A dress to wear to court

(78 Posts)
ProtectiveMother Thu 10-Oct-13 07:41:10

A long sleeved, knee length dress please ladies to go with navy low heeled court shoes. I am quite tall so if you know of specific tall brands, even better!

Not too expensive. I'd like to spend £50 or under. Floral pattern ok or... plain... what colours look good with navy shoes?

I don't think it should be too fashionable as I need to look responsible iyswim. It's a family court case and I am the person who is telling the truth so it should look honourable and smart. Not too mumsy though as I hate that look and want to wear it again.

A shirt dress possibly?

Thanks!!!!!! I want to feel comfortable and look my best as my future is going to be decided for me :-(

ProtectiveMother Thu 10-Oct-13 07:42:56

3/4 length sleeves also poss but Id prefer long.

Nothing made of wool and I would prefer cotton or silk to synthetic materials.

A smart jumper dress? (But I always find these lose shape when washed- is that just me?)

Much appreciated!!!!

fortyplus Thu 10-Oct-13 07:43:13

I think that sounds fine. Smart and respectful to the court. Tidy hair too. Good luck op

fortyplus Thu 10-Oct-13 07:44:38

An inexpensive jersey dress with a smart jacket on top?

ProtectiveMother Thu 10-Oct-13 07:45:21

I am actually looking for suggestions for a dress of this kind for a tall person please. Pear shape. I don't have a dress yet! :-)

ProtectiveMother Thu 10-Oct-13 07:47:06

I'm not going to wear a jacket. I just would like a long sleeved dress. Poss a shirt dress. Anybody seen any suitable for Tall?

Wereonourway Thu 10-Oct-13 07:48:33

Protective I got a lovely long sleeved dress in h and m last night. Silky material, I'll try to find a link

ProtectiveMother Thu 10-Oct-13 07:49:09

Something to go with navy shoes as these ones that I have are really nice (Jones Bootmakers) and specifically not too high as I am already tall.

Does dark purple go with navy? Charcoal?

ProtectiveMother Thu 10-Oct-13 07:50:13

Thanks we're on our way. Would love to see it!

Ps I'm a size 12. Poss a 12 on top and 14 on bottom?

Thanks everyone!!!!!

BlingLoving Thu 10-Oct-13 07:52:28

Take a look at phase 8. Might be a bit more expensive but they do a good selection of dresses with sleeves at this time of year. I bought a navy spotted three quarter dress from there this time last year. It doesn't fit me and I'd post it to you but it's a size 16. grin

ProtectiveMother Thu 10-Oct-13 08:26:45

Thanks Bling!

Will check out phase 8.

I should say that I will be sitting down at a table in court. The bottom half of me is important but top half more important. You know those dresses with buttons at top half only and a bow at the side? Think I saw one on eBay by French Connection recently. That might be a good choice...

Wereonourway Thu 10-Oct-13 18:31:09

Protective I can't find it on website, sorry!

It's a long sleeved shift dress in a blue/grey colour.

Lovely length for me, I'm a 16 and its very flattering.

If never really shopped at h and m until the summer where I got loads of lovely dresses for really good prices.

I've not got a lot of cash and the dress in question was only £15.

I plan to wear it with tights and black heels but it could equally be dressed down. Wish I could find it to link to

mewkins Thu 10-Oct-13 20:18:04

There is a lovely looking navy dress on the Topshop website at the mo. if you search navy dress it comes up. Elbow length sleeves and it looks flattering and smart. Reviews say it's a good length for work too so it can't be short.

McLoven Thu 10-Oct-13 20:33:53
ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 07:39:37

Thanks to all!!!!

Going to hunt in my local H&M and try on that topshop dress. I hope it won't be too short on me.

Thanks so much to you 3. Anywhere else I should look? :-)

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 07:41:15

Also... If you were wearing, say, this navy dress from TS and my navy court shoes, would you wear sheer tights or what colour?

I'm worried now that sheer tights will look too summery or that I'll be cold now that it's got colder.

