Courthouse Fashion Don’ts

Given the string of protests, nonsense (I’m looking at you, London, Ontario) and subsequent arrests lately — 226 in the Anti-Police-Brutality March, 94 students against tuition hikes at the Champlain bridge and an underwhelming 13 arrests at the London, Ontario riots (which if I’m reading this correctly, was just ridiculous, malicious chaos, and I hope they catch more of ‘em and lock them all up) — a lot of people will be heading to court in the next few months.

Funny enough, I was there last summer (killed a man in Reno just to watch him die, dontcha know) and happened to scribble some notes that suddenly feel like a necessary public service announcement, lest our courthouse turn up as a People of WalMart sister site.

Please understand that as a casual observer, I’m usually content with keeping my critiques in my head; or, in true girl style, to quietly whisper my often calloused opinions to my traveling companion at any given moment. I do however, compliment perfect strangers when they look great, or have that one fab item, because everyone likes it when their style and effort are appreciated.

Plus, I make questionable to downright wrong outfit choices on a daily basis, so I never thought I’d feel compelled to write a fashion cop piece. Still, the municipal courthouse convinced me that I am a comparative maven of haute couture, and that is my civic duty to speak out and help the confused. It looked like a pretty steep learning curve, so let’s take this one step at a time.

The Hoodie

Look, I love hoodies. I have more hoodies than jeans. Puttering in my closet one day, I had a truly existential moment in which I took stock and asked myself if a woman in her 30s really ought to have so many hoodies, and my final answer, was a proud yes.

That said, I consider the hoodie a questionable court choice. Even if you have nothing else suited for the potentially inclement weather (a stiff breeze, perhaps?), there’s no weather inside. If it’s a hipster thang, don’t worry; if you’re a good hipster we’ll be able to tell sans hoodie.

The Bedazzled Hoodie

This one’s a no. In fact, if you’re trying to wear anything studded, rhinestoned, or in any way blinged out to court, just stop. You are wrong. I can appreciate ghetto fabulous, and rock it like I mean it when I want to. The hard truth is, the look only really flies in a few local hoods, some bars, all public transit and never court. Let’s throw animal prints in here, too, and save a whole category.

One Shouldered Tank Top

We can safely say that a basic requirement for court is a whole shirt. One arm is not enough, and half dressed is not the look you should be going for here. Oh, and not to get to personal, Miss One-Shouldered-Tank-at-the-Courthouse, but your Lady Gaga eye makeup is only truly appreciated on stages and Halloween and certainly not at 9 a.m. And you shouldn’t be wearing any of this with blue jeans and white flip flops. Anywhere. Ever (actual sandals are the minimum footwear requirement for court).

(some) High Heels

This is an important, though oft-overlooked rule that should be kept in mind everywhere, and it is a subjective grey zone, but here it is: having heels on shoes does not automatically make them glamourous, mature or respectable. In fact, if you think about it, I’d venture that most of the footwear that has ever made you feel sticky for looking at them had heels.

As such, it’s important to choose venue appropriate footwear. For court, skip overdone metal hardware, too many straps, or anything that you bought because you knew they would look best in the sky.

Swim Trunks

Really? Do I have to say this out loud? Did court surprise you in the middle of your pool party? I see your backpack. I’m wondering if you have pants in it. I’m wondering if you’ve yet realized that you have that reversed. Oh, and are your shoes in there too? Because you’re wearing flipflops.

To summarize, if it looks like you may have been arrested in it, skip it. If it looks like you could pick up in it, don’t do it. If you look like you just don’t care and may have a grinder in your pocket or a 40 in your leg, rethink that whole look.

Then again, if any of this comes as news to you, you probably do deserve that fine. There may be justice after all.

Tell me what you’re in for @McMoxy

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