What To Wear to Court in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
Paul Brannon | October 10, 2022 | Miscellaneous
It matters what you wear when you go to court. Everyone in the courtroom, including the judge and the jury, will take note of how you choose to present yourself.
Dressing appropriately is important because making a conscious effort shows that you both respect the courtroom and that you are taking the matter at issue seriously.
Regardless of whether you are attending to contest a traffic violation or are a part of a more complex case like a wrongful death claim or product liability case, it is important that you dress properly for the occasion.
Dressing appropriately for court does not mean that you have to wear a suit and tie or put on your most impressive formal wear. However, there is certainly a difference in presentation between a pair of dress pants and a button-up shirt versus flip-flops and a tank top.
Some courts even have their own dress codes, such as the one found on the Okaloosa County Clerk of Courts site here. When the perception the court will have of you matters, it is in your best interest to show your best image of yourself.
This guide serves as a general outline for how to dress for court. If you find that you do not have the items we advise you to wear, see if a friend or a family member has something you could borrow.
Additionally, consider checking your local resources to find out if you can borrow or rent professional attire items ahead of your court date.
What Not To Wear to Court:
Below are items that you should not wear to court. Some are inappropriate for the setting due to their casual nature or mismatching to the occasion. These are general items that would likely be looked disfavorably upon in a courtroom.
- Sleeveless or muscle shirts
- Athletic clothing
- Anything too revealing or too dressed-up
- Sundresses or strapless dresses
- Crop tops or clothing items that reveal your midriff
- Tops with thin straps
- T-shirts, especially any with references to alcohol or drugs
- Any clothing you would wear to do yard work
- Baseball caps
- Jeans (unless they are the only long pants you own)
- Ill-fitting clothing
- Clothing that reveals your underwear
- Hats of any kind
- Athletic shoes
- Most open-toed shoes
- Shoes you would wear to the beach
These lists are not exhaustive but should serve as helpful guidelines to follow.
How Not To Present Yourself at Court
Clothing is not the only piece of the puzzle that matters when you are in court. Your hair, hygiene, and accessories should also be considered when determining if the entirety of your presentation is appropriate. Below are some non-clothing things to avoid when preparing to go to court.
- Wet hair
- Unnatural hair coloring
- Hairnets and/or hair curlers
- Unusual haircuts
- Appearing to be unshaven
- Too much cologne or perfume
- Smelling like cigarette smoke, marijuana, or alcohol
- Long or brightly colored nails – applicable to both men and women
- Visible tattoos
- Excessive or loud-sounding jewelry
As with the lists of clothing and footwear above, these lists merely provide examples of how not to present yourself in court.
So, What SHOULD I Wear to Court?
Now that you know what to avoid when going to court, here are some useful tips for deciding what to wear. As a general tip, dress conservatively – if it is something you would wear to church, work, or a professional or social function, it is probably OK to wear to court. And now, onto more specific recommendations:
- Suit with or without a tie
- A sports coat
- Long-sleeve button-down shirt with a collar
- Long pants
- A belt to suspenders to keep your pants up
- A conservative dress or business suit
- A conservative top and long dress pants
- Remove all visible piercings
- Minimal or no jewelry
- Neat and clean
- Neutral nail polish
- Shorter length
- Closed-toe shoes
- Conservative shoes
- Groom yourself to the best of your ability
- If you have long hair, consider tying it back
- Brush your teeth
- Men: shave before court or trim any facial hair
- Women: wear very conservative makeup
- Bathe beforehand
- Wear deodorant
- If you perspire a lot, consider bringing a handkerchief
If your case is being handled by an attorney at Brannon & Brannon, make sure to consult with us about what to wear to your court date.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Northwest Florida
We have two convenient locations in Northwest Florida:
Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys – Destin Office
4507 Furling Ln Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541
Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys – Fort Walton Beach Office
975 Mar Walt Dr
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547