Anna Sorokin, known as the “socialist scammer,” and Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the now-dismantled health technology company Theranos, are prime examples of how your courtroom outfit can factor into the outcome of your case. Lawyers and law firms have been long-known to hire image consultants, but courtroom style has become so big that dedicated “courtroom stylists,” are now a thing. It is rare that the average defendant could afford a stylist to guide them toward making a good first impression in court – but nonetheless – what you choose to wear is something to think about.
Speaking to Huffington Post, Julie Zerbo, a Toronto based image consultant, mentioned “Your appearance is part of your presence
For example, if a defendant on trial for dealing drugs, enters the courtroom wearing high-profile designer clothes and jewelry, it conveys self-appreciation and a lack of trust. Because of this, the jury’s notions could be compromised. While jury members are supposed to be impartial, subconscious judgement based on how someone looks can affect one’s decisions more than most would be willing to admit.
In other words, your first impression matters. On average, a first impression is made within 7 seconds and whether in a courtroom, boardroom or living room, it’s hard to change someone’s initial impression of you.
Non-threatening and quiet styles are often the safest route. Loud colors and bold jewelry can send the wrong message. Also, it would be wise to cover up or remove anything on your personal body, from tattoos to crazy piercings that would detach from the verdict you’re hoping to receive. The best way to consider options of what to wear is to think about this as a job interview. Do you want the job of a prisoner or a free civilian?