I know most people might find this shocking and totally disagree with me, but I love jury duty. I actually look forward to getting that white envelope with the red stripe across it telling me that I have been summoned to court. Not only do I legally get to skip out of work for a day (or longer, depending on the trial), but I find it incredibly humbling to be part of a long standing tradition and show my citizenship in a small way.
On top of the anxiety and excitement (in my case) that you’ll feel when it comes to jury duty, knowing what to wear can also be a little intimidating. However, you don’t need to let nerves get in the way of putting your best foot forward.
Below are a few suggestions for respecting the law while also respecting your sense of style:
1. Aim for business casual.
This phrase always sounds like we’re supposed to wear tights, pumps and a matching pantsuit, but we promise this is not what you need to look like. These days, “business casual” can mean so many things, but as long as you are setting a tone with your clothing that reads professionalism and responsibility, you’re good to go. (We like these high-waisted pants or this non-iron dress shirt).
2. Hide your shoulders.
Just like visiting an old cathedral, covering the shoulders is probably your best bet, so keep the halter-tops and tank tops at home. If you happen to wear something sleeveless, bring a jacket or blazer that you can wear inside the courtroom at all times.
3. Disguise your legs.
Although shorts are trending as something formal and super cute, they are probably still seen as too casual for the courtroom. Instead, try a skirt with tights, or just keep the legs covered with pants. Denim is safe as long as it’s a dark wash in blue or black.
4. No crops, please.
Yes, crop tops are everywhere you look. Yes, they are adorable and perfect for festival season, but by no means possible should we be showing any midriff while serving jury duty. This includes swimwear of any kind, even if you live in a beach town.
5. Forgo the logo.
Clothing with inappropriate graphics, logos or wording is a no-brainer. Leave it at home.
6. Keep toes inside.
There are plenty of heeled sandals that can look amazing, but to be as sharp as possible conceal your toes in boots, nice simple flats, or even a mid-height polished pump. Sandals and stilettos should stay in the closet for another time.
For those of you who have never had the pleasure of experiencing jury duty, here are some additional tips:
– Bring a magazine or book to keep you entertained.
– You are allowed to bring your laptop. The courts have wifi, and while you sit in the waiting room for your number to be called, you can continue with your daily work, browse the internet or even watch your favorite show on Hulu.
– You are also allowed to bring in snacks and a lunch. Inside the courts, there will usually be a place where you can buy food (like a snack area and a cafeteria), but it’s much cheaper to bring your own.
– They will remind you over and over (like in an airplane) that once you step inside the court room everything electronic must be turned off. However, there is always someone who thinks they put their phone on silent, and then it accidentally rings. Don’t be that person. Just turn the phone off.
– If your court offers online orientation, take it. The reason? You get to come into at a later start time than everyone else who doesn’t because you’ve already completed it.
Yes, selection is held at random, so you may never have the opportunity to be on a jury, but if you do, congratulations! Even if you may be less than thrilled to judge your peers, wearing a mindful courtroom ensemble will not only show respect to the court, but also make you feel calm and ready for the events that lie ahead.
Have you served on jury duty? What tips would you add?
Images via Lindsey Shorter