I have to go to work dressed in a suit or something close to that. When I first started in this business it was a SUIT--replete with tight skirt, silk shirt with floppy bow tie and jacket. Oh, stockings and heels. BIG HEELS!
I remember the first time that I witnessed a female defense attorney (from San Francisco) wear PANTS into a courtroom for trial. The courthouse was scandalized!!!!!!! Everyone was sure that the jury would be so upset with her form of dress that her client would suffer the consequences. It was also rumored that judges would expel her from the courtrooms for being a "distraction".
Please remember this was in the 1980's--in Kern County where and when the racial and social divide was akin to the 1940's. Heavens, women were barely tolerated in front of the bar in a courtroom!
Fast forward to 2011 in San Luis Obispo County. I have been in practice for over 25 years. I have tried over 250 felony jury trials and innumerable misdemeanor trials. I am well seasoned and damn good at what I do. I earned the appellation "Bitch" a long time ago and I wear it with pride. I work hard and I don't care what people think about me in a courtroom. The courtroom is MY home, MY place, MY universe.
And I will dress as I see fit. Well, ok, I still wear suits. But no skirts, no silk shirts with floppy bow ties. I do wear the jacket. I wear flats these days. And I wear SOCKS.
My kind of socks. Cuz it is MY universe.