It started as a question on social media by Anneka: should counsel have to wear tights in court to appear more ‘professional’?
A lively discussion ensued and then moved on to other questions about what is and is not ‘appropriate’ court wear.
I suggested a zoom chat about it all on 23rd June at 6pm (contact me @itsalawyerslife on twitter or Instagram for the zoom link or email email@example.com
The suggestion brought out the rhyming poet in Shelly :
Dare to bare or 50 denier?
hair tied, dyed, flying wild?
good to go in a cardigan or not until the jacket’s on?
Come and chat all things ‘appropriate court attire’
Here are some views to whet your appetite for a ‘heated debate’!
From some brief, initial research, the genesis of stockings/tights seem to be:
1. For warmth
2. For modesty.
I’m pretty sure we can say that the UK & the planet are consistently becoming warmer. I thus reject point 1 as a legitimate purpose during the summer.
Which leaves modesty. Concepts of Modesty/purity often come from traditions tainted by misogyny. To me, it seems the idea of professionalism or respect are closely linked to this idea of modesty,
That is to say, that baring my skin somehow amounts to a casual/unprofessional/vulgar/ostentatious display of disrespect to the court or other sombre event.
I cannot accept an argument that full coverage of my legs is necessary for the effective administration of justice, particularly when the rest of me is not only clad in expensive suiting but also a wig and gown
So, next time it hits over 20c I will bare my legs as, sadly, they spend the majority of the year buried under layers of wool as anything under 20c is too cold for this lightweight Indian.
Next up I will be advocating for Bermudian court attire. Who’s with me ?!
I do generally like wearing tights. They’re a wobble containing, chafe preventing, stubble concealing comfort blanket, even if we ignore the issue of my tattoos. I just don’t subscribe to the view that counsel must wear tights under skirts to look professional.
Well, all professions have a structured look ~ uniform is an identity of a sort!Irritating tho that may be!
Aye, but uniforms need to evolve & I’ve yet to see an explanation for *why* a bare leg under a suitable skirt is deemed unprofessional. Because a woman’s legs should not be bare? Because that’s just the way it is?
I absolutely hate tights- are they not the most unattractive item of clothing on the planet?
Has anyone any recommendations for skin coloured tights that match black or Asian skin?
Any Counsel who wears a skirt into court should wear tights or stockings. It’s generally held that they should be dark, although they don’t have to be matt black. Because it’s professional.
OK, I am going to say it: In summer, because my legs go a nice colour, I don’t & thus don’t feel I need to. Keep ’em moisturised & sleek.If you’re a klutz like me then bruises & scrapes need tights.
That said, I don’t wear short/knee high skirts but to tend to rock a 3/4 or maxi .
I decided that when I was pregnant and it was boiling hot, that the tights rule (if there is one) needed to be wavered. Has a judge ever said ‘ I can’t hear you” because of lack of tights?
join us on 23rd June at 6pm on zoom