Take Note — Dressing for the Courtroom or Boardroom

These fabulous suits can be ordered at www.dracinabox.com.  Please note that the spider embroidery is optional.

These fabulous suits can be ordered at dracinabox.com. Please note that the spider embroidery is optional.

Dressing appropriately for the courtroom or boardroom is no easy task.

Siouxsie is reminded of the recent national controversy, which began when a panel of judges voiced concern over how female litigators dressed.  According to this article in the New York Times, Judge Michael P. McCuskey, chief judge of the Federal District Court for the Central District of Illinois and a member of the panel, stated that women wore “skirts so short that there’s no way they can sit down, and blouses so short there’s no way the judges wouldn’t look.”  Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois agreed.  He said it was a “huge problem” and that “you don’t dress in court as if it’s Saturday night and you’re going out to a party.”

These judges obviously don’t go to the same parties as Siouxsie.  And with all due respect, Siouxsie finds it difficult to take fashion advice from judges who wear the same formless dress every day.

But as a result of this debate, judges have asked female attorneys to seek guidance from a blog called, of all things “Corporette.”  The blog is for corporate women, by corporate women.  Siouxsie can not help it; she finds this blog unbearably boring and restrictive.  This is the same site that recently advised against ever wearing tall boots to the office.  It simply is not well-suited for those with a dark aesthetic (or for anyone with any sense of individuality).

In response, Siouxsie has crafted a short list of tips to get you started:

1.  Black clothing is acceptable and even encouraged by the corporate world.  Don’t be afraid to use this to your advantage.

2.  Long black skirts will allow you to stay true to your dark tendencies while avoiding disparaging comments about your hem line.

3.  Black knee-high leather boots will give you an air of authority (which many law partners and business professionals may secretly (or not-so-secretly) appreciate.

4.  Black eyeliner will give you an edge and help you maintain eye contact.

5.  Black stockings (without any rips or tears) or black-pattern tights (if you so dare) are acceptable, even by Corporette standards.

6.  Well-fitted blazers will allow you to make any outfit both charming and unique.

7.  Black Mary-Jane heels are amenable to most corporate-suit types.

8.  Dress shirts in black or dark jewel tones are more than professional and always in-style when properly fitted and pressed.

And always ladies, consult your Gothic Charm School guide for additional suggestions.

*Tiny top-hat tip to Ms. Wilson.

~ by siouxsielaw on October 15, 2009.

5 Responses to “Take Note — Dressing for the Courtroom or Boardroom”

  1. But Siouxsie…

    You said not a word about pale foundation or dark lipstick. Are these off-limits?

    I must know. As you are aware, my place of work adheres to the strictest of dress codes.

  2. This is a particularly good question, Amy. Siouxsie will address this in the near future.

  3. I just happened on your blog yesterday, and I love it. I am an aspiring law student (I bet the LSATs seem so far in the far past to you now), and a paralegal. When I became a paralegal, I compromised some of my dark aesthetics in my look to fit into company culture and move up at the advice of a friend, but my interests in gothic rock, literature and aesthetics still remained. I hated as moonlighting as two people, so I returned to dressing how I like (more goth) as I have for over 15 years. Frankly, I don’t have the space for two wardrobes anyway. I am inspired to see another goth in law who has not compromised her identity. Has your goth look affected how clients or managers view you in a negative way, such as the perception of your performance and abilities?

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