How Defendants Should Dress for Court

Your choice of clothing as a defendant in court has little to do with making a fashion faux pas or facing the embarrassment of wearing last year’s look.  Beyond the obvious no shirt, no shoes, no service standard, there are a few considerations you should make before appearing in court.  Below are a few generally discouraged items: 

  • Hats
  • Shorts
  • Sweatpants
  • High skirts
  • Drug-related t-shirts 

Most Kansas courts do not impose strict dress codes for defendants.  That being said, most judges are not going to hold it against you if you cannot afford a tailored suit.  However, the preference is that you should wear to court what you would wear to any other formal event like church, a wedding, or a funeral.  

Like it or not, the clothes you wear will be interpreted by the judge, the prosecutor, and possibly jurors as a display of your respect for the proceedings.  Thus, it is good strategy to look your best for court – especially for a trial or important hearing. 

But, judges are also aware that you have a job and many of the hearings are administrative or scheduling conferences.  While it remains important to keep up appearances, judges also know that your job may require you to get dirty or sweaty.  If that is the case, it is okay for you to appear in court in your work clothes if your job demands it.  Just try to knock the mud off of your boots before you walk in…


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