Make a Good Impression: What to Wear to Court

94 district courts, 13 circuit courts, and one supreme court. Thousands of people head to these courtrooms for various reasons, but they all have one thing in common. They need to dress appropriately and show respect to the court. 

This leaves many people asking, what should I wear to court? It can be a key part of your strategy because it helps you present the right image. This guide will help you know what to wear to court. 

What to Wear to Court as a Defendant

When you attend court, wearing the right attire is a must. Some courts won’t even let you in the door if you’re wearing the wrong clothes. As a defendant, you need to present the right image and show respect for the court. 

For both men and women, wear a conservative outfit. Business professional is a safe approach. This means wearing a suit, slacks, sport coat, or knee-length dress or skirt. Sweaters are also a safe option for when the weather is cold. 

If you have any doubts about whether or not your chosen outfit is appropriate, it’s best to ask your lawyer. The lawyers at are happy to guide their clients on what to wear. 

What to Wear to Traffic Court

While all courts have a certain level of formalness, traffic court tends to be more relaxed. The judge and court understand that people typically represent themselves, so they may not have the same experience as lawyers who regularly attend court.

Aim for business formal or at least business casual. This means wearing slacks or khakis and a button-down shirt.  You should also wear dress shoes and a tie. 

For women, a conservative dress or slacks and a blouse would be appropriate. Flats or conservative high heels are also appropriate. 

Try to avoid wearing strong perfume or cologne. Choose clothing items that cover your tattoos. 

Style Guide 

Knowing what to wear is about more than just picking a particular clothing item. You need to consider color, pattern, and styling. Always iron or steam your clothes so that they are free of wrinkles. 

Stick with neutral and conservative colors that won’t be distracting in court. Grey, blue, and tan are the best options. They convey the appropriate level of seriousness without looking harsh. 

What Not to Wear to Court

There are some articles of clothing that you should not wear to court. These are casual clothing items that are not appropriate for the formal nature of the court. Leave your jeans, shorts, sundresses, sandals, and sneakers at home. 

Additionally, some clothes aren’t casual, but still inappropriate for your appearance in court. Women shouldn’t wear overly tight or revealing clothing. Think clothing that you would wear out to dinner or a club. 

Some accessories are also not acceptable for court. Take off your hat and sunglasses. These are not meant to be worn indoors. 

Know What to Wear to Court

Now that you know what to wear to court, you are ready to join your attorney. Remember, it is important to dress with respect for the location and events taking place. You want to project the right image and show that you are taking the legal proceedings seriously. 

Browse our other helpful articles and learn everything you need to know when preparing for court. 

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