Somethingyesterday Fri 11-Oct-13 07:47:48

Is there a particular reason why you don't want to wear a jacket? There is a possibility that without one you may feel like the least powerful person in the room. (Although it should make no difference to the outcome.)

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 07:50:36

I do like H&M. I have a black shift dress from there that doesn't fit me anymore as I've lost a lot of weight recently (worry), I find the sleeves are longer than in some other shops. I always imagine that this is because they are Swedish :-)

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 07:53:43

Oh yesterday I must say it's something I hadn't considered! Do jackets make us feel powerful in a courtroom? (I'm asking this seriously) Why? I cant imagine my ex coming in a jacket. Do please tell me more. I had thought with a shirt dress I would feel well dressed enough and have an outdoorsy coat nearby.

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 07:54:41

The reason I don't want to wear a jacket is that I don't have one that fits me in the sleeves having only recently discovered 'tall' clothes...

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 07:55:56

Also, I wanted to look feminine. I'm very tall and so don't suit jackets per se. You could be onto a good idea for me though!

Somethingyesterday Fri 11-Oct-13 08:46:34

smile I think you'll be fine. All your reasons are very convincing. The Top Shop dress or something similar should work well.

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 09:26:17

Ok Im on route to shops while dc in school so any more ideas welcome!

Somethingyesterday Fri 11-Oct-13 09:35:17

Don't know if this would be long enough?

Somethingyesterday Fri 11-Oct-13 09:48:02

Sorry the one above is polyester but...

What about

this which is more sober...

Somethingyesterday Fri 11-Oct-13 09:52:17

Oh! Have a look here. One of these might be exactly what you want. Easily wearable again. And on sale.

LightasaBreeze Fri 11-Oct-13 10:14:33

Have you got a Longtallsally store near you or maybe have a look on Next tall and order to store. Unfortunately all tail clothes are always online.


Depends really how long you have got until the court appearance.

Hopefully you will get something today anyway

Somethingyesterday Fri 11-Oct-13 10:35:25

Just one more.

This is closer to what you described - though black not navy.

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 14:34:02

Thanks to both of you for those ideas. I LOVE the black shift dress. Well the twist to the tale is that I talked to a shop assistant who said that the only colour I can conceivably wear with navy shoes and tights is berry colour.

This is not what I had planned! However berry suits me very well so if anyone sees a berry shirt dress...

OOtherwise, I am ordering a pair of black suede court shoes on Monday. Now the heel is higher (6cm) than my sturdy & sensible navy ones but I was thinking that it might allow me to choose a better dress/outfit in a better colour than the maroon/navy mix which is maybe too colourful.

I found a Tall Blazer today in topshop and bought it as it looked smart. So now, if I'm scrapping the navy idea, I think a grey / black shift dress may be the way forward. Or indeed any colour of smart dress to wear with black shoes, tights and blazer.

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 14:39:12

I was going to tell you which blazer I bought but it's not on the website. It has long sleeves (nice and long on me-yay!) It's kind of dressy. Longer at the front / sides than at the back iyswim. I say kind of dressy but it's actually really dressy.

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 14:41:32

I did see a dress in H&M today. Grey panel at top & black at bottom. Belt in the middle. Could be perfect. Wish Id bought it to try on with the jacket!

LightasaBreeze Fri 11-Oct-13 14:55:00
TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Fri 11-Oct-13 15:50:35

Please try and relax over your outfit.Keep it smart and simple,avoid anything 'very dressy' as a choice.You want to look respectable and be able to relax.What you don't want is to look uncomfortable and fake/trying too hard/like a fashion statement.

MTBMummy Fri 11-Oct-13 16:00:15

I wear this with navy shoes and tights and had a few compliments

Pancil Dress

But I have also just bought this, which I love Midi Dress

I'm 5'9/5'10 and both are just over the knee

Somethingyesterday Fri 11-Oct-13 16:23:36

The thing is TripTrap the OP isn't really going to be able to relax either before or during the court hearing. It might be better for her to spend a little time distracting herself with clothes shopping. Once she is satisfied that her outfit is sorted out she will probably then be able to concentrate on all the other stuff.

