I saw an article about proper courtroom attire that stated “if you do not know what to wear to court, dress like a prosperous Republican.” This mantra should be more widely used after seeing what some law students and other legal professionals consider business appropriate.
I included Ronnie because, well he’s a smart dresser and quite the prosperous Republican. Right? Right.
So here are some pointers if you are going to be in court or in a courtroom setting (for law students, opening/closing argument competitions; advocacy boards; oral argument assignments).
Always go with the classic, solid colored suit in black, dark navy, or possibly a dark charcoal. I find that pinstripes draw attention to yourself so I would avoid them. You are trying to advocate for yourself or your client; you do not want to draw away from your argument. Ensure that the suit fits. The suit does not have to be the most expensive suit, but it must fit and it should always be a classic, tasteful style. Oh, and if you wear a tuxedo trying to show the judge/client/jury you are fancy, be prepared to be laughed out of court.
Ties should always be worn and should be a conservative color and pattern.
As for the shirt, there is no such thing as a short sleeve dress shirt. Invest in multiple long sleeve, white button down dress shirts. They will get you far in life. Other than white, lighter shades of blue are the only other color I would recommend. You do not want your shirt to stand out more than your argument. Judges have made a point in the past to say that often times an attorney’s attire is too distracting to pay full attention to the attorney’s argument.
Keep them shined and classic. They must match, and the same with your socks. Stay away from the trendy argyle socks because they can be distracting. Oh, and white socks? Don’t wear them. Do burn them.
You can overdress, but you never want to be under dressed. First impressions exist every where, especially in the court room.