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Dressing for Jury Duty

January 25, 2012

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

used with permission from istockphoto.com

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.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 2, 2012 2:56 am

    Certainly people judge others by what they are wearing and the courtroom is a prime example. Everyone watches the accused and judges by what he wears too. We want respect and dressing nice seems as easy way to start the process. Thanks for sharing this experience.

  2. Sarah JIrak permalink
    April 5, 2012 3:11 am

    I like this. I have been reflecting upon modesty. It seems to me modesty in men is dressing in a manner that is dignified and appropriate to the situation, not overly flamboyant nor outlandish. Obviously too tight, too baggy, too little coverage of the upper chest and arm pits, pants too baggy (low slung), etc. would all be examples of immodest dress for males. What do you think?

  3. June 5, 2012 2:35 am

    I have jury duty this Wednesday and have been wondering how I should dress, as this is my first time. While this is aimed at men, I feel the advice can apply to women as well.

    Also, thanks for stopping by my site.

  4. May 30, 2015 4:54 pm

    This is a tardy but well-deserved compliment: I like very much your sensitivity to and respect for the process and place of judicial proceedings, especially of the serious sort you describe here. You’ve made a great connection between how we present ourselves and the respect we feel for the settings in which we live and work..

  5. Ken Burke permalink
    July 3, 2015 10:56 pm

    No tie? How uncivilized!!!

  6. July 27, 2015 11:47 am

    What should one wear to her soon-to-be ex’s divorce deposition? Should I go looking the drudge he kept me like for 29 years or be a little more glamorous? Not too much. Just show him that I’m fine and ready to move on. I use to wear such beautiful clothes before I met and married him. We live in rural America. If that makes a difference as to what one wears to divorce court.
    Thanks,
    The Exile

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