What to Wear to Court in Missouri

There’s never a better time to put your best foot forward than when you are in a courtroom. Whether you are fighting a traffic ticket or pursuing compensation after a car accident, appearances matter.

So while your attire may seem like it’s the least of your problems, it could set the tone for the entire day. Show up looking less than your best, and you might not seem like you’re taking the situation seriously. 

In the courtroom, looking your best doesn’t require money or even a suit and tie. Instead, it’s about the effort you make. Below, you’ll find a comprehensive guide on what to wear to court in Missouri. 

Show Your Respect for the Courtroom

While you don’t have to wear a suit and tie unless you want to, you do need to show respect for the court. That means there are some hyper-casual wardrobe items that should always be avoided. 

Those items include:

  • Flip flops
  • Tank tops
  • Shorts
  • Exercise attire
  • Crop tops
  • T-shirts
  • Baseball caps
  • Sunglasses
  • Excessive jewelry

Anything that would draw attention from the serious matter at hand should not be worn. Instead of the above items, consider a blazer, button-up shirt, and pair of slacks or a nice dress. 

Some cities and counties have strict rules about attire permitted in the courtroom. For example, St. Louis specifically prohibits sleeveless tops, and plunging necklines. Kansas City, on the other hand, offers more general guidelines for attire in the courtroom. 

Before your first appearance, it’s wise to check in with your attorney to learn more about the area’s courtroom attire requirements. 

Pay Attention to Your Hair, Tattoos, and Accessories

Your entire appearance is of great importance. Don’t stop at your wardrobe. You also want to make sure that your hair is in order and your tattoos are hidden, if possible. 

Here are some specific hair conditions to avoid:

  • Wet
  • Messy
  • Dirty
  • Unnatural colors/dyes
  • Extreme hairstyles
  • Curlers and/or hairnets

Thoughtfully chosen attire and well-groomed hair will send the message you want: respect for the court.

Consider Your Hygiene

You should never appear at court looking dirty or unshaven. Similarly, you should never arrive smelling of cigarette smoke, pot, or alcohol. 

Proper hygiene matters in every aspect of life. The courtroom is no exception. If you need guidance on how to get your hygiene back on course, consider implementing these habits

  • Brushing your teeth twice a day
  • Taking a quick shower or bath every day
  • Washing your hands regularly
  • Washing your clothes and bedding regularly

With these few habits, you can give the appearance of a clean and orderly person. This is an important message to send when in the courtroom. 

Dress Conservatively

If it’s something you would wear to church or work, it’s probably safe for the courtroom. Making a fashion statement or expressing your personality should not be the priority at this time. 

Wear Clothes that Fit

If you have recently lost or gained weight, it may be worth a few simple upgrades to your wardrobe. This doesn’t mean that you have to buy a brand-new outfit to wear for your court appearance. However, it’s important to make sure that any items you choose fit you well.

What If I’ll Be Appearing Virtually?

Even if you aren’t going to physically be present in the courtroom, you’ll need to adhere to these rules. With Zoom sessions on the rise, if you are called to appear virtually, you’ll still need to follow the basic guidelines for courtroom attire.

As always, you should contact your attorney if you have any questions about what to wear to court in Missouri.