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What does a hip young thing wear in court?!

(57 Posts)
littlehalo Sun 30-Dec-12 11:35:18

My job is normally community and/ or office based but is now taking me into the courts.

I'd like a nice pencil skirt suit (or similar) but sites like TM Lewin make me want to cry. I'm 20-something, size 6/8, 5ft 4 (but live in heels), nick named 'the clothes horse', please tell me I'm not destined for bland colours and frumpy cuts for the rest of my working life!

I'm not actually averse to grey or black but I would want to 'lift' these colours with nice blouses or camis.

To give you an idea of my usual style, I like bold pieces, love Vivienne Westwood, winged eyeliner etc, not frightened of print.

Any suggestions would be great, thanks in advance.

Djembe Sun 30-Dec-12 12:47:07

channel this

CharlotteBronteSaurus Sun 30-Dec-12 12:48:45

i've always got by with bog standard office smart/casual.
i unexpectedly had to attend to obtain a warrant one day when I was supposed to be doing other stuff, and was wearing jeans
i'm sure the beaks didn't approve, but they were far too professional to even suggest this.

NorthernNumpty Sun 30-Dec-12 12:50:44

I think if the heels are huge then you may feel more comfortable in tapered trousers, if you do go pencil go for well below knee. I love the VW suit, I agree with poster above, shift dresses are lovely but the cleaning bill is a pain. Have you tried Hugo boss too, they do some good suits and might get a bargain in sales.

littlehalo Sun 30-Dec-12 12:50:53

Thanks you for the Reiss, LK Bennett and Karen Millen Recommendations. I'm not a fan of Karen Millen but that puts me in the mind of Ted Baker which may be worth a look!

cassell Sun 30-Dec-12 12:52:36

I'm a solicitor and do a lot of court work and though not a hip young thing (31!) I wear smart well cut tailored skirt suits with killer heels, I favour Reiss, Jigsaw and for dresses LK Bennett. The cut of the jacket is v important IMO and I favour 1 button shortish jackets, always above hip level, anything longer can run the risk of looking frumpy IMO. I team them with a variety of blouses/tops often in brighter colours, I have some nice jewel coloured (teal/purple etc) silk shirts from Karen millen, can look striking but still smart with a dark suit.

dontlaugh Sun 30-Dec-12 12:55:21

I have female in laws who are both solicitor and one male, the men have it way easier. The women wear lots and lots and LOTS of black. Skirts, little jackets, gorgeous shoes. Lovely beautiful bags I would happily do time for smile. Reiss, LK Bennett, and some v nice pieces (designer) seem to be the key. But then they are earning a fortune hmm.

NorthernNumpty Sun 30-Dec-12 12:56:02'Akelei'/hbeu50230722,en_GB,pd.html&cgid=11000#!i=51&color=001_Black

littlehalo Sun 30-Dec-12 12:59:03

Ha love it Djembe

Absolutely, I would always opt for below-the-knee in a pencil skirt Northern, is it just me or do above-the-knee pencil skirts smack of Viv Windsor out of Emmerdale?! Victoria Beckham always gets it right with pencil skirts, so flattering.

NorthernNumpty Sun 30-Dec-12 12:59:09

That last one is fab but would be a head turner in the sea of black and navy, a lawyer couldn't get away with it but maybe you could on my behalf!!!

littlehalo Sun 30-Dec-12 13:26:30

Gosh Charlotte that reminds me, there was once a mix up and I was summoned to attend court on a s.7 case with only 30min notice. I knew the case inside out so I had no qualms on that front. However, it was thick with snow outside and I had originally planned to be out and about covering contacts and doing home visits all day so was wearing wellies, a lumberjack shirt, jeans and a parka jacket!! I felt like such a plonker.

