Lawyer Dress Code for Both Men and Women

proper lawyer attire

Lawyer Dress Code for Both Men and Women

Lawyers are professionals whose dress code and attire choice speaks volumes to the masses. For this reason, lawyers are bound by specific dress codes to ensure they are properly dressed for each occasion. A lawyer’s dressing choice is meant to promote respect and professionalism in the legal profession. Skimpily dressing in court procedures by both male and female lawyers is big turnoff not only to the judge and the client but also to the public. Therefore, there is a proper dressing guideline for lawyers to uphold within the profession, to enhance dignity and respect. 

Lawyers are meant to dress for both court proceedings and outdoor activities such as meeting clients, researching in the library, or a public gathering. Throughout all these occasions, lawyers should stand out in their attire and still be professional. Traditionally, lawyers were known to wear formal suits with neutral colours, and recently the same rule applies, however, it has been slightly adjusted to fit the present needs.

Male Lawyer’s Dress Code

A commercial lawyer’s typical day mostly involves being in the office, meeting clients, or being in court. Therefore, to be fully prepared for any of these occasions, the following dress code should be followed:

Formal Business Dressing

Lawyers are majorly mandated to wear formal business suits. Male lawyers particularly should have a white dress shirt, neutral colour tie, and grey, navy or black trousers. While in court, on top of their clothing, they should have the black gown, while band, and bib on.

Casual Dressing

When in a non-business occasion, male lawyers can drop the formal suits and wear presentable casual clothing. This may include a golf shirt, khaki or any casual trousers, a sports jacket or cotton sweater. These clothes may be worn in an outdoor gathering event.


Shoes worn by lawyers should be chosen appropriately. In most instances, leather shoes are the best industry-standard with the colour black being preferable. This is because it can be easily paired with black, brown, or grey socks. Also, in informal events, lawyers can wear loafers.


Choice of accessories and perfumes should be minimal among lawyers. Industry standards demand professional pins and clips. Additionally, having a professional watch is acceptable. Also, a lawyer should have mild cologne, little jewellery on, and a tidy haircut and facial hair. Lastly, a lawyer should have a professional briefcase to carry required legal documents in any proceedings.

Female Lawyer’s Dress Code

In the past, women were rarely found representing cases in court. However, recently, more women are seen in the arena, and thus a standardised dress code needs to be established.


Formal Dressing

When carrying out legal activities, female business lawyers are required to dress formally for the occasion. This includes business suits with skirts past the knee so that less leg is shown. Moreover, the skirt or trouser worn should not be body-hugging but decent. Also, bright-coloured clothing should be avoided when in court. A white sweatshirt and a black or grey coloured skirt are preferred.

Casual Dressing

Female lawyers are allowed to dress casually on non-formal occasions. This may include dresses, silk trousers, blouses, polo shirts, and a V neck sweater. 

Shoes and Accessories

Wearing stilettos is forbidden in a formal court proceeding. Instead, a female lawyer should wear low heeled formal shoes like pumps. Also, female lawyers are advised to keep their accessories minimal. This involves having less jewellery and applying less cologne and makeup.

Moreover, hair can be kept long or short if it’s neatly kept and looks professional. Applying bright coloured dyes or having childlike hairstyles is not encouraged among female lawyers. Also, one should opt to have a professional-looking briefcase for legal purposes.

Despite all these rules regarding a lawyer’s dress code, there are some generally unacceptable clothing that applies to both parties such as:

  1. Shorts or jeans
  2. Tight-fitting attire
  3. T-shirts with promotional writing
  4. Gym clothes, sweatshirts, or sweat suits
  5. Cargo pants
  6. Crazy prints and colours

From the above, one can easily deduce that in order to stand out as a lawyer, one should dress appropriately for each occasion as is demanded.