Does Courtroom Attire Matter?
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A question I often get asked by my clients is whether what they wear to court matters.  My answer is always yes, although there are many reasons why I give this answer.


While I certainly do not believe it necessary that all defendants show up in a suit and tie, one does not wish to show up so under-dressed that it can be viewed as a lack of recognition of the seriousness of the proceedings, or a lack of respect for the parties involved – including the prosecutors and the judge.  However obvious it may seem, pajamas or workout clothes are not going to give the right impression.  Also, I often see individuals wearing drug-related attire in the courthouse; this is probably not a great idea.  Business casual is certainly acceptable.  Sleeveless tops, shorts, flip flops, pants that are falling down, or skirts/dresses that are too short should not be worn.


The fact is that studies have shown that your appearance is often used as a basis of judgement; it is best not to take chances that a judge or prosecutor be influenced, even if unconsciously, by your appearance in dealing with your case.