If you are a defendant in a criminal trial, it is important to avoid certain faux pas, because your appearance transmits a non-verbal but powerful message about you. You want to make sure it is something you want the judge and jury to hear.
Listen To Your Attorney
Lawyers have long been aware that what their clients wear to court can complement their defense strategies, and this is apparent in highly publicized trials. If you were paying attention back in the 90s, you would have noticed that OJ Simpson did not wear his golfing clothes or sportswear to his murder trial. He was always immaculately dressed like he was ready to preach a sermon at a Beverly Hills Church.
Likewise, Casey Anthony looked quite different in court than she did before her trial.. During her televised court appearances at the main trial, she wore loose blouses or oxford shirts, and pants in soft tones. Her hair had become long and she wore it up or pinned back from her face. There was an effort to make her look younger, more innocent, and fresh faced. These wardrobe changes were not on accident.
People have long associated a dirty unkempt appearance with poverty and desperation, rebellion, and/or crime. The first thing you need to do is make sure you are well-groomed with freshly cut hair, neatly trimmed facial hair, and squeaky clean clothes and body. Also, pay attention to your teeth and fingernails.
You should dress like you were applying for a loan at the bank, or going for a job interview, to give the impression that you are trustworthy and sincere.
Here are some colors and their associations:
Reds can signify power, strong feelings, and passion. A very bright red could make you look overly sexy and even narcissistic, so save that scarlet dress for attracting a date at a social gathering or at a bar. Pastel pink can give a little color to your face. However, too much can make you look weak – not always a good strategy.
Blue transmits loyalty, cleanliness, and dependability. It is hard to go wrong with the blues. If you have any doubt about this, note that OJ Simpson wore either blue or gray suits each day at the so-called "trial of the century."
Yellows and oranges are associated with appetite and cheerfulness. On the other hand, bright yellow and orange can also be associated with mental illness.
Purples can be associated with wealth, status, and creativity. However, they can just as easily be connected with poor taste and debauchery.
Browns and greens are connected with comfort and earthiness.
Black is associated with absence of light and danger. People often wear lots of black to radiate power/control – this is probably not what you should want going for you at trial. Wear gray or charcoal instead.
Whites are associated with purity, honesty, and class/privilege if the clothing is tailored. However, they can also seem unapproachable and a bit arrogant. Whites are best when paired with a color. Either winter white or ivory colors are slightly softer than bright white.
Make sure your clothes fit you well unless otherwise instructed. Tight, ill-fighting clothes make you look like you are not thinking very clearly, and they also make you feel uncomfortable and irritable, which will work against you. Baggy clothes, especially pants, can shout disrespect, carelessness, and rebelliousness. Keep those pants pulled up and belted if possible.
Wearing shorts says you are not taking court seriously, which can annoy the judge. He or she may send you back home or to jail until you can come back in pants or a skirt. This same principle applies to wearing tee shirts with sayings on them, especially with drug or gang references. You should also avoid wearing blue jeans. If you want to wear comfortable pants, wear khakis instead.
It is not a good idea to wear overly sexy or revealing clothes to court. You may think it will make you more sympathetic to the opposite sex, but it tends to annoy most people who might think you are being manipulative or disrespectful.
Go for a business look and were muted colors, if possible. Wear clean, comfortable, wrinkle-free attire that shows you have respect for the court, the process, and other people. For the best chances of success at court, contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer to represent your case.
When I was younger, I had a hard time following the rules. I got in with a bad group of friends, and I found myself in juvenile detention more than a few times. When I was sixteen, a teacher sat me down and explained where my life was leading. That teacher was the first person that believed in me, and I decided not to let him down. That day, I decided to change my life, and I did. Because of his sound advice, I was able to finish high school, get into a great college, and become a criminal attorney. I understand the uphill battle that troubled youth face, and I want to use this website to teach other people what they need to do to turn things around.