How you dress in court matters as it can have an effect on how you are viewed and thus, your case overall. In considering what to wear to court, you should plan to look mature and responsible. Below, we will discuss how to dress for your family court hearing in further detail.
What Not to Wear When You Appear in Family Court
When considering what to wear to family court, you should avoid wearing clothes that are too casual. You should try to look as professional as possible. Here are some clothing items you should avoid wearing to court.
- Athletic wear
- Crop tops
- Cut-off shorts
- Form-fitting clothing
- Revealing or overtly sexy clothing
- Sheer garments
- Skirts that fall above the knee
- Sleeveless shirts
- Slides or flip flops
- Sundress or strapless dress
- Sunglasses (unless you have a medical condition or special need)
- Tank tops
What You Should Wear to Family Court
When you appear in court, you should plan to wear clothing similar to that which you would wear to an interview, church, or a semi-formal social event. Whatever you were should fit well and be well-maintained (i.e. free of stains, not missing buttons, etc.). Here are some examples of court-appropriate attire.
- Collared shirt
- Dress shoes or heels
- Belt or suspenders
- Sports coat
- Plain dress
- Long skirt or pants
- Simple accessories
If you still are wondering what is best to wear to court, pick out an outfit or lay out your options and ask yourself the following questions.
- Does this outfit look similar to what I’ve seen other people leaving or going to my local court wear?
- How do I think the judge will react to such an outfit?
- What does the local court website say about courtroom attire and does this outfit adhere to these standards?
- What does this outfit say about me?
- What kind of first impression does this outfit make?
What Is the Best Color to Wear to Family Court?
You should avoid wearing dark, harsh colors or bright colors. Prints, patterns, or anything too “shocking” should also be avoided. The best colors to wear in family court are conservative colors, such as:
Other Important Considerations in Preparing to Appear in Court
To prepare for your upcoming family court hearing, you should also consult with an experienced attorney as they can help you develop a case strategy and prepare for court (i.e. advising you on what to wear and on courtroom etiquette, etc.). In addition to considering how you should dress in court, you should also take the following steps to prepare for your court hearing.
- Be mindful of the language you use. If the judge addresses you, you should address them as “Your honor.” Make sure that you say, “Yes, Your Honor,” and “No, Your Honor” rather than ma’am, sir, or another honorific.
- Be mindful of your tone/attitude. In court, you should avoid raising your voice or acting in such a way that may affect the way that the court views you. Be polite and mindful of your manners while you interact with anyone, including the court clerk, the opposing party and counsel, and courtroom officials.
- Manage your body language. Even if you feel angry, smug, or a certain way while at court, you should also be mindful of and control your body language. The judge and others will notice if you snicker, frown, slouch, smirk, or physically react to certain events.
- Only speak when addressed. In court, you shouldn’t speak out unless you are directly addressed. Even if you want to respond or rebuttal something the other side says, avoid responding. If you are addressed, again be mindful of our previous advice, stand up when you are addressing the court, and avoid using slang or profanity excessively.
- Prioritize hygiene. Your appearance also extends to how maintained your hair, beard, and makeup look as well. In getting ready for your family court hearing, be sure you take time to brush your teeth, wash your face, showed, apply deodorant and perfume, and attend to your grooming and hygiene needs.
- Prioritize timeliness. You should appear in court on time; timeliness is very important.
Involved in a Family Law Case? Consult with Our Firm.
At William Kirby Law, Family Law Attorneys, we are equipped to help our clients navigate their family law cases. Once you retain our services, we can support you throughout the entire legal process and can help you prepare for court. From advising you of your legal options to helping you develop a case strategy to addressing your questions and concerns to informing you of the proper courtroom etiquette, our attorney is here to help you.
To schedule a case consultation or learn more about our legal services, contact us via phone (215) 515-9901 or online today!