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Dressing for Your Day in Court: A Small Claims Guide

Posted by Nathan DeLadurantey | May 20, 2024

Small claims court can be intimidating, but feeling confident in your presentation goes a long way. While it's not a fashion show, what you wear can make a positive impression on the judge. Here's a rundown on achieving courthouse-appropriate attire:

Respectful is the Rule of Thumb

The key word here is respect. Small claims court is a formal setting, so ripped jeans, tank tops, and baseball hats are a no-go. You want to project an air of professionalism, even if you're not a lawyer.

Business Casual: Your Safe Zone

Think "business casual" for your outfit. This can mean:

  • Tops: A button-down shirt, blouse, or a polo shirt in a neutral color. Avoid anything with large logos or offensive slogans.
  • Bottoms: Slacks, dress pants, or a knee-length skirt are all good choices. Darker colors like black or navy blue tend to be more formal.
  • Shoes: Closed-toe shoes are a must. Oxfords, loafers, or dressy pumps are all appropriate.

Clean and Neat Matters

Even if your clothes aren't brand new, make sure they're clean, ironed (if needed), and wrinkle-free. First impressions are important, and a sharp appearance shows the judge you take the proceedings seriously.

Avoid Distractions

Leave the statement jewelry and heavy perfume at home. Court is about your case, not making a fashion statement. Opt for a professional look that won't distract anyone.

When in Doubt, Err on the Side of Caution

If you're unsure whether something is appropriate, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. A judge is more likely to take you seriously if you look professional.

Bonus Tip: Comfort Counts

Court hearings can last a while, so choose clothes you'll feel comfortable in. You don't want to be fidgeting or tugging at your outfit when you should be focused on your case.

By following these simple tips, you can ensure you present a professional and respectful image in small claims court. Remember, confidence is key, and the right outfit can help you feel it!

Attorney Nathan DeLadurantey offers free consultations to explain your legal rights in Wisconsin. Free consultations can be scheduled online. 

About the Author

Nathan DeLadurantey

Nathan DeLadurantey ATTORNEY [email protected] Nathan is a skilled consumer lawyer who handles cases and trials all over Wisconsin. Phone consultations are always free and welcomed. Nathan has helped clients receive large jury verdicts and settlements stemming from consumer law violations, and is ready and able to assist.


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