Yeah, totally the life Stanley…
Except when you’ve been summoned for New York City Grand Jury. At which you sit for 3 hours a day, 5 days a week for 4 weeks straight. That was the debacle I walked into last week. Now, given it is my civic duty and honor to serve as a juror, that requirement is, well, a bit over the line. Luckily, I did not get selected and am now exempt for serving for the next 6 years.
But the focus of this blog is on dress and style, not the various happenings of my personal life. So, I’d like to carry forward from a post last week penned by Christopher M Vicini and Matt Flynn in which the two gentlemen discuss some underlying concepts of dressing appropriately for events.
Alas, there I am last Monday morning deciding how I should dress for jury duty. I have a thing where I always wear a suit on Monday, even if the dress at my client is casual. I find it to be a great way to start the week of. I tend to think judicial affairs are more on the formal side, however. So I felt inclined to wear a suit. Not that this was a hard decision to make. My concern, however, was for my fellow prospective jurors. I feared I would see a swath of poorly dressed individuals. Most unfortunately, my fear was largely confirmed. Most of the men in the room were dressed casually (khakis, polos, button downs etc), which I supposed is fine if you look put together, but many of these men did not. But even worse, I saw jeans and t-shirts. I think there was even a misguided Occupier; the worst of them all. Thankfully, there were a few well turned out gents. Most notably an older gentleman in a black suit with white pinstripes, white dress shirt and tie; he even donned a pocket square. Clearly a man after my sartorial heart.
Why? You may ask did I think it appropriate to wear a suit. Why? You may ask do I frown upon those who dressed so casually. The answer is quite simple. The courtroom is a place of law and formality. It is not a place to congregate in jeans and t-shirt like your neighborhood coffee shop. Whether you are a juror, attorney, defendant or plaintiff the institution that is the legal system of this great land should be respected. And I am of the opinion that jeans, t-shirts and Occupier-wear does not show ample respect. I am not saying that you need to don a suit, as I did; but at a minimum dress as if you were to meet with your headmaster or for an interview with a prospective employer. Just remember, you can’t be overdressed for court, only under dressed.