How Should an Advocate Dress?


As lawyers, we must present ourselves appealingly in order to demonstrate our dedication to the profession while creating an atmosphere of professionalism, etiquette, and discipline within our firm.

According to a recently issued circular by the BCI, male advocates must wear black full-sleeved jackets or blouses with stiff or soft white collars (rigid or soft), white bands, advocate’s gowns, and long trousers/dhotis (white, black, or striped) in addition to jeans.


Barristers in the UK are legally qualified to practice law. While appearing in court, they wear black gowns and bands while donning an intricate court coat called a bar jacket or court coat made from silk with turned back cuffs to resemble 18th-century court dress; new barristers are called to the Bar at three sittings during each year: Hilary term, Trinity term, and Michaelmas term; along with gowns they must also don black wigs and hats.

Solicitors and other authorized advocates, such as chartered legal executive advocates, may wear short wigs under certain circumstances, although they must continue wearing gowns similar to that worn by King’s Counsel and junior counsel. They are not required to do so when appearing before magistrates’ courts and tribunals.

Wearing a gown may be part of an advocate’s uniform, but that does not obligate them to do it in all courts. A lawyer must appear according to the Rules of Practice, and no exception should be made in that regard.

Gowns are mandatory in superior courts, including the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, though not in lower courts such as district, sessions, city civil, and county civil courts. Furthermore, barristers do not need to wear gowns during summer sessions.

The uniform was developed to distinguish senior and junior members of the profession. Additionally, it makes it easy for judges to identify themselves and the area of law they specialize in. Furthermore, wearing it shows respect and reverence towards the Court.

While many may question whether advocates need to wear gowns and bands as a symbol of professionalism and demonstrate respect for the law, others believe it to be symbolic of professionalism as it symbolizes professionalism and promotes gender equality between male and female advocates. There are other arguments against this point of view, as it’s often an unnecessary expense with few practical benefits for practitioners.


Dress codes for lawyers are an integral component of their professional identities, not only symbolizing respect and admiration for the legal system but also showing commitment and loyalty to it. Furthermore, dress codes serve to maintain discipline and integrity within their work environments while helping build trust with clients, Judges, and fellow lawyers – therefore, adherence to dress codes is crucial in getting into Courtrooms.

The Bar Council of India regulates the attire of lawyers in India by mandating they wear either a black coat or gown with white bands when appearing before any court. These bands serve as emblems representing advocacy and the judiciary – two pieces of white cloth sewn together that symbolize “Tablets Of Law.” This dress code strives to balance upholding Court decorum while accommodating individuals’ personal choices.

Solicitors do not enjoy full rights of audience in the Supreme or High Courts and, therefore, are not required to wear robes when appearing before these courts; instead, they must wear a suit with a white shirt and black tie when appearing before lower jurisdiction courts such as District, Session and City Civil courts. Solicitors may opt for pants instead.

It is also essential that attorneys choose shoes that match the color of their suits and socks that fit correctly and are not too thick or thin; sock selection can be detrimental. Finally, selecting an ideal tie knot to complete their look – either Windsor or Half-Windsor should suffice ideally.

Advocates must always bear in mind they are representing their clients in court, which means avoiding flashy or dandyish clothing that could reflect negatively upon your professionalism. Furthermore, conservative attire should help project an image of integrity and honesty from lawyers.


Dress codes for judges and lawyers may not be strictly regulated, yet they remain an essential aspect of professional demeanor. Suits with white shirts and neutral-collared ties are the standard attire. Lawyers should keep their hair neatly trimmed while avoiding brightly-colored clothing for court. Such attire helps preserve an appearance of competence for legal professionals and reflects well upon them in court proceedings.

England’s judge dress code was determined in the seventeenth century by royal mandate. At appeals and civil proceedings, judges and masters typically donned black silk gowns and bar jackets with bands or jabots and bands or jabots; wearing of wigs could vary depending on case type or season.

Ireland introduced their current judicial uniform in 2008, consisting of a dark suit, shirt, and tie. Prior to this change in uniforms for judges and advocates in court hearings. Unfortunately, its introduction caused great debate among parliamentarians, who expressed criticism against this controversial change in attire.

From 2008 until 2008, judges in both Family and Chancery courts wore similar black silk gowns with either bands or jabots attached, as well as court coats/bar jackets with either jabots. Since autumn 2008, they have worn newly designed robes, which may include sashes or crests depending on their level of court.

Judges and barristers attending court proceedings should wear long trousers (white, black-striped, or grey) or dhoti. Additionally, they must don either a white wing collar with bands or a bow tie of a white hue. Finally, they may choose to wear either full skirt trousers or churidar kurtas, but should never wear jeans.

Advocates may wear gowns and bands outside the courtroom only on special occasions as prescribed by either the court or Bar Council of India; they must always wear their judicial uniform when appearing before any judge.

In many countries, judges and lawyers wear uniforms that symbolize their role within society and represent the authority of law to establish justice; their uniforms serve as a visual representation that emphasizes that law cannot be affected by personal preferences or prejudice.


Male advocates typically wear black suits adorned with two white bands (two strips of cotton, about five by 1 in size, hanging down the front of their necks) that symbolize innocence and the law itself (they evoke Moses’ tablets of stone used to inscribe the Ten Commandments). A stiff wing collar or black open breast coat is worn over these bands while long trousers (white striped or grey) or dhoti are typically worn alongside them; during summer courts other than Supreme and High courts, a gown may also be optional (such as Supreme and High Courts).

Judges in courts other than the Supreme Court and High Courts typically wear violet robes during winter and green robes during summer.