What you wear to court is an important consideration as the jury, judge, and everyone else in attendance will inevitably take notice of how you present yourself. Therefore, you will want to show that you respect the courtroom and you are taking the matter that brought you there in the first place seriously. Since it is generally expected that you dress conservatively, you may be on the fence on whether your favorite sandals are appropriate for such a formal setting. Read on to find out if you should leave them at home when you have a court date to attend.
Can you wear sandals to court? Even though sandals are generally considered to be casual footwear, there are some designs that you may be able to get away with in court as they have a more formal look than their counterparts. They include:
- Dress sandals – Although they are more commonly worn to fancy summer events, toned down sandal designs can make for tasteful footwear on court day.
- Flat sandals – Flat sandals are comfortable, and as long as they don’t show too much of your feet, they can make a great court shoe.
- Slingback sandals – These sandals are already commonly worn to workplaces and other formal settings, so you should be able to get away with them on court day.
Sandals may be one of the few footwear options that you have during a hot summer day in a stuffy courtroom, so you want to ensure that you wear a pair that is not too casual.
Whether you are going to court for something as uncomplicated as a contested traffic ticket or something more serious like a medical malpractice issue, you want to be dressed appropriately for court. Footwear is an integral part of your outfit, so you want to ensure that they give off a good impression as well.
Factors to consider when choosing sandals to wear to court
1. The image that you want to portray
Whether you are in court due to a crime or not, you want to be viewed as an upstanding citizen that has only the best intentions. Your attorney may give you tips on what will work well, but an obvious rule is to go for a conservative look. You want to grab the attention of the judge and the jury for the right reasons, so you want to avoid drawing too much attention to your choice of footwear.
2. The sandal type
There are different types and designs of sandals available so you have a variety of options. However, since a majority of them are usually considered to be casual, you have to be very selective when choosing what to wear to court.
- Peep-toe sandals – Peep-toe sandals have long been considered to be one of the more formal types of this shoe design. This is because many of them don’t expose too much of the upper part of the foot and are generally considered to be modest. Opt to pair your peep-toe sandals with an elegant pantsuit or a simple A-line dress.
- Slingback sandals – Slingback sandals come in a variety of styles, but when choosing footwear for court, you want to go with a pair that is simple yet elegant. Due to their design, slingback sandals have a strap that goes behind the ankle or heel, leaving the back of the foot exposed. Therefore, opt to go for a design that provides more coverage for the rest of the foot. Try matching your slingback sandals with a skirt and nice blouse or even a business suit.
- Mules – For a court appearance, you want to go with mules that feature a heel as they will help you stand taller and feel more confident in case you have to take the stand. Most mules do not have straps, so they are easy to wear and take off. A simple official dress or suit jacket over pants should go well with mules.
- Dress sandals – Dress sandals are known to elevate the right type of outfit and add a hint of elegance to your look. If you are headed to court, keep away from embellished designs that are more fitting for fancy summer soirees and date nights and go for simpler designs that will complement the rest of your outfit.
- Flat sandals – If you don’t want to wear heels to court, you can go for a pair of simple yet stylish flat sandals. To avoid being too casual, you will probably want to skip the more bare designs of this sandal and instead go for a pair that features thick straps that will cover more of your feet.
- Tip toe sandals – When it comes to tip toe sandals, you can never go wrong with either flats or heeled designs. What both of these designs have in common is the pointed toe that automatically gives them a more formal appearance. To look presentable in court, you will want to avoid a pair that features too many straps and go for a more simple design that you can pair with dress pants and a chic top.
- Wedge sandals – Wedge sandals are a staple during the summer, and although they are often associated with casual events, they have gained more acceptance into more formal settings in the recent past. For a day in court, you want to go for a plain, low wedge that will keep your feet comfortable and smart.
3. The comfort
When in court, you may spend a significant portion of the time on your feet especially if you expect to take the stand. As a result, your sandals must remain comfortable even if you stand for extended periods.
- Fit – Whenever you are selecting sandals, it is important to prioritize the fit. If you are shopping online, ensure that you look at the size chart provided to ensure that you are picking the right size sandals. If there are reviews posted on the site concerning the sandals you intend to purchase, consider going through them to determine how they tend to fit.
When trying on your sandals, ensure that the straps don’t rub against your feet uncomfortably as it might result in blisters. If your feet slide around when you walk in the sandals, chances are they will cause you to lose balance, and you may end up tripping and falling at the most inappropriate moment.
- Heel height – High heels are great for accentuating your legs as well as elevating your height and making you feel more confident, but they tend to be very uncomfortable, and after a day of standing around in court, you will feel the effects. Some of the problems often associated with standing on high heels for extended periods include joint pain, exacerbated bunions, and even lower back pain. Opt to wear a wedged heel or block heels to ensure that you are more comfortable regardless of how long you might have to be on your feet.
- Arch support – Arch support has a significant impact on your posture as well as your balance and comfort. Proper arch support will reduce the risk of the occurrence of foot pain. If your sandals don’t feature adequate support, you might want to invest in memory foam or ortholite insole inserts. Both of these options will provide cushioning and keep your feet comfortable even if you spend most of the day on your feet.
4. The color
Color is an important consideration when it comes to a formal setting such as a courtroom. Brightly colored sandals are great for adding a pop of color to an otherwise plain outfit, but in a courtroom, they might end up drawing too much attention and distract from your main purpose. To be on the safe side, opt to go for toned down and neutral colors that will blend in rather than stand out. Black sandals pair beautifully with a wide variety of outfits, making them a great choice. Other colors that are also highly appropriate include navy blue, ash grey, tan, and taupe. Nude tones are also very popular informal settings thanks to their versatility. Earth tones such as brown and beige are another great option, but you want to be careful to select coordinate the color of your sandals and outfit with these colors so that they don’t end up clashing.
When shopping for sandals to wear to court, consider going for a pair that are versatile in the sense that you can wear them to other settings such as your workplace or an interview and not look out of place. To ensure this, you want to choose sandal designs that are not too extravagant and can be paired with a variety of outfits.
The court is a formal setting that has certain rules and regulations on how you are expected to dress. In terms of footwear, you are expected to avoid wearing casual types such as flip flops or slides as they show a lack of professionalism in a serious environment. If you choose to wear sandals, go for designs that provide relatively more coverage and are generally considered to be more formal.