What to Wear When You Have Jury Duty

You might understand the importance of dressing properly for the courtroom when you’re a defendant or plaintiff, but did you know your attire as a potential jury member is also relevant?

Anytime you step into court, regardless of why you’re there, you’re expected to uphold a certain level of decency. This means dressing relatively professionally as a show of respect to the judge and the process itself.

If you think your appearance doesn’t matter, consider that studies suggest it takes just seven seconds to make a judgment about who someone is and their character. As a jury member, this matters because it can decide whether you end up being chosen or dismissed.

In the interest of helping you dress the role, we’ll take a look at a few helpful tips for women wanting to dress properly for jury duty below!

Your Outfit Will Affect Whether You’re Selected

As we just mentioned, the outfit you wear will affect whether you’re selected.

Before you’re assigned to be a jury member, you’ll need to go through the process of jury selection. This is when the lawyers will vet each jury member to see if they have any bias that would sway them in one way or another.

During jury selection, there are many factors that the lawyers will consider. One of these includes the outfit that you’re wearing.

You might not think this is relevant, but it can speak to your temperament and personality. For example, if you wear clothing with any type of religious affiliation, this might be a reason for dismissal.

Additionally, wearing improper clothes can show that you don’t have respect for the court. If this is the case, then the lawyers may believe that you don’t respect the legal process and won’t make a well-thought decision about the case.

What this all means is that failing to dress up appropriately can result in dismissal. With this in mind, you can intentionally dress poorly if you don’t want to be selected, but there are easier ways to go about this that won’t result in potentially being held in contempt of court!

Office Casual Is Perfect

One of the first things to keep in mind is that office casual is a great starting point.

Business casual means something that shows professionalism without being too formal. For women, this means a nice blouse or cardigan paired with a skirt or slacks.

Court is a serious environment that has a dress code for the employees that work there. While this doesn’t necessarily apply to you, at least making an effort to uphold it will go a long way toward showing that you care.

If you already work in an office environment, then you probably already wear outfits there that are well suited for court.

Just remember to not take things too seriously by wearing a full suit, but don’t stray in the other direction by wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Lean more toward a business feel and you’ll pick out a great outfit for jury duty.

Stick to Neutral Colors

In addition to office casual, you should ensure that your outfit is made of neutral colors. This consists of colors like black, grey, white, beige, and brown.

The primary reason for neutral colors is because they don’t stick out. Jury duty is a formal proceeding and this means blending in.

Neutral colors are perfect for this because they match the environment you’re in. It’s easy to look great without flashy color and it’s a far more professional look.

That said, don’t treat jury duty like a funeral by wearing all black! Don’t be afraid to incorporate black, but pair it with some beige or white to balance out your outfit.

Layer Up

Another consideration is to dress in layers. Courtrooms can get quite cold and you don’t want to be uncomfortable during jury duty.

If you’ve never done jury duty before, the process can last several hours on a given day. Having to sit uncomfortably for this entire time will certainly make it hard to focus.

At the same time, layering up too much will cause you to get warm. The nice part about layers is that you can take them off if you don’t need them.

On the other hand, not wearing layers leaves you in a difficult predicament. It’s much smarter to come prepared rather than just hoping that what you wore works.

To make this happen, feel free to wear a blazer or button-up sweater that you can easily take off. Make sure that this matches your office casual attire and that it’s a neutral color. 

Don’t Neglect Comfort

A final consideration is that you shouldn’t neglect comfort during jury duty.

Not only are court proceedings lengthy, but they involve spending a long time sitting. If you don’t consider comfort when choosing your outfit, then this means several hours hating how you feel.

Fortunately, you don’t need to sacrifice comfort in the name of dressing up for court. Many great business casual pieces are also nice to wear.

A few ways to prioritize comfort are to be selective about the materials used for your outfit and their fit.

Look for clothes made of high-quality fabric that feels good on your skin. Anything itchy or rough will quickly get annoying to wear.

Also, be careful about the fit of your clothes. Don’t wear anything too tight and look for pieces that leave a little breathing room.

You want to be able to freely move and sit however you’d like without discomfort. Pick an outfit that you can sit in all day without wanting to change.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re selected for jury duty, then you should do your part to respect the process by dressing appropriately for the occasion! You might not be the center of attention, but your appearance still matters.

The main reason for this is that your outfit can affect whether you end up being chosen to serve as a jury member. You can increase your chances by dressing smartly.

A few ways of achieving this include wearing office casual attire, sticking to neutral colors, layering up, and remembering to prioritize comfort.

With all of these ideas in mind, you probably have a few great outfit ideas just waiting in your closet! Take some time to pick something that checks all these boxes and you’ll certainly appreciate how good you look and feel in court!