When you have to make a court appearance, dress in a way that not only makes a good impression but also shows respect for the judge and court. The way you dress can affect how jurors view you and when your fate is in the hands of the jury, you want to show your best side. Whether you’re on trial, acting as a witness or part of a court hearing, it’s important to dress professionally and modestly.

When choosing your clothing, opt for dark-colored, professional clothing.

  • Men should choose a suit or dress pants, button-down shirt and tie. 

  • Women should opt for a dark-colored pant or skirt suit, a modest dress, or a skirt or slacks and a blouse. 

Tips

Iron your clothes, avoid clothing with rips, tears or holes, and tuck in your shirt.

What to Avoid:

  • Bright colors and patterns
  • Shorts, tank tops and T-shirts

  • Flip-flops 

  • Hats

  • Flashy jewelry

  • Chewing gum, eating or drinking during the proceedings

Your personal hygiene is also important when making a court appearance. The American Society of Trial Consultants recommends men shave or groom their facial hair and wear their hair neat and groomed. Women should wear their hair nicely groomed and pulled back if long. Some lawyers and law professionals also suggest taking out obvious piercings and covering visible tattoos, especially in conservative courtrooms.

The exact dress code varies, depending on the court. Some courts have specific rules as to what is and is not allowed in the courtroom. For example, in the City Court of Slidell, Louisiana, you may not enter the courtroom if you’re wearing shorts, hats, halter tops, T-shirts, flip-flops, baggy pants below your waist or midriff-bearing tops.