Circuit Court Judge Royce Taylor sparked a controversy by writing a memo urging female attorneys to keep their clothing court-appropriate. You would think that having attained the status of "lawyer" you wouldn't need to tell anyone what is or is not appropriate in the courtroom but it is clear from how society dresses in general that it needs to be addressed.
A dress code should be adopted for all levels in the court system, keeping it clear and simple:
Men: coat and tie, matching pants, dress shirt, dress shoes.
Women: jacket/blazer, dress pants to match or skirt no shorter than 2 inches above the knee, and not tight; appropriate blouse would not be so low that cleavage can be seen from the bench or when bending over to get exhibits; closed toe dress shoes, nylons or hose of some sort.
Bottom line, respect the profession and the bench.
If you would wear it to a party or a bar, it is not appropriate in the courtroom or in any legal setting.
If you still need guidance:
- Dress for Success - John T. Molloy - An all-time classic, even though parts of it are somewhat outdated. Malloy also wrote the New Women’s Dress for Success.
- You’ve Only Got Three Seconds - Camille Lavington and Stephanie Losee
- This book comes highly recommended and gets great reviews on Amazon.com. I just bought a copy myself.
- Power Etiquette: What You Don’t Know Can Kill Your Career - Dana May Casperson, A good, quick basic overview about business etiquette. Practical and easy-to-read.