Written by Troy Marsh |
Whether you are in the courtroom because you were injured in a car accident, charged with a DUI, or are filing a personal injury lawsuit, your appearance matters.
COURTROOM ATTIRE IS IMPORTANT!
Make yourself look as attractive as possible (without violating the dress code)!
A recent study from researchers at Cornell University found that more attractive defendants were more likely than their less pretty counterparts to get light sentences: the less attractive criminals earned, on average, “22 months longer in prison.” One could easily see that a criminal defendant, or anyone involved in a court proceeding, might be considered more attractive to those involved in the process (prosecutor, judge, jury) if what they wear to court shows they have respect for what is going on around them.
Most court dress codes are strict, intending to keep order and protect the safety of attendees. They are also designed to match the level of respect one should grant the justice system. And, because judges are the arbiters of that respect, they also have the right to enforce the dress code–with fines and jail time.
When choosing what to wear to court, ask yourself this question: How do I want to portray myself? Then, dress accordingly.
Generally, in a criminal case, the goal is to look as young and innocent as possible.
Jane Murdoch Miller, a Virginia-based image consultant said, “There’s no question, people respond emotionally before they respond intellectually, and we can use clothing as a tool to create the response we want…[T]he more a woman’s body is covered, the more respect men tend to feel toward her. Men, she says, are more likely to sexualize a woman, and therefore take her less seriously, if they see her skin. To dress to get equal respect from men, you need to keep flesh covered.”
It is preferable for females to wear a dress or suit or a skirt (preferably no more than two inches above the knee) and a blouse, sweater, or casual dress shirt. Pants are not preferred.
Colors are important!
Wear neutral, pastel colors.
DO NOT WEAR:
Remember that even a small flaw in your appearance will be noticed by the judge, jury, and opposing counsel, and it may hurt your credibility.
What colors are best for you.
What clothing styles look good on you.
What makeup is best for you.
How to make the most of your physical appearance.
If you have any questions about your attire, you should consult with your lawyer BEFORE you step in the courtroom!
Wearing the Right Colors to Court – Do attorneys do this?
“Will Work for Weed” T-Shirts, Zoot Suits, and Other Things You Shouldn’t Wear to Court”
Opening Statements: What to Wear to Court
Courtroom Attire: Ensuring Witness Attire Makes the Right Statement