Dress the Part for Your Court Date

If you’re unfamiliar with courthouses in general, you may be unaware of the proper attire to wear to a court date. While most courts don’t have a specific dress code a court appearance usually indicates you have a matter being brought in front of a judge, so it makes sense to dress to impress and show respect for her. Since the judge will be making the final decision on your case it’s a good idea to make a good first impression on her, and that’s where your clothing stands out.

If you have a suit or dress clothes you should wear them. If not then be sure your clothing is neat, clean, and repaired if need be. That means even if your designer jeans cost over a hundred, don’t wear them if they have designer rips as part of the pattern!

If you’re wearing street clothes make sure they cover your midriff and cleavage, too.

As far as accessories, keep them to a minimum. Small jewelry is fine but skip the bangles, hoops, and multiple chains. This isn’t the place for flash, so the same goes for makeup: keep it to a minimum and you’ll look great.

Courts can be crowded, so go easy on the perfume or cologne. Some people are sensitive to scents, and you don’t want to have to step outside because someone complained about your perfume.

Don’t eat or chew gum once you’re in the courtroom. Bringing something to read is a good idea but don’t plan on using your cell phone. It might be banned altogether; at the very least you should make sure the ringer is off. You don’t want all eyes to turn your way because your phone went off, as that’s about the worst impression you can leave on the judge.

One last word about the judge: be respectful at all times. Right now she or he is in charge of your future in regards to your court appearance, so get on her good side and stay there. Be polite and address her as “your Honor…” and you’ll do fine.