What To Wear To Jury Duty: Dress Codes for Men and Women

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So, you’ve just been summoned for jury duty – now what?

Although many Americans have a general idea as to what jury duty entails, they often don’t give the finer details much thought until they receive their summons.

If you aren’t familiar with the process, your district court selects names from a list of registered voters within your area. If you are selected, you will then receive a questionnaire that will determine if you are qualified to serve as a jury member.

If you are chosen after submitting the questionnaire, you will be summoned to appear in court. At this point, an additional screening process will look at the potential jurors and attempt to select a diverse group.

A judge and the attorneys will ask you questions to determine whether you are a suitable jury member. This process is called ‘voir dire’ and aims to omit people that would not be able to decide on a case fairly.

In addition to asking questions, they will be assessing your appearance. This means the clothes you wear could prevent you from getting picked or make a positive impression.

What do you wear if you don’t want to get picked for jury duty?

Some people are grateful for the opportunity to serve on a jury, while others cringe at the thought. If you don’t want to be picked, there are some specific items you could wear which deter lawyers from picking you.

The clothing you wear says a lot, and lawyers will make assumptions about you based on your appearance.

Here are items you can wear that will help influence lawyers to not pick you:

1. Clothing that displays political or religious affiliations

When lawyers evaluate you and consider whether or not you would be a suitable choice, they want to make sure you don’t have any biases that could cloud your judgment and influence you as a juror.

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Wearing this pro-Trump tee with Trump's silhouette is one sure way of not getting picked for jury dutyWearing this pro-Trump tee with Trump’s silhouette is one sure way of not getting picked for jury duty

For example, wearing a Biden or Trump baseball cap or t-shirt would display strong political beliefs. Lawyers are looking for neutral individuals.

2. Flip flops or beat-up sneakers

You’ll be scrutinized head-to-toe when you step into the courtroom. Choosing casual and unprofessional footwear like flip flops or beat-up looking sneakers may stop you from being picked.

Havaianas Top Flip Flops, $18 at Zappos

Too casual Havaianas rubber flip-flops are not suitable for any jury servicesToo casual Havaianas rubber flip-flops are not suitable for any jury services

3. Beachwear

Courtrooms tend to be extra cold, so this won’t be the most comfortable option, but it could be effective (in not getting you picked!).

Free People Dani Swing Tank Top, $20 at Nordstrom

You'll be sent out of the courtroom in this low-cut swing tank topYou’ll be sent out of the courtroom in this low-cut swing tank top

If you are dressed inappropriately, you may be asked to leave the courtroom, which could be good for you, depending on how you look at it. Wearing tank tops, shorts, miniskirts, crop tops, or short sundresses will often work.

4. Lots of embellishments, offensive wording, or logos

This is a bolder move, and although you may not want to be picked, you probably don’t want to get into trouble, so choose carefully. There is a fine line when it comes to offensive wording.

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This Paco Rabanne chainmail tank is too bold for the courtroomThis Paco Rabanne chainmail tank is too bold for the courtroom

If that’s too risqué for you, a t-shirt with bright colors, logos, or bedazzling likely won’t leave the lawyers with a lot of confidence in your decision-making skills.

5. Casual wear

When stepping into a courtroom, you are expected to be dressed formally. By dressing too casually, it may be interpreted as a sign of disrespect or poor judgment.

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No one will pick you if you're wearing this too casual Adidas tracksuitNo one will pick you if you’re wearing this too casual Adidas tracksuit

Wearing tracksuits, joggers, sweatsuits, or crop tops won’t get you picked for jury duty.

What do you wear for jury duty?

Now that you know what to wear if you don’t want to get picked, it’s time to look at what you should wear to make a good impression.

When on a jury, it’s important to note there is a jurors dress code. As it is a formal process, a lot of consideration must be made when it comes to conduct and attire. When acting as a juror, business attire is strongly recommended.

Those who are not in business attire, or wearing the items mentioned earlier, may end up being sent home. If you are sent home, you could be ordered to come back at a future date.

Clothes must be clean and ironed. Even if you have the right pieces, it will not make a good impression if they are dirty or wrinkled. In addition to wearing business attire, you should dress warmly.

Courtrooms can be very cold, so it is best to dress in layers. If you aren’t sure what business attire entails, here are some items you should have.

Business attire for women

Business attire for women consists of pants, skirts, or dresses that are paired with a blazer. Colors are limited, and women should only wear solid colors like black, gray, navy, and white.

Avoid wearing perfume as scents can trigger those with sensitivities, and if you choose to wear nail polish, you should use neutral or clear nail polish.

1. Business professional shirts

A business professional shirt should have a collar and will likely be a button-down. Business attire sticks to neutrals, blue and black.

Khaite Carolanne Pleated Cotton-poplin Shirt, $580 at Net-A-Porter

Look business-ready in a pleated cotton-poplin shirt with chic balloon sleevesLook business-ready in a pleated cotton-poplin shirt with chic balloon sleeves

A white or blue shirt, void of patterns or prints, will work well with skirts or pants.

2. Professional footwear

As you can imagine, flip flops and sneakers are a no-go. Instead, choose closed-toe shoes like heels or flats. If you are wearing heels, they should be no taller than 3 inches in brown, black, or navy.

