By Carlos Gamino

Most people know that court is a very formal place, and that they’re required to act and dress a certain way during a criminal case. But what type of clothing is off-limits for court, and what would be considered inappropriate – or worse, get you thrown out? This guide explains the three things you should never wear to court in Wisconsin.

3 Things You Should Never Wear to Court in Wisconsin

Because court is a formal place, and because you are supposed to show respect to the judge, jury and other people in the courtroom, there are three things you should never wear:

  1. Sexy or risqué clothing
  2. T-shirts with slogans, band names or drug references on them
  3. Jeans with holes, cutoffs or shorts

Sexy or Risqué Clothing

If something is inappropriate for you to wear to church or a funeral, it’s inappropriate for you to wear in court. Avoid tight tops, short skirts, tight-fitting bottoms, toeless shoes, strappy tops or anything you’d wear to impress others on a night on the town.


T-shirts are always inappropriate attire for court, but they’re even more inappropriate if they include slogans, graphics, band names or drug references. If a plain T-shirt is all you have, then it’s okay – but you should make every effort to avoid wearing a T-shirt to court.

Jeans With Holes, Cutoffs or Shorts

Jeans with holes in them, cut offs, or shorts are inappropriate for court. They are far too casual for a court’s formal setting.

Related: Criminal defense in Wisconsin

What Should You Wear to Court?

You should wear clothing that’s appropriate for a formal setting, such as church or a funeral. A good rule of thumb is that if you could wear it to a family gathering where the most conservative of your family members will be present (think about great-grandmothers here), it should be okay to wear to court. However, you should consult with your attorney if there is something you are not sure about.

Related: What to know about probable cause

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About What You’re Supposed to Wear to Court?

Your attorney can give you guidance on every aspect of your case, including what you should (or shouldn’t) wear to court. However, you should always use your best judgement. We’re here to help you navigate the criminal justice system in Wisconsin, so if you need legal help, call us at 414-383-6700 or get in touch with us online to schedule a free consultation about your criminal case.

Attorney Carlos Gamino