OP It sounds as if you've had a successful day.

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 16:39:57

What is the fit of the pencil dress/ shirt dress like please? The 12 may be tight on my hips as I think I'm a 40 inch hips? Is there a split at the back? Thanks!

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 16:55:10

Actually I'm doing good work on non-clothes-related court prep this week. The clothes part is the hard part!

However! I have just taken a look in the mirror and I'm wearing a cotton black cardigan with lace detail and a black dressy modest skirt by wallis. Possibly if I paired these with my navy tights / sensible shoes or black tights new black taller heels I might get away with that?

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 16:57:17

I actually just flung these on and didnt think of them as an actual option!!!

LightasaBreeze Fri 11-Oct-13 17:07:04

Actually the skirt and cardigan sounds fine, probably not with black tights though - might look a bit, well, black.

You might be better off going down the skirt/blouse/cardigan route anyway, much easier if your tall as you don't need to worry about waistlines being in the right place and easier to get the right length.

Would the skirt go with your new blazer, or maybe get a skirt that goes with the blazer.

MissHC Fri 11-Oct-13 17:17:55

YY to Phase Eight. I'm tall and pear shaped and find their dresses suit me really well generally.

Other suggestions around your budget:

dress 1
dress 2
dress 3
dress 4
dress 5
dress 6
dress 7
dress 8

(and all Debenhams dresses, knee or mid lenght, long sleeves, sorted by price: here)

Phase Eight have got some on sale:
this one although I would really get rid of the ribbon and replace with statement belt
more colourful
very simple

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 17:40:30

Breeze the skirt doesn't go with my new blazer. In fact Im tempted to bring my new blazer back- it's not going to go with very much! But no I'll keep it prob to fling over my dress at an upcoming wedding. And it will look fantastic w jeans and my new heels!

Ok I'll try these black things on with my sensible shoes...

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 17:41:08

Miss HC- good work!!!!!

I LOVE dress number 7.

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 17:59:38

Well I tried it all on and it looks sensible. Not too black with the navy tights and shoes. Dressy enough. I have a navy Urban Outfitters short wool coat that pulls it together that I could wear there. And then take off. It's true that my hair and make up will be perfect so maybe good if I don't look like I'm going to a wedding (and there would be a risk of that if I were to wear one of those sexy tight dresses or my higher heels...)

fortyplus Fri 11-Oct-13 22:01:39

op how tall are you? I'm 5'9" and have jackets from Boden, Laura Ashley, Next etc. Laura Ashley isn't an obvious choice I know but occasionally they have a good plain tailored jacket in the sale because everyone goes in there looking for mumsy florals wink

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 22:29:12

Hi forty plus. My jacket is fine. It's a good buy. However I'm still no closer to finding my outfit. Talked to a reliably fashion-conscious friend tonight who assured me that my navy shoes and navy tights are the way forward and that I need to find a mid-grey or charcoal dress with sleeves to go with these and then I'm home and dry. Apparantly berry will do with navy too. So now, dear amazing dress-finders pplease do go forth and help me to ffind a mid-grey or charcoal (or poss berry) dress that's smart and sensible that I can be comfortable in! :-)

babybarrister Fri 11-Oct-13 23:06:28

I wish some of my clients would take some fashion advice off these boards grin

ProtectiveMother Fri 11-Oct-13 23:37:19

Oh good a barrister. What should I wear baby barrister?

babybarrister Sat 12-Oct-13 09:09:24

Sounds fine - plain, classic, modest - you can't go wrong! You have no idea what some people wear to court!!!

TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Sat 12-Oct-13 09:14:15

I've had one with skintight white trousers,stripper shoes and tight,low cut white crop top before.Really not helpful given what was being said about her.Even better,she arrived over an hour late blaming a 'very heavy period'....

