This week we are writing about depositions from a client’s point of view. Not the really heady stuff, just the basics. Today we will cover how women should be dressed for their depositions. If along the way you have questions then contact me and I’ll answer them as part of what I write. It does not matter where you live; that won’t affect my answer to your questions about depositions since good taste has nothing to do with geography.
So generally speaking how do you dress for a deposition?
Well, it depends, are you a woman or a man? It is as simple as following this rule: If you’re a man dress like a gentleman and if you’re a woman dress like a lady. If you don’t know what this means, then talk with your attorney.
The style of your dress has little to do with what your friends believe about how you should dress. What matters is how the fact-finder wants you to be dressed. (Judge or jury) Don’t think for a moment that cool, hip, hip-hop, rap, country and cocktail or even dress formal are acceptable, because they are not. Think in terms of business casual or in some cases dress as if you were going to confession at your neighborhood church. Okay, let's get to the ladies.
The style of your dress has little to do with what your friends believe about how you should dress. What matters is how the fact-finder wants you to be dressed. (Judge or jury) Attorney, Steve Lombardi
WOMEN-GIRLS-LADIES SHOULD BE UNDERSTATED
Generally - The idea is for you to make a good impression. It’s that simple. You don’t want to look messy or unkept; the idea is to look appropriately conservative. That means you wear a blouse and a skirt or pants that covers up rather than announces or entices. If you are thinking the attorneys might be an opportunity for a date, forget it. You’re there to answer questions not flirt. Treat the deposition like a job interview or business meeting because that is what it is. If you show up looking like Dolly Pardon, Lady Gaga or some Hip-Hop personality you are in trouble. I’d rather you looked like Amy Grant who is fashionably conservative.
Dress for Success - If you wear a dress press it. If you wear pants press them. If you wear a blouse press it. If you wear leather shoes polish them. Tie your shoes and wear a belt when appropriate. In other words present yourself as if it counted, because it does.
Underwear goes Under - Stockings, brassieres and other undergarments are not just a good idea they are mandatory. Remember the people who make decisions about your case work in the insurance and defense industries; these are conservative people, probably not into hip-hop or rap and I’m sure they aren’t there for show-n-tell. No plunging or dipping necklines. No cleavage and nothing sexy. Dress as if you were going to see a priest or minister, not a boyfriend, beau or a blind date.
Jewelry - Jewelry should be something slightly understated. Avoid all jewelry that is considered flashy and nothing too large. Keep the bling light and thin. If you’re father would like it, which means you wouldn’t, then it’s probably a good choice. It shouldn’t be in-your-face type of jewelry because remember this is a business meeting.
Shoes – My step daughter Katrina has memo paper showing a pair of high heels with “stimulating the economy, pair by pair” inscribed underneath. She and her sister Shannon love shoes and could make a vacation out of shopping for shoes in different countries. Women love shoes and handbags, and that’s alright, but no show-n-tell at the deposition. For the deposition keep the shoes conservative and the handbag small and dull. The deposition is not about fashion as much as it is about just answering questions and giving the opposition nothing new to discuss. Trust me they will have plenty to talk about without adding a pair of six inch stiletto heels, painted toe nails in florescent orange, an ankle bracelet or tattoo of Che’ Guevara.
Go to YouTube and do a search for "dress for success". This is not about more; or a $1,000 suit, it is about toning down distractions.
And for the younger crowd, I may like Avril Lavigne’s music but the way she dresses and wears eyeliner while appropriate for her music genre, isn’t appropriate for a deposition.
That said ... I do like her music.