On How To Dress For Jury Duty…

On How To Dress For Jury Duty…

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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.

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