What to Wear to Court: 7 Outfit Ideas for Women
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  • Writer's pictureBrenda

What to Wear to Court: 7 Outfit Ideas for Women

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

I’ll be honest, I have never stepped foot in a court room. I find it a blessing that I have never had to and hopefully I can keep it this way. A courtroom can feel a little intimidating and could also cause you some anxiety.

This is especially true if your court appearance is being shown to the public as with criminal court sometimes. Legal proceedings can be stressful.

Even if you’re a nervous wreck on your court date, your court attire does not have to reflect your state of mind. The general rule when it comes to appropriate attire to wear to court is the more conservative, the better.

This is not the time to whip out your runway looks. You want to give a good first impression during your court hearing and it starts with your outfit.


A lot of lawyers would even advice you on your physical appearance before your court date. They would suggest you stick to conservative colors, minimal makeup and to wear clothes that cover you up. This is to create a good impression with the judge. As much as we hate to admit it, looks do matter and how you dress up to court could affect your ruling.

Although I may not have stepped foot in a court room myself, I have watched enough episodes of Judge Mathis and Judge Judy to know what is considered appropriate attire for court. I have seen Judge Judy chastise litigants for showing up improperly dressed. In today’s blog post, I would be sharing some great outfit ideas you can wear to show up respectfully to court.

Image source here

Regardless of the type of court you are headed to: be it family court, criminal court or even Federal court, the dress code remains the same. Dress how you would to a first job interview. This is the easiest way to plan your outfit for court. Think neutral colors, sensible shoes, conservative makeup and no flashy jewelry. There is no specific dress code for court but this is the smartest route to take when it comes to your outfit.

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, at no cost to you.

What to wear to court as a woman

1) A conservative dress

What do I mean by a conservative dress? First, it’s the cut. Avoid dresses that are low cut and show cleavage. If your dress does have a deep v-neck, add a tank top underneath. Next, choose a dress with long sleeves for your courtroom appearance. If your court date is during the summer months, you could wear a short-sleeved dress.

Get the look HERE

If your dress has thin sleeves, I suggest wearing a cardigan or blazer on top to cover your shoulders. Next up is the length of your dress. A dress which is knee-length or longer is a good idea. Lastly, consider the color of your dress. You want to go with a dress in a neutral color such as black, brown, grey, maroon or even dark green. Add a pair of simple ballet flats for footwear.

THIS dress would be a great option for the summer.

2) A pencil skirt and blouse

Pair a nice blouse with a midi pencil skirt to create a simple look that is proper courtroom attire. A long-sleeved blouse could be worn during the colder months with a blazer on top. Stick to neutral colors such as white, cream, black or brown. If you’re going to be wearing a top with prints, keep them simple such as polka dots.

Get the look HERE

Choose a midi or maxi pencil skirt in darker colors to show up for your court proceedings. Flowy maxi skirts may be a bit much so I suggest sticking to A-line or straight skirts. A long skirt would cover your legs and keep your entire look more conservative. Complete your outfit with a pair of flats or very low heels.

3) A button-up shirt with pants

If you’re not comfortable with skirts, you could pair your blouse of long-sleeved dress shirt with a pair of long pants. You definitely want to wear pants that are at least calf length. During the summer, a pair of long culottes could be worn in the place of dress pants. Stick to pants in neutral colors such as black and navy blue.

Get the look HERE

In terms of footwear, a pair of loafers, flats or low-heeled pumps are great options. Also avoid bright colors when it comes to your choice of footwear. The easiest option is a pair of black flat shoes. During the cold months, a pair of flat ankle boots is a great choice.

4) A blazer with jeans

This is as casual as it gets when it comes to court attire. If you are going to wear jeans to court, ensure they are dark wash denim. No rips, no holes and a simple cut. Adding a blazer to this outfit makes it more business casual. Wear a simple blouse or top underneath your blazer to complete your look.

Get the look HERE

In terms of footwear, choose a pair of simple flats or dress shoes. During the Fall or winter, you could opt for a pair of Chelsea boots to complete your look. The best colors of blazers would be back, brown, navy blue or white. You could also choose a blazer with a simple, non-distracting print.

Find more affordable blazers HERE

5) A sweater with a midi skirt

Having to head to court during the winter is tedious enough. Let’s take one thing off your mind by choosing a simple outfit that works during the cold weather. Stay warm yet appropriately dressed by pairing a cozy sweater with one of your longer skirts. Avoid chunky sweaters that may come across as too casual for court.

Get the look HERE

A more fitted sweater would pair nicely with a short or long cardigan if it’s cold inside the court house. You could also add a pair of black tights or leggings under your skirt for some extra warmth. Choose sweaters in neutral colors and sensible shoes. A pair of pumps with kitten heels or flats work fine.

If your case is being televised and you want to make a subtle fashion statement, check out this option HERE.

6) A skirt suit

This is a classic outfit we see worn to court. If you are looking for formal business attire, this is one of your best options. Pair your suit with a white blouse or other neutral color. Keep both your suit as well as blouse simple. During the summer, you could opt for tank tops in solid colors instead. Choose a pair of pumps with a low heel to complete your look.

Get the look HERE

During the colder months, add a pair of tights for some warmth. Make sure the skirt of your suit is at least knee-length. If you have long hair, it is wise to tie it back or have it in a bun.

7) A pants suit

When it comes to appropriate courtroom attire that is also stylish, Ann Taylor gets it right. A lot of their pieces are already female professional attire for career women and these outfits work well for court. Whether you are the lawyer representing a client or a defendant, nothing says confidence like a well-fitting power suit.

Get the look HERE

Dark suits are the best to go with as they are more conservative. You could pair them with a pair of black pumps with a low heel. Black or nude ballet flats are also great choice to go with.

I hope you have gotten some great ideas of outfits you can wear to court. Just remember the simple rules: dress conservatively, wear minimal makeup and stick to low heels. First impressions matter and a big part of that is physical appearance, especially in jury trials.

The outfits in this post would ensure that your wardrobe would be the least of your worries. I cannot determine the outcome of your case but I can hep you make the best choices when it comes to your wardrobe.

Get the look HERE

If you're headed to traffic court, check out my post: 12 Stylish Outfits to Wear to Traffic Court.

Do check out my post: Shoes to wear with a pencil skirt for some ideas on which shoes work best with a pencil skirt.

I also have a post titled: 7 outfits to wear for a TV interview. These looks are similar to what you would wear to appear in court.

Headed to jury duty for your first time? Make sure to check out my post: 13+ Outfits to Wear to Jury Duty in NYC for a great list of outfit ideas.

I also have a post titled: 7 Outfit Ideas to Wear a Formal Event in case you want to wear a formal outfit on your graduation day.

If you need to head to family but are unsure of what to wear, check out my post: 8 Chic and Appropriate Outfits to Wear to Family Court.

Until the next post,



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