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5 Worst Things to Wear to Court

By Christopher Coble, Esq. | Last updated on

You know that tiny voice in your head that loves your style and is always encouraging you to follow your sartorial instincts? Most of the time, that's a great voice to listen to. But sometimes you need to listen to that other little voice saying, "We need to be on our best fashion behavior here." And one of those times is going to court.

Whether you're appearing in court as a juror, witness, plaintiff, or defendant, you will be judged, fairly or not, on your appearance. But you can have a say in how you're judged when you get there, especially by avoiding these five courtroom fashion faux pas:

1. Pajamas

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: If you're going to court, put on some clothes. No, pajamas are not clothes. No, pajama bottoms with a coat on top are not clothes. No, pajama bottoms when it's really early in the morning and you're really tired and they're really cute with this coat are not clothes.

We're not even saying you need to don your best suit or dress -- but at least put on some proper pants before you leave the house. Not one but two Pennsylvania judges have banned pajamas in court, so if you even want to get in the door, get out of your sleepwear first.

2. Sandals or Flip Flops

Before you start in about how great your feet look and how fantastic your pedicure is, I want you to imagine everyone else in the courtroom walking around with their toes out. Does that paint a pretty picture? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, and what's best for everyone are closed-toed shoes in the courtroom.

3. Hats

Perhaps your parents didn't implement a strict "no hats indoors" policy, but fear not -- the judge will. Judges won't allow hats in the courtroom, so unless you're travelling through a blizzard or rainstorm to get there, you might want to just leave the headwear at home.

4. Crack Jackets

Didn't know crack jackets were a thing? Well now you know, and knowing is half the battle. So if you're heading to court to face drug charges, perhaps avoid wearing a sweatshirt featuring drawings of baking soda, spoons, and an open flame (depicting the crack-making process) and emblazoned with the slogan "Stack Paper Say Nothing." Just a thought.

5. Yoga Pants or Tights

No. No no no. Noooooooope. Just ... no.

If you need more advice on dressing yourself for a court appearance, try asking someone who's been there before -- an experienced attorney.

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