Jury duty is the backbone of our country’s legal system. It’s part of our responsibility as US citizens, and it gives us an opportunity to have a real impact on a person’s life. What you wear to jury duty is important, because as with any occasion, first impression matters. In this article, we cover the basics of what you should and shouldn’t wear to jury duty.
Is There A Dress Code?
First things first, you should check to see if your court has a dress code. Some may be more lenient than others when it comes to shoes, ties, jackets, etc, but there are a few general rules you should follow.
You have to remember that during the jury selection process, you’re being evaluated on your perceivable character traits. These include your trustworthiness, reliability, and honesty. You’re being judged on whether or not you can be fair and impartial during trial.
How you dress for this occasion matters. When you’re evaluated, the lawyers take everything they can perceive about you into account. If you dress like you’re going to the beach or relaxing at home, they won’t think that you are a responsible person who can make an important decision using critical thinking.
1. Wear clothes that are neat, tidy and well ironed.
2. Opt for subtle clothing that isn’t too flashy.
3. Be comfortable. You’ll be sitting down for most of the time.
4. Do not wear extremely casual outfits. Shorts, ripped jeans, sandals, t-shirts, etc are a no-go.
5. Wear closed-toed shoes. Leave the flip flops at home.
6. Avoid revealing clothing.
7. Avoid unnecessary accessories such as hats, caps, sunglasses, etc.
8. Tattoos that display anything offensive should not be visible.
9. Don’t wear graphic t-shirts, especially those with slogans.
Whatever your outfit of choice, you want to follow one general rule: be professional and respectable. You probably don’t want to stand out. At least not too much.
I’ve put together a “Build Your Outfit” grid that spans three distinct looks: Elevated Casual, Smart Casual, and Suited Up.
Building Your Outfit
As mentioned above, there are some general rules when dressing for jury duty. But as you can see by the outfit grid, there are a lot of combinations you can throw together for a great look.
While this grid is a great template for you to choose from, you should feel free to tweak your outfit as needed. It’s meant to be a starting point, not a hard-set rule book.
What do these outfits look like in person? Let’s take a look!
Outfit 1: Elevated Casual
This is the type of outfit you want to wear when you’re going for a more comfortable, more casual look without being too casual. Wearing dress sneakers for this look won’t look out of place, and if you end up getting off of jury duty, you can head straight to the office right afterward and not look too shabby!
Outfit 2: Smart Casual
This is the combination you want to go for if you’re trying to dress to impress without trying too hard. Again, you’ll want to double-check your court’s dress code to see if you can wear jeans, but in case you aren’t allowed to, feel free to switch jeans out for chinos or dress pants.
We hope our guide was helpful and helps you select the right outfit for your jury duty. It’s safe to say that what you choose to wear is the first of many critical decisions you’ll need to make as a juror!
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