Great question! Generally, we tell people to wear their “Sunday best.” Yes, it does matter what you wear to court because the judge, jury and everyone else in the courtroom will notice how you present yourself to the court. When deciding on what to wear to court, you want to keep a few key things in mind. First, you want to show that you respect the court, judge, and jury. Second, you want to show the court that you are taking seriously the matter for which you are before the court. Thus, it is very important to dress respectfully and appropriately regardless if you are in court for a traffic ticket, divorce, hearing, or other matter.
“But do I have to wear a suit and tie?”
No, you do not! However, that does not mean that you can show up to court in a t-shirt, swim-trunks, and flip-flops. So, here are some basic “don’ts”:
Generally, don’t …
… wear shorts, whether you are male or female.
…wear clothing with profanity (swear words) on it, or clothing with words/pictures that are sexual, related to drugs or gangs.
…let your pants sag.
… wear revealing clothing. So, no cleavage, no skin-tight clothing, no short skirts.
…wear a hat, cap, do-rag, or other head covering into the courtroom (unless it is a religious practice to do so).
…wear slippers, pajama pants, sweat pants, or jeans.
Ideas of what you SHOULD wear to court:
- Suit with tie.
- Sports coat or blazer.
- Long-sleeve button-down shirt with a collar and long dress pants.
- Wear a belt or suspenders so that your pants won’t sag.
- The key is to think of clothing that you would wear to church, work or a nice social function.
- A nice dress or woman’s business suit.
- Conservative top and long pants.
- Less is more.