Dressing for Jury Duty
Early January, one bright and early morning with summons in hand, I arrived at the County Jury Assembly building for jury duty. Waiting for hours alongside my fellow citizens, I scanned the room paying attention to various men and their clothing choices. Some dressed for comfort: jeans and a t-shirt. At the other end of the scale, one or two donned a suit and tie. Judging by the wide variations, I formed a perception of men with little idea of how to dress for court. I also realized certain men think dressing well means only wearing a long sleeve dress shirt. I am further convinced some men would wear shorts and sandals given the opportunity.
Even though I entered the courtroom as potential juror number 28 with only 13 spaces to fill, I found myself taking a seat in the jury box. What a tragic trial involving the murder of a loved one. Fortunately, they compiled a fair and thoughtful jury. Now, with a potential murderer and guilty verdict dancing in circles with a lot of facts pulling them together, we eventually found them making a connection. The final verdict: guilty.
This trial compels me to illustrate a point: the courtroom is a serious place. Your clothes should convey solemnity for the issues at hand and respect for the judge and his/her court. The judge wears a robe and the attorneys wear suits. At the courthouse, you will find yourself surrounded by well-dressed people. Others may hold differing views regarding jury attire, but I would like to advocate for you to dress very well. In my mind, the ideal outfit consists of dress slacks with dress shirt and a sport coat. You can also change it up with a tie and no sport coat. If you feel the urge, you can also wear a suit and tie. However, a full suit may cause the rest of the jury to feel underdressed, so search for the right mix.
How I chose to dress:
Day 1: Tan slacks, blue and white striped shirt, navy blue blazer, and brown oxford shoes
Day 2: Tan slacks, white dress shirt, brown blazer, and brown oxfords
Day 3: Medium grey slacks, purple shirt, pink tie, black cashmere sweater, and black oxfords
Day 4: Dark grey slacks, white and light grey striped shirt, navy blue blazer, and black oxfords
Day 5: Dark grey plaid slacks, light blue shirt, light grey blazer, and black oxfords
One of the jurors told me I dressed very well. I also got the sense the attorneys and judge knew I respected the process and court. In fact, after the trial concluded, the judge told me he had a sense the jury would choose me as its foreman (as they had done). Next time you receive the call to participate in the legal process as a juror, tell the court and participants you take things seriously by dressing well.
Copyright Fashion for the average man 2012.