After 20 years of practice, I think I’ve seen it all. What you wear to court DOES make a difference. Remember, most of the time the judge hearing your case will not remember who you are, so even if its not, think of this as a chance for first impressions.

Making a good first impression is important. The judge (and others involved in your case) deal with many, many other people during a given day, and they too see it all. Make sure that if you stand out, its for all the right reasons. Follow these tips to be the one the judge say “wow, this person has their act together” about.


Dress like you are going on an interview. Because you are. Wear something conservative, as if you were going to a social event. And make sure your clothes fit you. Also, and this may seem odd, but research backs it up, wear glasses if you need them (as opposed to contact lenses).

Men: wear shoes with socks; long pants (on pants with belt loops, wear a belt); collared shirt (tucked in) preferably with a tie, with or without a jacket.

Women: wear shoes; a dress, skirt (preferably no more than two inches above the knee) or long pants; a blouse, sweater or casual dress shirt.


  • shorts
  • hats
  • halter or tube top
  • see-through top
  • flip flops
  • clothing that exposes your midriff or underwear
  • ripped or torn jeans
  • baggy pants that fall below your hips
  • clothing with an emblem or wording that promotes illegal or inappropriate activity
  • clothing that depicts or promotes violence, sex acts, illegal drug use or profanity
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