First impressions are very important – especially when you are trying to appeal to the judge and the jury. For example, you may be facing a trial for involuntary manslaughter, and you know for a fact that you are innocent. That said, if you appear in court with a white tank top showing off your tattoos, it may give the jury the wrong impression.
We live in a time when people are more accepting of different styles. That said, psychology still suggests that whether we intend to or not, we still judge people by their clothing. If you want to leave a good impression in court, here are some dressing tips you may want to keep in mind:
Choose Conservative Clothing
Usually, in court, conservative clothing is your best choice. Think suites; the tie is recommended but not necessary if you do not like it. Remember, you want to show respect and honor the judge and the jury, so showing up in jeans and a tank top may not help your case.
Also, you should steer clear of revealing clothes. Trying to seduce your way out of the court by showing off your muscles will not work in your case. If anything, it will just make you look less respectful. Leave the shorts at home, wear long-sleeved items and close the buttons of your shirt.
Easy on the Accessories
While there is nothing wrong with some lie clips, cufflinks, and maybe a watch, you should leave your bling at home. It gives off the wrong impression and attracts the wrong kind of attention. This is the last thing you want when you are tried in court.
Even if you wear accessories daily, you should take them off before you enter the courtroom. Your piercings should also be removed, especially if you are a guy. It screams, “I like to rebel against rules and social norms,” which is a bad impression for you to leave in court.
Consider the Location
Very often, the location of the courtroom may also influence the type of clothing you want to wear. For example, you may go for smart casual for a smaller court in the suburbs while still staying court-appropriate. Dress pants and a jacket are recommended.
On the other hand, if the courtroom is in a big city, you should wear more traditional clothing. A suit and tie will give you a better impression. Always keep a dress jacket on, making you look respectable and well-polished.
If a criminal lawyer represents you, you may want to ask them for advice on the clothing you should wear. They are usually familiar with the protocol for each courtroom and should be able to guide you in the right direction.
Consider Getting a Trim
You may have a fine-looking suit, but if your hair and face look like you just got out of bed, it will once more give a bad impression. Get your hair cleaned up, give yourself a haircut, and give your beard a trim. While shaving off your entire beard is unnecessary, you should ensure it looks well-groomed.
If you are getting a haircut, you may want to schedule it two weeks before appearing in court. Also, if you have long air, keep it tied back. No need for fancy hairstyles; a low ponytail should work just fine.
Choose Correctly-Colored Clothing
The color of your clothing is very important, especially where courtrooms are concerned. Think of your job as an interview; you need to impress your interviewers while showing that you are serious. This is why you may want to use apparel color psychology to your advantage and draw the judge and jury to your side.
As a man, dark suits are the better choice. You should steer clear of the black suit, as this one may suggest superiority. Instead, go for dark blue or dark brown colors. Blue implies that you are an honest, trustworthy person, whereas brown will offer a sense of security. Muted shades are your best choices, making you appear friendlier and less threatening.
The Bottom Line
Looks matter, especially where the courtroom is concerned. While we live in a time where style acceptance is practiced everywhere, you still need to respect the dress code for specific institutions. Dress conservatively and make yourself as respectable as possible. This will indirectly help appeal to the jury.
Featured Photo by August de Richelieu: https://www.pexels.com/