Court appearances can be intimidating and stressful, but dressing appropriately can make a significant impact on your experience and even influence the outcome of your case. It’s essential to remember that appearances matter, and your choice of clothing conveys a message to the judge, magistrate, jury, and other court personnel. In this blog post, we’ll provide some guidance on how to dress for court in Victoria, Australia, for both men and women.
Summary: How to dress for court
These are the dos and don’ts of dressing for court in Australia. If you’re looking for a quick summary, this is it.
When dressing for court, it is important to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Choose understated or traditional colours for your attire.
- Men should wear long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt.
- Women should opt for skirts that fall below the knee, dress pants, or dresses of a similar length.
- Ensure that you wear clean, closed-toe shoes.
Avoid the following when dressing for court:
- Vibrant or flashy colours.
- Sleeveless or strapless tops.
- See-through shirts or blouses.
- Apparel featuring offensive slogans or graphics.
- Denim garments.
- Skirts or shorts that fall above the knee.
- Flip-flops or thongs.
- Hats or caps.
How men and women should dress for court
When attending court, it is crucial for both men and women to dress conservatively and professionally. Here are some guidelines for appropriate courtroom attire.
Dressing for Court: Men
- Suits: A suit is not essential. But the safest option for men is to wear a suit. A well-fitting suit in a conservative colour, such as navy, charcoal, or black, will present a professional and respectful appearance. If you don’t own a suit, consider borrowing one or investing in one, as it will likely come in handy for other formal occasions as well.
- Dress Shirts: Opt for a long-sleeved, collared dress shirt in a neutral or light colour, like white or light blue. Ensure that your shirt is ironed and clean.
- Ties: A tie is not essential. Choose a conservative pattern or solid colour tie that complements your suit and shirt. Avoid overly flashy or distracting patterns.
- Shoes: Wear clean, closed-toe dress shoes in a dark colour, such as black or brown. Make sure your shoes are in good condition and comfortable enough for standing in, as you may be on your feet for extended periods.
- Grooming: Pay attention to your grooming. Make sure your hair is neatly trimmed, and your facial hair (if any) is well-groomed. It’s also essential to practice good hygiene and wear subtle cologne or none at all.
Dressing for Court: Women
- Suits: Women can also choose to wear a suit, either with pants or a skirt. Opt for a conservative colour, such as navy, charcoal, or black. Skirts should be knee-length or slightly longer, and slits should not be too high.
- Dresses: A professional, conservative dress can also be appropriate for court. Look for dresses with a modest neckline and a knee-length or longer hemline. Avoid bright colours or bold patterns, and stick to neutral or dark colours.
- Blouses: Pair a tailored blouse with a suit or skirt. Opt for a conservative, light colour and avoid sheer or low-cut styles. Make sure your blouse is ironed and in good condition.
- Shoes: Wear closed-toe dress shoes, such as pumps or flats, in a dark colour. Ensure your shoes are in good condition and comfortable for standing in.
- Grooming: Women should also pay attention to grooming. Keep your hair neat and styled professionally. Makeup should be minimal and natural-looking. Avoid heavy perfume or cologne.
General Tips for Both Men and Women
- Accessories: Keep accessories to a minimum. Avoid flashy jewellery or anything that may be distracting. Opt for a simple watch and, if necessary, a wedding or engagement ring.
- Tattoos and piercings: If possible, cover visible tattoos and remove non-traditional piercings. While society’s view of body art has evolved, it’s still essential to present a conservative appearance in court.
- Dress conservatively: Court is not the place to make a fashion statement. Choose clothing that shows respect for the court and conveys a professional image.
- Be prepared: Make sure your clothes are clean, pressed, and in good condition before your court appearance. Plan your outfit in advance to avoid last-minute stress.
What is the best colour to wear to court?
The best colour to wear to court is one that is conservative and unassuming. Typically, dark colours such as navy blue, charcoal grey, or black are considered appropriate for court appearances. These colours convey professionalism, respect, and seriousness, which can positively impact how you are perceived by the judge, jury, and other court personnel. It is essential to avoid bright or flashy colours, as they may be seen as distracting or disrespectful.
Dressing appropriately for court is a crucial part of presenting yourself. If you’re unsure of what to wear, please contact us.
Related article: The Complete Guide for Going to Court in Victoria