On How To Dress For Jury Duty…

On How To Dress For Jury Duty…


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.