At our law firm’s website and blog, we often hear from people who have a simple question: What do I wear to a deposition? It is always important to remember the objective for the deposition: You want to make a good impression. You want the opposing attorney to know that you will make a good witness. We offer our clients some simple guidelines to follow in dressing for a deposition.
While most clients already know what they want to wear, many find it helpful to review some guidelines for dressing for a deposition. You want to dress well and you want to be comfortable. You do not want to wear anything that might be controversial or make a bad impression. In general, “business casual” is the best choice. This means nice slacks and a collared shirt or dress or skirt. You need not wear a suit, but it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. Wear flat shoes or ones with a very small heel. Remember; dress as if going to court or on a business interview.
Court is a place of serious business and your appearance should be serious and business-like. Remember, the defendant’s attorney is going to be giving his/her impression of you to the insurance adjuster who will be deciding if they want to settle your case. You want to display a serious impression so that the attorney will relay that to the insurance company.
A lawyer sitting in a deposition will notice even the smallest details. A run in your stocking, an odd tattoo or a stain on your clothing, the jury will see it and that may not be good for you. The judge and jury will use your appearance to assess your character.
We offer some specific guidelines, but here are a few questions to ask yourself as you prepare to go to court:
- Does this outfit make me look trustworthy?
- Does this outfit make look respectable?
- Does this outfit make me look guilty?
As is so often the case, you know the right thing to do.
The Right Clothing Choices for a Man Who Must Appear for a Deposition
For a man, you can never go wrong wearing a suit, though it is generally not necessary. You should wear nice slacks and a long-sleeved, collared shirt. You might want to wear a sport jacket. Do not wear jeans unless they are dress jeans; khakis or dress slacks are fine. Do not even think of wearing shorts and make sure you wear a belt or suspenders. Dress shoes are a good choice; avoid sneakers, sandals or anything too casual. Please comb or brush your hair and trim your beard. Keep the cologne and jewelry to a minimum and remove any piercings before showing up at court. While more and more people have tattoos, you would be best served to keep them covered while in court. Unless you need to wear head wear for religious purposes, leave the hats at home. Do not wear anything too tight or too baggy and yes, pull up your pants.
The Right Clothing Choices for a Woman Who Must Appear in Court
For a woman, wear flat shoes or shoes with a very small heel. Avoid sandals or any open-toed shoes. A suit would be fine, though you can wear a dress or skirt and blouse. Skirts and dresses should be of modest length; nice slacks and a blouse are fine. The courtroom is not the time to feature cleavage and keep the amount of visible skin to a minimum. If you wear a dress or skirt, then you need pantyhose. No spaghetti straps, off-the-shoulder wear or sundresses. Keep your hair styling reasonable and do not wear clothing or a style that will call undue attention to you. Make-up is okay, but keep it to a minimum. Make sure your nails are neat and polished, though you do not want wear any attention grabbing nail polish design that would have the jury staring at your fingers.
The keywords that should guide your fashion decisions are conservative and serious. If you pick something up that would be labeled loud, slinky or provocative, put it back down.
Here are some final questions to consider as you look in the mirror before leaving for court:
- Will this outfit offend anyone?
- Will this outfit help people trust me?
- Would this outfit make my mother or my children proud?
We hope you found this information helpful. If you want a law firm that focuses on serving clients, if you want a team of people all working with a passion for remarkable service, you should give us a call. For more information, please visit www.SchlittLaw.com, call 1-800-660-1466 or send an email to Contact@SchlittLaw.com. The consultation is always free.
The Schlitt Law Firm
This material is intended for informational uses only. It is not meant as legal advice. To receive legal advice, you should consult an attorney. Remember, past results do not guarantee similar outcomes in the future.
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