I found this article on what people are wearing when they go to court to be, well, revealing:
Justice may be blind, but judges in South Florida are not.Lawyers in their Brickell glass houses often forget that when they say with much bravado "well then we'll try this case!" what they really mean is they plan to ask the guy in a tank top at Target to decide a complex question of securities law involving several hundred million dollars.
And what many are seeing is a continuing increase in the number of people showing up to court in very casual clothes, including one woman in Fort Lauderdale who recently appeared wearing curlers, bedroom slippers and a shower cap.
The culture of casual dressing is most pronounced in traffic and small claims cases. Criminal defense attorneys tell their clients to dress up because "first impressions matter," said Fort Lauderdale attorney Richard Champagne.
But unlike in some other states, none of South Florida's courthouses imposes a formal dress code. Broward's satellite courthouse in Hollywood is the only one in the tri-county area to even attempt sartorial order in the court.
Signs posted throughout that courthouse state "No tank tops," and bailiffs there say it's not unusual for defendants to run across the street to Target to buy a shirt. Broward County Judge Sharon Zeller said the branch may have been singled out because so many people wore tanks.
Would you trust your complex, fact-intensive and highly sophisticated case to the next six people ahead of you at Wal-Mart?
This is particularly a problem for those of us accustomed to having our way, to controlling large firms and advising large clients, where we simply expect that if properly explained, cajoled, or persuaded, we can convince and/or order anyone to do what we want.
Yet when we walk into a courtroom, we're no longer directing our attorneys or staff -- who act at our beck and call -- or controlling the fates of large businesses and institutions -- instead we're talking to six guys or gals in tank tops or bedroom slippers who don't give a hail who you are.