ProtectiveMother Sat 12-Oct-13 10:51:45


Yes I have seen a good few in the waiting room tis true. Men in tracksuits and tattoos, women with orange faces, tracksuits, tattoos and... em... high heels.

I don't really fit in! But hey, my ex is only dragging me through court to continue to control me!

The last time I was present in court room for a review, the judge that day (a different one) only saw my waist up and I was wearing a smart dark 3/4 sleeves green shirt buttoned up to my neck -from Gap. I could tell I made a very good impression on him so that's why I think a shirt on top is the way to go ..

RadioSilence Sat 12-Oct-13 11:19:08

This one has short sleeves so is not exactly what you were after but is really flattering and very cheap.


ProtectiveMother Thu 17-Oct-13 18:26:12

Hello All!

Well an update here really and I'm hoping some of you have some more suggestions for me as the date is upcoming! I still have time to do online orders so please suggest!

The good news is that I now have a pair of suitable black court shoes that fit! Yay! Nice dressy kitten heel.

I have been down some dress cul de sacs though. Bought a pink one from South Tall and realised I def didnt want a pink one. Bought a Phase Eight one on eBay thinking it looked the right length. No. It's really short on me! Just arrived today and am in a panic because I'm unwell and don't want to go around any more shops!

So please if anyone of you knows of a nice dress for me... Light as a Breeze you're right that with Tall stores, the only way is online and so far your Boden suggestion is the best and I may order this. Do you know if their sizes come up big or small in the Taller ranges? I am between a 10 and a 12 at the minute so not sure if I need to order a 10 or a 12. Thank you.

ProtectiveMother Thu 17-Oct-13 18:34:00

Also... Especially to the barristers amongst you... ;-) What colours are acceptable for court? Is it only black, navy and grey or is cobalt blue or plum an option (with black of course.)

I REALLY appreciate all of your help. Makes me realise how few clothes I have that fit me properly!

So to recap: I would simply like a modest and sensible dress. I am prepared to pay around £70 or even more to get one I like that might be suitable for someone tall. It should be on or below the knee. A pencil dress would be ok perhaps, a plain shift dress maybe but then I need to find something to wear with it. Yes plain shift dress ok as I've seen some smart cardigans. Grey prob best for a shift dress. A 3/4 or long sleeved shirt or structured dress is a great idea once it's smart and long enough. Prob navy or berry colour.

Black is totally fine as well. As are charcoal and even dark brown.

Pretty please with sugar on top find me some tall options! :-)

babybarrister Thu 17-Oct-13 19:08:41

It is only the barristers who have to wear black or grey

LightasaBreeze Thu 17-Oct-13 19:25:44

Boden is probably similar to M&S and Next sizes. I usually order a couple of sizes as I am in between 12 and 14. I would see if there's a voucher code for free delivery and returns and hopefully money off and order both sizes if you haven't got much time. Also worth reading all the reviews to get an idea. Also it has the quite useful garment measurements.

I am 5' 10 and find their long just right so depends how tall you are.

Code A499 looks like it give a discount depending on how many items you get and free delivery but not free returns

Laska42 Thu 17-Oct-13 19:36:29

this is too expensive but if its really, really vital you look utterly smart and together , it may be worth the extra ££s

Laska42 Thu 17-Oct-13 19:45:47

a navy jacket so cheap
navy dress
matching jacket
Debenhams code for an extra 10% is VF34 ends this weekend

Laska42 Thu 17-Oct-13 20:03:46

phase eight with that blue jacket above from Debenhams?

ProtectiveMother Thu 17-Oct-13 20:56:13

I'm 5'11 and a half ;-)

I think an M&S size 12 is ok on me except obv too short. Tried on a jumper dress in Next and needed a 14!

ProtectiveMother Thu 17-Oct-13 21:02:22

Laska thanks but the Phase 8 dress is too light & summery and the Jaegar dress is impressive but a bit too bowy and most importantly, it won't fit me in the arms.

ProtectiveMother Thu 17-Oct-13 21:03:21

I'm only actually considering Tall clothing online now so Debenhams is maybe out.

