What NOT to Wear to Court

What NOT to Wear to Court
An example of appropriate court attire

Today, I spent my afternoon in court. No, I didn’t finally lose it and go on a Fred Flintstone kissing bandit crime spree. This is still a possibility; however, at the moment I do have enough impulse control left to reign in those lovin’ urges. For now.

I was asked to appear as a witness in my traffic case, so I cleared my day’s schedule and spent the entire afternoon in a crowded standing-only room filled with uncomfortable plastic chairs slick with the previous occupant’s back and ass sweat for those lucky (?) enough to get into traffic court early or those who looked friendly enough to be waved over to a recently vacated seat.

Apparently my red squirrel ModCloth.com dress made me look friendly despite the grimace on my face caused by my high-heeled zip-up tall boots. (Who knew I was going to have to park in a parking garage and walk soooo far to the entrance?) The slimy chairs offered little respite.

So, I waited and observed,

and waited,

and observed.

What I saw shocked me: ass cracks, short skirts and dresses, cleavage, sweatpants, sneakers, jeans – oh so many pairs of jeans! – holey jeans, stained jeans, torn jeans, dirty jeans, faded jeans, and PAJAMA PANTS! For real! I saw someone wearing flannel pajama pants!

After a day of observing the fashion (I use the word lightly) choices of my fellow Americans stuck in traffic court, it became clear to me I needed to execute one of the most important civic duties I will probably ever do for my country, well, with the exclusion of voting.

So, America, here is my list of What NOT to Wear to Court:

1. Do NOT wear low-cut pants to court. No one wants to see your ass crack. It’s rude, crude and disgusting, especially for those of us who have to sit on the plastic chairs glistening with your ass juice. It’s disrespectful to all those around you.

Sure, maybe you are the rare American who is a size 00 and you don’t have any doughy flesh pouring over the waistband of your low-cut pants, but why risk it?

2. Do NOT wear skirts and dresses so short that you need a Brazilian wax before wearing. While I admire a pair of pretty toned legs as much as anyone, I draw the line at anything so dangerously short you can’t sit in it nor bend over to pick up your baby’s pacifier.

Unless it has sequins and you are a high-class escort, anything so short it skims the bottom of your ass is a shirt, a cover-up or a tunic and it doesn’t belong in a court room.

3. Do NOT wear low-cut shirts to court. Traffic court is not a singles’ bar. I saw so much cleavage in court today that it rivaled happy hour at my local Houlihan’s.

Trust me, ladies, unless you want to date a man in flannel pajama pants with untied sneakers and a hoodie who will stick you with the bill and hopefully not his baby at the end of the evening, do not flaunt your cleavage in the courtroom.

4. Do NOT wear jeans to court, especially nasty, dirty, stained, ripped jeans. Unless your courtroom appearance is in cowboy court in a rustic, backwoods middle-of-nowhere courthouse, put on a pair of pants, slacks, corduroys or khakis. Jeans are for weeknights and weekends. Jeans are for fun. Jeans are for chillin’ with your friends not standing in a court of law before a judge who can and will decide your fate.

5. Do NOT wear sneakers to court. This should be self-explanatory. Court is not a health club nor is it the mall, grocery store or playground. Put on some real adult shoes, especially as you better be wearing dress pants and dress shirt, skirt or dress.

6. Do NOT wear loungewear or sweatpants to court. Even more offensive than wearing jeans to court is wearing yoga pants, sweatpants, athletic pants or any type of loungewear to court. Court is not the time for relaxing nor the time to catch a little shut-eye.

Consider court free entertainment wrapped up in a free civic’s lesson courtesy of our government. So dress like a grown-up, pay attention and you just might learn something or at least witness some amusing court antics to share with your friends later.

7. Do NOT ever wear pajama pants to court. Never. Not ever. There is no excuse for wearing pajama pants to court. Not one excuse. Even if you lost all of your belongings in a fire the night before your court date, borrow some damn pants.

After reading this list, you may be tempted to say: times have changed, Crystal.

But don’t. Keep your mouth shut and your fingers silent.

Times have changed, are changing and will continue to change, but dressing appropriately is timeless. It’s a sign of respect.

Yet still you may be tempted to whine: But, Crystal, I don’t have the money to buy something appropriate.

No money? No problem. You can borrow something from a friend or family member. You can search the couch cushions, the bottom of your pockets, the floor of your vehicle, collect a couple of bucks and head to a thrift shop.

You are in court for a reason whether it’s as a witness like I was, a plaintiff, a defendant or a friend showing support for another friend. You are an adult now. It’s time to grow up and show some respect.

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