What Do I Wear to Court: The Fashion Dos & Don’ts Of The Legal Catwalk

Like it or not, appearance really does matter!

When you go into the courtroom while purporting to be “Mother of the Year” but have cleavage ooz-ing out of a low-cut top and a leather mini on, the judge may think twice about believing your claim.  Likewise for men, if you are purporting to take great care of the kids, teach them good hygiene, etc. but don’t display that yourself, you may be damaging your credibility.

But what to wear to court also goes beyond the obvious no-nos and jaw-droppers.  What you wear shows respect or a lack thereof for the judge, the process, and for the gravity of what you are fighting about, which are probably all that you hold dear (your kids, your home, your financial security). If you have an attorney, in many cases the judge will not hear you speak. Therefore, your only way to communicate and make an impression is your appearance. If you are representing yourself, your first impression will already have been made with the judge by the time you speak for the first time.  Do not underestimate the power of this non-verbal communication.

As a general rule, you should dress like a bank teller.

  • No flip flop shoes
  • No shorts
  • No sleeveless or short sleeve tops. (I don’t think anything above your elbow should show)
  • No short skirts
  • No “sagging” clothes
  • No cleavage of any kind (whether it be in the front or the back!)
  • No jeans, if you can help it.
  • No hats or sunglasses on your head.

Some examples of the dress that makes a positive impression on the court are:

If you would like to discuss how to have EVERY advantage before you ever set foot in a courtroom, please call Moore Law Group (951) 463-5594 for a free assessment.


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Holly has an illustrious resume, filled with an impressive number of awards and professional recognition in the field of family law. Holly has appeared at thousands of family law hearings and trials and has represented over 500 clients in divorce and custody matters; but that is not the distinguishing characteristic that makes her unique or a great attorney.
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