The funny disease.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Cursed Tongue’s Guide to Dressing for TV Court Shows

It seems that the universe thinks that the Cursed Tongue is spending a little too much time watching day time TV, and is worried that I am this close to tuning into QVC, because last week I received a jury summons.

Am I pathetic for being excited about a jury summons, or what?

In preparation for said jury duty I have been viewing judge shows. (It’s still day time TV, I realize, but it’s okay since it's research.) And it seems that many litigants are confused as to how they should dress when bringing their case before the court. If a talk show host is ever in need of a makeover victim, they need only watch a judge show.

In my limited experience with the law, it seems to me that one would want to make a good impression on the judge. And court being a solemn and business-like venue, it seems more than appropriate to wear a sensible accountant-type business suit.

The first thing the judge notices about people before them is what they are wearing. But there is no end of T-shirts, sparkly-to-distraction vests, team jerseys, fringed-leather disasters, and furiously warped blind-knitter sweaters. (It’s really nice of people to keep the blind-knitter employed, but I don’t think even they would be offended if you decided not to wear their sweaters in front of millions of TV viewers. Besides, how would they know if you didn’t?)

In one episode of Judge Judy I saw a girl wearing what I swear was nylon slip. At first I thought she may have been making a fashion statement, but once she opened her mouth I knew immediately that she had simply forgotten to put on her dress. And while TV judges are intelligent enough not to let their impression of someone keep them from carrying out the law, I don’t know why anyone would want to start off on the wrong foot by wearing the hideous, painfully fashionable, brand spanking new outfit they bought especially for their appearance on national TV.

I once had a roommate who judged people by their shoes. Now, generally I frown on this kind of behavior, but I think it is stupid for someone to walk into a court situation in a tube top and neon pink vinyl mini skirt. A person like that is simply broadcasting that they are only in court for their 15 minutes, and probably did key their ex-boyfriend’s car and are certain that by wearing something flashy and inappropriate that Hollywood will discover them.

Court Show Apparel Dos and Don’ts

Do Wear:
  • A suit or khakis or a skirt with a blouse or button-down shirt
  • No more than 3 accessories
  • Wear a size that fits you
  • Something comfortable that won’t make you fidget (There’s nothing like fidgeting to make someone look guilty.)
  • Solid colors (A pattern that looks perfectly normal in real life could play tricks on the eye once it has been televised. The loyal viewers of the People’s Court might be hypnotized by the dancing stripes on a what may otherwise be a reasonable tie.)
  • A flattering color

Don’t Wear:
  • T-shirt
  • Jeans
  • Anything sleeveless
  • Pajamas
  • Anything that could be pajamas
  • Anything that could be mistaken for underwear or swimwear
  • Jewelry bigger than your fist
  • Sweats
  • Team jerseys
  • Animal prints
  • Excessive faux fur
  • Fringe
  • Neon
  • Feathers
  • Plaid
  • Anything sparkly
  • Sequins
  • Sneakers
  • Flip-flops
  • Any outfit you might regret reliving on the videocassette

As a final guard against a courtroom fashion blunder, ask yourself, “Have I seen this outfit on
Britney Spears?” If the answer is yes, do not wear the clothing in question.

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Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

If the bring you in the jury room for selection just shout out "Hang 'em, hang 'em all" or "can I pull the switch on this guy, pleeeease!"

I bet you get to go home early

3/17/2006 3:08 PM

Blogger Tea and Books, etc said...

Very valid points, Sarah. I commend you on such thorough and exacting research. Not to mention dangerous. I'm amazed you can still see after viewing all those fashion disasters. *shudder*

Good luck on your jury duty. I go whenever I'm called but my boss loathes going and makes no bones about how flawed she feels the system is.

And please do let up on poor, misunderstood Britney. She has to contend with dyed blonde hair, a lazy and uncouth bottom-feeding husband, and a Cheetos addiction. Well, sure, she chose all of the above. What's your point? ;-)

3/18/2006 5:23 PM

Blogger Sarah Letnes said...

Phos--I want to go to jury duty.

Tea--You're right, I'm exposing myself to fashion that could possibly blind me. :) I should be more careful.

3/24/2006 6:40 PM


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