This article explains how attorneys should dress. It focuses on suits, hairstyles, footwear, and accessories.
LAWYERS AND SUITS
As we look at the legal profession we usually see men and women in suits, but few attorneys, including the most experienced, are aware of the unwritten rules covering their most prized outfit, the business suit. As image consultants we look beyond the surface and can tell you that your suit needs to be in earth tones, tailored neatly, and made of wool or a wool blend, except in the summer when Belgian cotton is acceptable.
Men often forget to have a second fitting. Demand one. Women usually neglect to have their jackets tailored, leading to bumps and wrinkles that will cost them points in the minds of clients, colleagues, and judges. The best advice we can give you is to look at Jay Leno and observe how his suits fit. Copy that style. Shop at Brooks Brothers or other quality stores. Avoid stores that don’t have tailors on staff.
SHOES FOR ATTORNEYS
The only two shoe styles acceptable for male attorneys are black cap-toes and wingtips. No other shoes are as inoffensive and effective. Yes, F. Lee Bailey does wear boots. But he’s F. Lee Bailey.
Female attorneys often make the mistake of matching shoes to suits. This only works when your outfit is black. Female attorneys should not wear light-colored shoes. They send the wrong signals. Nor should your toes be visible. You need to wear black pumps, with heels no more than two and a half inches high.
HAIRSTYLES AND ACCESSORIES
Male attorneys need to have neat hair, trimmed around the ears. It should not be too shiny with gel. It should not have the spiky look common with college students. Judges react unfavorably to such styles.
Female attorneys can wear different hairstyles as long as their hair does not pass their shoulders. They can even wear it up in a semblance of a beehive or bouffant look, if it’s not excessive and if it’s neat.
Attorneys should have the best accessories. Luxurious leather briefcases. Gold Cross pens. Leather wallets. Movado wristwatches. Simplicity. Fine lines. No sport watches at work.
Following these suggestions will ensure that you’re at least not making major mistakes and turning off clients, colleagues, and judges.
Copyright (c) 2011 William Cane