Marc Fisher Zala Block Heel Pumps, $159.95 at Nordstrom

The Marc Fisher Zala is a timeless and versatile pump that's elevated by a structural block heelThe Marc Fisher Zala is a timeless and versatile pump that’s elevated by a structural block heel

Additionally, if your legs are showing, you should wear pantyhose that match your skin tone.

3. Accessories

You can wear accessories; however, they should be simple. For earrings, small gold or silver hoops or studs will work.

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These tiny white gold hoops are enough to add elegance to a simple business lookThese tiny white gold hoops are enough to add elegance to a simple business look

For rings and necklaces, they should be very simple and not distract like an elegant gold chain necklace and wedding bands.

Estella Bartlett Daydream Believers Butterfly Pendant Necklace, $30 at Nordstrom

A delicate chain necklace with simple butterfly pendant from British jewelry brand Estella BartlettA delicate chain necklace with simple butterfly pendant from British jewelry brand Estella Bartlett

4. Pants or Skirt

A pantsuit with coordinating slacks and a blazer are perfect for jury duty. Look for solid items that are properly tailored and not too tight. If you choose to wear a skirt, it should fall below the knee.

Tahari by ASL Belted Jacket with Pencil Skirt Set, $328.95 at Zappos

A coordinating skirt suit is perfect for those who want to give off a feminine yet powerful vibeA coordinating skirt suit is perfect for those who want to give off a feminine yet powerful vibe

5. Dresses

Dresses can be worn but should be in darker colors like navy, black, or grey. The hemline should fall below the knee, and it should not be form-fitting. You will notice that many business professional dresses are sleeveless.

Altuzarra Kieran belted denim midi dress, $1,295 at Net-A-Porter

Conservative but chic, this belted denim midi dress has a collar and a modest slit at the knee-grazing hemConservative but chic, this belted denim midi dress has a collar and a modest slit at the knee-grazing hem

This is so it will be more comfortable to wear them with a blazer. When in a courtroom, you should always cover your arms.

6. Blazer

A blazer will be structured and tailored to fit. It should be in one of the colors listed above and not have any embellishments like additional pockets, large buttons, or excessive zippers.

A quality blazer will also help keep you warm in a cool courtroom.

J. Crew Regent Blazer in Four-Season Stretch, $198 at Zappos

Add a sleek and sophisticated finish to any look with this tailored J. Crew blazerAdd a sleek and sophisticated finish to any look with this tailored J. Crew blazer

Business attire for men

The guidelines for men’s attire is very similar to women’s and consists of suits, slacks, and button-down shirts.

The same color guidelines apply and should consist only of neutrals and solid navy, black, and grey. Patterned ties and shirts are not appropriate for the courtroom.

1. Suits

Suits are the easiest and most common attire for men. Solid or pinstriped suits with notched lapels will work well.

Black is the most formal, and dark grey is often best for winter, while navy is more suitable for summer months.

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You'll surely be picked for jury duty in this fashion-forward yet smart Kennet Cole pantsuitYou’ll surely be picked for jury duty in this fashion-forward yet smart Kennet Cole pantsuit

2. Professional footwear

A pair of oxfords, loafers, or cap-toed shoes in dark colors with coordinating laces are best. When wearing dress shoes, make sure you are always wearing dress socks in dark colors.

Florsheim Forecast Waterproof Cap Toe Oxfords, $124.95 at Zappos

Stay comfy and professional-looking in these Florsheim oxfordsStay comfy and professional-looking in these Florsheim oxfords

A belt is an important piece of men’s business attire and should match the shoes. For example, if wearing brown leather loafers, you would wear a brown leather belt with them.

Shinola Men’s Rambler Leather Belt, $95 at Nordstrom

Team your black shoes with a black belt like this simple Shinola leather beltTeam your black shoes with a black belt like this simple Shinola leather belt

3. Business shirts

Whether you are wearing a suit jacket or not, you should always wear a white or blue button-down. A professional shirt will have either a barrel or a French cut cuff.

Kenneth Cole Reaction Men’s Slim-Fit Technicole Solid French Cuff, $20.93 – $37.06 at Amazon

Complete your business look with Kenneth Cole's Technicole white shirt with french cuffsComplete your business look with Kenneth Cole’s Technicole white shirt with french cuffs

4. Ties

Ties are preferred and will make your business attire more formal. If wearing a tie, it should be classic and either solid or stripes.

Giorgio Armani Men’s Jacquard Stripe Silk/Cotton Tie, $245 at Bergdorf Goodman

Keep your business outfit trendy with Giorgio Armani's striped tieKeep your business outfit trendy with Giorgio Armani’s striped tie

When dressing for jury duty, it is as if you are dressing for a job interview at a formal institution like a law firm or bank. In addition to your attire, you need to consider your hair, tattoos, and piercings.

Jury duty hair, tattoos, and piercings

1. Hair

Hair should be in natural colors in a professional style. This means no bright green mohawks. That is unless you don’t want to be picked!

2. Facial piercings

If you have facial piercings like a nose, eyebrow, lip, or cheek piercing, you should take it out or hide it if you can.

3. Tattoos

Although it won’t explicitly be said, the judge and the lawyers may judge you on any visible tattoos you have. If you can hide your tattoos with clothing, you should do so.

Jury duty could last anywhere from one day to several weeks. You won’t be able to know how long jury duty will be until you are selected.

If you feel honored to serve as a juror and want to make a positive impression, follow these tips here and get a few key pieces to build your business professional wardrobe.

Credit: WENN

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