How to Dress for Court: The Ultimate Guide

For many folks, going to court for personal injury is their first and only brush with Minnesota’s complex legal system. It can be frightening for our clients.  Attending a hearing or trial can be an intimidating and stressful experience, and you can be unsure of what to wear and how to dress. It helps to dress appropriately to demonstrate your respect for the legal process and to positively impact how the judge and jury view you. Fortunately, a seasoned and compassionate attorney will advise you on how to look your best for your day in court. 

At Knutson + Casey, our attorneys are committed to helping our clients through each phase of the legal process and protecting their rights and interests every step of the way. We have over three decades of experience achieving favorable outcomes for our clients in Minnesota and are ready to apply our extensive knowledge and skills to your unique case. We are prepared to take your case to trial if necessary to help you pursue the damages you are owed. When you partner with us, we will get to know you and every detail of your case as we fight for justice on your behalf. 

5 Essential Rules to Follow When Dressing for Court in Minnesota

A courtroom is a formal setting, and appearing before a judge should be taken seriously. The court expects you to be respectful and mindful of the gravity of the situation and expects this understanding to be reflected in your physical appearance. In other words, your image matters and may impact the court’s ruling. When dressing for court, be sure to follow these essential guidelines:

Dress Neatly

When dressing ready for court, you should be comfortable, and not wear clothes out of your comfort zone.  Some say you should dress as though you are going to Thanksgiving at your in-laws!  You should ensure your clothes fit properly and are not wrinkled, stained, or riddled with holes. While you do not need to purchase a brand-new outfit, it is critical to take the time and care to confirm that you are dressed neatly.  Remember, the judge will be most comfortable if you appear as other folks he or she routinely sees in their daily life, like their friends or family members. It can help to look like one of the judge’s children.

Dress Conservatively and Professionally

While everyone has their own unique style, you want to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb in a courtroom. Ensure your arms, legs, and midriff are covered, and consider wearing dark, neutral colors. A collared shirt and slacks are recommended for men, while women should consider a tailored dress or a simple skirt, blouse, and jacket. Do not wear concert shirts or ripped clothing.  It can even help to cover up tattoos, depending on your judge.

Simplify Your Hair and Makeup

Hair and makeup styling are art forms, but there may be better places to show off your skills than a courtroom. For hair, a simple combed style works best regardless of gender. Tying your hair up in a neat bun or ponytail is also appropriate if it is long. Those with facial hair should ensure their beards are clean and trimmed before their court appearance. As for makeup, a natural look is typically in your best interests. Consider wearing waterproof eyeliner, as emotions may run high during the proceedings. 

Cover Your Tattoos and Remove Your Piercings if Possible

Tattoos and piercings are common ways individuals express themselves. While your tattoos and piercings are widely accepted in most circles, judges are typically conservative and may feel differently. Covering your tattoos and removing your piercings may help protect you from unfair bias in the courtroom. If you cannot remove your piercings, clear spacers and simple studs may help you look more conservative. 

Be Mindful of Your Shoes

Before entering the courtroom, you should be put together from head to toe. Avoid sneakers, open-toed shoes, and flip-flops at all costs. Closed-toed dress shoes are appropriate for both men and women. While high heels may be appropriate for women, avoid stilettos and opt for flats if you do not know how to walk in them. Additionally, men should wear dress socks for a polished look. 

Consult With a Highly-Qualified Personal Injury Attorney

The seasoned attorneys at Knutson + Casey understand how stressful a court appearance feels and will be your pillar of support as we fight for your rights and interests. We will guide you through every step of Minnesota’s complex legal process and advocate for justice on your behalf. Trust us to act in your best interest while working to secure a favorable outcome for your claim. 

To schedule a free consultation with a member of our team, call us at (507) 344-8888 or complete our contact form today.