How to Dress for Your Day in Court
Alabama Criminal Lawyers | Crumbley-Blackwell & Associates, P.C.
Our defense attorneys are constantly answering the question: “How should I dress for court?” We’ve decided to compile a list of tips below that ensure our criminal defense, DUI, divorce, and other clients are adequately prepared for their days in court. When it’s time for your day in court – keep these helpful tips in mind:
The Ultimate Goal
You want to look like the jurors (or judge’s) son or daughter, brother or sister, mom or dad, next door neighbor, best friend. Be what they see when they look in the mirror. You want their FIRST IMPRESSION to be: “I could connect with this person”. On that basis:
Show up 15 – 30 minutes early for your court date. In addition to the typical “hold-ups:” traffic, children, etc. there may also be long lines to enter the courthouse that move slow due to security checks. Do not panic if you do not see your criminal defense attorney in the courtroom when you get there. It is typical that your attorney has a pass that will allow them access to the courthouse without having to stand in the long lines and often times he or she must be in multiple courtrooms at once.
More than likely you have heard this before, but seriously: dress nicely. For men, nice slacks and a button-down shirt will suffice but you may, of course, wear a suit if you are comfortable in one. For women, a knee-length skirt and professional blouse will suffice. You may also wear a nice pair of pants. REMEMBER: this is neither the time nor place to make a fashion statement or express yourself. DO NOT show your mid drift. When choosing a pair of shoes, leave the high-heels and tennis shoes at home, opt for something more clean and professional. There is a reason your lawyer will be wearing a suit. You do not have to wear one but do be aware of the significance of the courtroom. RESPECT!
Style Hair & Makeup
Brush, style, curl, do whatever you wish to it, but keep a few things in mind. If you have bright colored hair, wash the dye out if possible. If this is not possible, at least style your hair so that it can look professional. Ensure your hair is trimmed, neat, and washed. Ensure that your hair is not in your face and placed either in a pony-tail or pinned up style.
Using a small amount of perfume/cologne is acceptable. Do not show up with body odor. It goes without saying for most, but not all, people: shower before any court appearance. In addition, ensure that your clothes have been washed. Any stains or tears in your clothing should be covered up, if they cannot be, do not wear them. It may also be a wise idea to keep mouthwash or mints in your purse or vehicle. You do not want to have over-bearing coffee breath in the courtroom. You ALSO DO NOT want to smell like you just walked out of the bar. You would be surprised what our criminal lawyers see in the courtroom on a regular basis.
That nose ring that you adore? The tongue ring that you like? Your best bet is to remove them. The courthouse is not a place to express your individuality. Keep them in your vehicle or at home, and once you leave the courthouse put them back on. However, you should play it safe and remove them before appearing before a judge.
To reiterate, the courthouse is not a place to express your personality. Your best bet, again, is to cover them up. If you have ink on your arms or legs, wear pants and long sleeves. If you have ink in other places that are more obvious (i.e. hands, face), there is not too much that you can do. Do not draw attention to them. Your criminal defense attorney will likely know the personality of the judge in your case. If the attorney feels that the judge is rather conservative and will not appreciate such forms of art, then concealer or other makeup types may be needed to cover the ink.
Have questions regarding dress code or etiquette for court in North Alabama? Contact an attorney from our team to schedule a consultation. We handle a variety of cases in Huntsville, Athens, Decatur, Madison, and surrounding areas. Get started today by calling (256) 539-4464 or completing an online case evaluation form.