." Seriously. And he is right. So then you my ask, "What is appropriate attire?"

I always tell clients what would seem to be obvious. The first thing is to dress in clean, non offensive clothes. While that may seem obvious, from the looks of some of the people at court, it apparently isn't. It also depends on what will be happening in court. If it is a jury trial, a suit and tie for a man and business attire for a woman is great. Any other court such as a hearing or motion, or even a bench trial, I would love clients to be a dressed decently as well.

You don't have to dress in a suit and tie. For men, I would prefer some dress slacks and a shirt with a collar. For women, dress slacks or a dress at least knee length. Personally, I don't like it when my clients come to court in uniform, especially Class A uniforms. Why? Because I don't want a them being looked at with the you should have known better attitude, especially NCOs and officers. I don't want them sticking out.

Another thing is, the court is not the club. I don't think women should be wearing platforms with 6 inch heals and dresses that barely cover their underwear. Everyone notices those women. While they may look good at 11 at night on a Saturday night, it can come across as really trashy or sleazy at court. That is not what you want.

I realize not everyone has access to clean, nice clothes. Some people are homeless or even have very limited means to wash clothes. All I can say is, do your best. I think most judges realize when someone has done the best they can with what they have.

How you dress in court is just as important as how you act. The best thing you can do is talk to your attorney about what to wear before you show up in pajamas. The judges really don't like that.

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