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 Posted on July 16,2019 in Criminal Defense

Whether it’s your first day in court or your last day in trial before the verdict is read, there’s just some things you don’t do. Here’s a list of the 10 fashion don’ts that you should remember before you ever set your first foot in a courthouse. The list goes from the most modest to the most outrageous ideas for courtroom apparel. Some of you may think, “No, there’s no way anyone would ever do that.” But these are actual examples, derived from actual people who woke up on the day of their court appearance and thought to themselves, “Hey, you know what might go well with these shoes? A tie that with lights on it under a handcuff necklace. Stay away from these hints for starters. Hope this helps.

1. First Fashion Don’t: No shorts. This is an absolute bar from most courts. You wear shorts, you win a trip into the hallway and a stern lecture from the judge. Just avoid them.

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2. Keep the Loud Ties out of the Courtroom. Jurors will not appreciate your originality. The Judge will not find you quirky. There’s just no situations where this is a good idea when your awaiting your name on the call docket one Friday morning.  

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3. No tank-tops. This is actually a good rule for life in general. They’re a really bad idea. However, if you find yourself staring into the abyss that is your closet and this one looks like a good idea - just keep looking. P.S. This is another quick escort out of the courtroom and a quick lecture from the judge.

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4. No Flip Flops or Sandals. You have to know by now, there’s no one in the world who wants to see your feet. This goes triple for a jury, a judge or a prosecutor. And again most judges will kick you out of their courtroom.


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5. Johnny Cash sang in Folsom for a reason, he looked like a depressed inmate. Keep the “Man in Black” look out of the courtroom. Dark colors make people think of inmates.


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6. Stay away from drug paraphernalia and loud jewelry. Even if you did dress like you should for court, one loud piece of jewelry is enough to destroy everything you’ve been working for. Keep it at home.

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7. Keep any shirts with logos related to your charge out of the wardrobe. If you have a gun charge, don’t wear the NRA shirt. If you have a drunk driving offense, keep the funny, “one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor” shirts out. If you have a drug charge, keep the “legalize-marijuana” stuff out.

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8. Mugshot Shirts: This is the worst place in the world to wear a shirt that has a mugshot on it. It’s never going to go over well. No one finds it clever or edgy and no one will ever respond to this fashion idea with awe.

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9. Stay away from light blue if you’re female and bright orange if you’re male. These are the jail colors for all prisoners who are brought to court. If you are wearing either of these things, you stand a good chance of being tackled by a deputy who confuses you with an escapee. If you’re in trial you stand a good chance of having a juror thinking, “Hey he’s already dressed for the ride to prison.”


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10. Not all suits are created equally. There’s nothing wrong with a conservative suit. Hell, slacks and a conservative dress shirt are the best thing anyone could wear in the courtroom. But this is definitely not the place to express your unique spirit through a loud or colorful new suit.


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Try to avoid these major pitfalls and you may stand a decent chance of avoiding an immediate loss of respect from every member of the jury. Keep it simple. You’d be amazed at how many suits I’ve bought at the Goodwill down the street from the courthouse the day of trial to dress my client conservatively before trial. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination. A simple dress shirt, tie, a pair of slacks, black socks, a pair of dress shoes and you are good for a ten-day trial. If you have any questions, as always feel free to call us at 830-769-1010.

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