How To Dress For Court

If You Have To Appear Before The Court…

You need to remember that, like any other time in your life, first impressions count–often a great deal more than you realize. How you present yourself to the Court can often times help the judge or jury form an opinion about who you are as a person. That’s why in any sensationalized court case, the attorneys always make sure that their defendant or witnesses are dressed to impress. Like it or not, what you wear does matter. We have compiled a little list of things to do/don’t do if you need to go to court from our years of experience as South Carolina criminal defense attorneys.

Before Dressing:

  1. Shower – this is crucial. Please shower
  2. Brush your hair or pull it up away from your face – your face holds a great deal of power through expression, and by having your hair off of your face, you’ll have the jury or judge looking and listening to you rather than staring at the hair that keeps covering your eyes
  3. Brush your teeth – this should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway
  4. Deodorant – again, should go without saying

How To Dress (Male):

How To Dress For CourtMen – dress like you care. Dress like you are a gentleman worthy of attention and consideration.

  • At least wear a shirt and pants without holes or stains
  • Try to dress like you would if you were going to church
  • Slacks, a button-down, a tie, and a sports coat (if you own one) are imperative
  • Suit, if you own one
  • No tennis shoes please
  • No flip-flops
  • Avoid jeans
  • Avoid looking like you are going to a club or to the mall or to help a friend move
  • If you have a beard or facial hair, please make sure it is well-maintained and not scraggly
  • Try to cover up tattoos or piercings
  • No jewelry



How To Dress (Female):

How To Dress For CourtLadies – dress like you, too, care. Dress like you are a lady, and as such, worthy of attention and consideration.

  • Wear a skirt or dress that is about knee length – now is not the time to try out your new miniskirt
  • If wearing a skirt or pants, choose a blouse or sweater that is not too low-cut, or sheer, or anything that will distract from what you have to say
  • As mentioned above, avoid stains or holes
  • Wear pantyhose without runs
  • Wear conservative heels to give you a lift and good posture if possible. Flats are acceptable.
  • Flip-flops or tennis shoes are not acceptable
  • Keep jewelry to a minimum – a good rule of thumb (ever) is never wear more than five (5) pieces of jewelry. Two of those five will be the earrings (one in either ear)
  • Keep makeup to a minimum. Avoid looking like Tammy Faye Bakker
  • Do not wear an overabundance of perfume – your shower should do the trick
  • If you wear your hair down, make sure it doesn’t look like you were caught in a wind tunnel. An up-do is a good go-to in this situation
  • Cover up any tattoos or facial piercings if possible



If You Have Any Questions:

Please don’t hesitate to contact a South Carolina attorney to discuss your case and how to appear in court. This is of the utmost importance that you retain an attorney early enough so that they can walk you through how to present yourself to the court. Your freedom, rights, and ability to not pay a fine may depend on this.


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