I was listening to the radio on the way to the office the other day. My typical method of listening to the radio is spending a few minutes flipping through several channels to find one that’s actually playing music instead of just broadcasting a group of people talking about nothing. And by “music,” I don’t mean “Bieber.” (Why the hell doesn’t Cleveland, the home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the first ever rock and roll concert, and the coiner of the very phrase, actually have a decent rock station?) Just as I was about to give up, I happened across a station talking to a woman caller who was apparently heading to court. In her PJs. Because, and these are her words, not mine, “Court is the new Walmart.”
It’s sad that there’s actually a need for instructions on what to wear to court, but if the market demands it then I guess I’ll provide it.
We all know not to judge a book by its cover, but guess what? When you go to court, you’re going to be judged by your cover (or sometimes your lack thereof). This is a partial list of the covers of books entitled “Please Judge, Give Me More Time:”
- Flip flops
- Belly shirts
- Wife beaters (even if they are unstained)
- Daisy Dukes
- Hats on sideways
- Hats on backwards
- Hats on at all
- Raunchy t-shirts
- Saggy pants
- Skinny jeans
- Torn jeans
- Any piece of underwear visible outside your pants
This doesn’t mean things are going to go your way just because you’re well-dressed. If you’ve just pled guilty to murder, wearing a tuxedo to your sentencing isn’t going to convince the judge to let you off with some community service. On the other hand, if you’ve been busted for drugs, a DUI or a slightly less serious felony, a shirt and tie or a nice dress can make a noticeable difference. And if you’re standing in front of a judge asking him to expunge your criminal record, you’d better be dressed like a respectable, law-abiding citizen.
This post could be summed up in very few words: dress up for court. Pretend it’s the 1950s and you’re going to church. Wear your Sunday best.
I’m pretty sure nobody who needs these instructions is actually going to see them.