I got a notoriousy grumpy judge but he must have been in a good mood that day as he looked me up and down, gave a wry smile then moved on blush

Meggles76 Sun 30-Dec-12 16:07:29

OP - I am a Probation Officer and have previously worked in both Mag and Crown Courts. My role being to advise and assist the Court.
I have never really conformed to the black skirt suit and court shoe look. But I think you do have to dress appropriately for the setting and for your role in the court.
I tended to wear a slim fit fine wool trouser suit in charcoal with a fitted white or light blue shirt. Killer heels. Add colour with a silk scarf. Alternatively I wore a below the knee black jersey pencil skirt with black patterned tights, shirt and heels.

CunningPlan Sun 30-Dec-12 16:22:39

Another solicitor here advising to let your evidence and professional manner do the talking, NOT yor clothes. You should not, IMO, rely on your outfit to convince people that you know your stuff, but of course an unprofessional outfit can spoil an otherwise professional impression.

I'm not in court but for big meetings I wear suits in black, grey, navy and, when I'm feeling really wild, charcoal grey. I have rejected suits from the high street before because I was running the risk of looking like an air hostess.

Lots of the big London firms give dressing advice to their graduate trainees and the advice is as follows: keep it plain and if you must use Bol colour, restrict it to scarves that can be whipped off if you feel the need to dial it down a notch.

CunningPlan Sun 30-Dec-12 16:23:23

If course, I use spellcheck at work

your, not yor hmm

littlehalo Sun 30-Dec-12 17:11:11

You should not, IMO, rely on your outfit to convince people that you know your stuff

I won't need to rely on an outfit for that, thankfully.

*I am a Probation Officer and have previously worked in both Mag and Crown Courts. My role being to advise and assist the Court.
I have never really conformed to the black skirt suit and court shoe look. But I think you do have to dress appropriately for the setting and for your role in the court*

Thanks Meggles, that's really helpful, I'm going to be a family court adviser so I guess there are some parallels there.

BadDog Sun 30-Dec-12 17:13:27

Trousers and a blouse. No one will look. Court is not about you.

PavlovtheCat Sun 30-Dec-12 17:14:46

I wear either dark/black pinstriped trouser suit and mid heels or a black knee-length shift dress and jacket, back mary jane mid heels to court. Minimal make-up and hair done simply, not much jewelry.

BadDog Sun 30-Dec-12 17:16:47

I wouldn't say too high heels. You'll be running around a bit.

BadDog Sun 30-Dec-12 17:17:05

Nothing ostentatious basically.

PavlovtheCat Sun 30-Dec-12 17:20:00

this is very similar to the dress I wear, but I am short so it is not high above my knee, mine it just on my knee, with a jacket over.

blueshoes Sun 30-Dec-12 17:28:43

I agree with Cunningplan, cassel and don'tlaugh.

None of the designer outfits linked to on this thread would work. They are too fussy, perplexing and make everyone look at bit sideways at you.

You are young. Make the best of it with a black pencil skirt, fitted jacket with good tailoring and heels. Gives you presence. You will look like a solicitor (not sure if that is good or bad).

littlehalo Sun 30-Dec-12 17:42:00

Thanks to whoever mentioned Reiss, I love this:,r:3,s:0,i:97

littlehalo Sun 30-Dec-12 17:42:26

Blimey, sorry for huge link!

ItsaTIARA Sun 30-Dec-12 17:49:23

I think that's a lovely outfit OP. fashionable enough to make you happy wearing it but oozing respectability and professionalism.

Mockingcurl Sun 30-Dec-12 18:06:23

I sit in court regularly.
You should look smart and fairly subdued . Anything too sexy, short or revealing WILL get commented on and will detract from your professional role. You will be known as the one in the sexy skirts,or whatever.

Keep it simple and smart. Trousers are ok but some judges don't like it.

PavlovtheCat Sun 30-Dec-12 18:19:39

I personally don't like that outfit, but I guess it is personal taste. I think it's a bit too 'funky' for court personally, more appropriate for the office. But then, I am not a young hip girl any more wink

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