LightasaBreeze Thu 17-Oct-13 23:10:12

Longtallsally have a few dresses

Black shift

Berry dress

Dark red dress

It looks like returns are free now according to website, always useful if you order a couple or so to try on

ProtectiveMother Thu 17-Oct-13 23:51:05

Thanks so much Breeze. I'd consider the berry one but (and I'm going to sound really fussy here) it's 60 or so quid for a polyester dress. I find polyester looks cheap...

There's one on Boden I like that's COMPLETELY sold out...

I've been looking all night now but so far no joy!

ProtectiveMother Thu 17-Oct-13 23:55:04

Re: the shift dress, I was looking on the LTS website alright but the zips on the front I wouldn't be able to take unfortunately...

There's a lovely purple one on the Boden site... Its kind of more of an 'evening' dress because its quite fitted you know? i wonder if I could wear it with a blazer though...?

PervCat Fri 18-Oct-13 02:12:49

You know it makes no difference what you wear, don't you ?

ProtectiveMother Fri 18-Oct-13 10:41:39

Hi Perv cat. It makes a huge difference to me what I'm wearing. Because of my height, it's hard to find something that's a good fit and I want to be wearing something that's a good fit and looks smart and respectable. I think the court system is really sexist and I'm bottom of the social heap at the moment despite my excellent education because of a long, abusive relationship. If I come across as professional in my demeanour and in my dress, that will help the judge to respect me and take what I say seriously. This means probably a more favourable outcome for me and my children so kind of disagree with ya! :-)

SuperiorCat Fri 18-Oct-13 12:38:12

OP I can completely see why you want to dress, and I disagree PervCat - how you dress does affect how others perceive you.

Good luck OP hope all goes well.

babybarrister Fri 18-Oct-13 14:32:42

I agree what you wear influences others and also your own feelings in relation to self confidence. I do not agree the court system is sexist.there are loads of female family judges for a start ....

ProtectiveMother Fri 18-Oct-13 14:52:29

Well I live in a more sexist part of the UK than most! (Prefer not to say where!)

ProtectiveMother Fri 18-Oct-13 14:56:41

Anyway just because there are a few minority female judges doesn't mean the system isn't sexist. But I won't dwell on this as 1. It's infuriating and 2. It's for another thread

ProtectiveMother Fri 18-Oct-13 14:57:53

Thanks by the way superior cat. There are a lot of cats about! ;-)

LightasaBreeze Fri 18-Oct-13 16:28:15

I also think over £60 is a lot for polyester. The thing is when you're tall its so hard to get a dress that sits just right. Some of the Boden ones are lovely, usually the more expensive ones. All the good stuff on Boden seems to sell out really quickly though as people used the discount codes and buy them then.

Likewise there are some on Next Tall but I think anything nice is probably snapped up by now.

Might be easier to look for a skirt and a nice top rather than buying a dress which you might not wear again if you're not really loving it.

I'm not really sure what I would wear to Court, probably something like office wear or if I had an interview.

babybarrister Fri 18-Oct-13 20:47:49


In family cases in County Courts there are about one third women !

ProtectiveMother Sat 19-Oct-13 11:22:38

Don't you agree though Babybarrister that the courts are all about the rights of the father at the moment? Despite the fact that in most cases it is the mother who is the responsible one with the children's best interests at heart?

babybarrister Sat 19-Oct-13 14:11:46

No i don't actually!

TripTrapTripTrapOverTheBridge Sat 19-Oct-13 14:26:11

No they are not!

The system is not sexist either.

And what you should be focussing on is rights of THE CHILD!Too many parents forget that,all they think about is themselves when they want to avoid contact etc.Like it or not,parents have rights but,most importantly,kids have a right to have a family and see that family.

ProtectiveMother Sat 19-Oct-13 20:23:50

You will note that I was talking precisely about the children's best interests trip trap.

ProtectiveMother Sat 19-Oct-13 20:24:57

Also Triptrap you don't know any of the facts of my case!!!

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