What To Wear As A Lawyer – How To Dress As An Attorney / Solicitor


Welcome back to the Gentleman's Gazette! In today's video we discuss what to wear as a lawyer, attorney or a solicitor so you look dignified, professional and respectable As you know, first impressions count

According to a 2000 article of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the outward appearance and what you wear is a top factor and how you're perceived by others Among others is a firm handshake and a good posture As an attorney you always want to look understated, professional and dignified You don't want to be perceived as flashy, dandy-like or fashionable After all you want to be respected as a man of the law and not that guy who's just known for his colorful outfits

At the same time, you don't want to be like a cartoon character who wears the exact same thing every day So what should you wear? This is what we discuss in this video We talk about what to wear at the office, when you meet clients and in court If you want to learn how to dress for a job interview as a lawyer, please check out this video series here Of course, if you work in environmental law or if you have a lot of musicians or artists as your clients your dress code will be more relaxed

This video covers what's appropriate for 95% of lawyers out there Let's start with a hallmark of a lawyer's wardrobe which is the suit I'm wearing one right here right now single breasted, go with a notched lapel, ideally you have some cuffs at the bottom or you can go without a cuff maybe you want pleats maybe you just want an iron crease Overall, a two-piece suit is a good way to start You want to be a little more formal you can add a three-piece suit using a vest out of a matching fabric

If you're just starting out I suggest you stick with single breasted suits because they're the standard Double breasted suits are very traditional They're very classic and they're a tad more formal than single breasted suits They also work really well for people who have a V shape However, some people may interpret them as being too overpowering and to Wall street-like so be careful when you invest in those

I think double-breasted works well with a softer fabric such as a gray flannel as you can see here When you’re just starting out it pays to invest in a second pair of pants or trousers because you wear them out much more quickly and that way your entire suit will last you longer and cost less than if you have to buy two full suits When it comes to patterns, solid colors and a plain weave are your friend For a year-round suit, a worsted wool is great If you want a winter suit, a flannel is ideal and if you're in a hotter climate may be opt for a fresco wool

It's great because it's breathable and you can learn more about that fabric in this guide here By the way, all the references we make in this video are linked below the video Apart from solids, a subtle stripe can also be acceptable What I mean by subtle is maybe a pinstripe in a very plain color such as white, off-white, maybe dark blue or grey Stay away from bold yellow, green, or pink stripes

You want the spacing not to be too wide and bold The stripe itself should be subtle So a fine pinpoint is okay maybe a subdued rope stripe is acceptable too but a wide chalk stripe is simply unacceptable Alternatively, you can also go with a Prince of Wales check I suggest to go without an over plaid

It's a very classic pattern and it's appropriate as a lawyer if it's very fine Ideally you want to stick to a 100% natural fibers because artificial fibers make you sweat and uncomfortable during a day A 100% wool or maybe some additions of cashmere to make it softer are what you want Keep in mind, heavier fabrics will always drape better and look better on you than thinner lightweight fabrics So if you work most in an air-conditioned environment go with something heavier and you would always look more elegant

Of course the fit is the most important thing in a suit and to learn more about what you should look for and the proper fit please check out this video series In terms of suit colors you want to keep it professional so navy, blue and charcoal are your friends Black is usually something worn at evening events or for funerals not at an office If you want to learn why black is the most overrated color in menswear, please check out this video here Some will even argue navy or blue are better than grey because it connotates truth

In my opinion both colors work very well I like a gray flannel suit which you can see here on the right and I like blue worsted suits Of course you can mix it up and have blue flannels and gray worsteds but I think this combination is very classic and very professional Apart from black ideally you should stay away from brown because it's too casual of a color unless you may go with a very dark charcoal brown and you can learn more about that here Green is something I would always avoid just like any other bright colors when it comes to suits

The reason being you always want to look professional and bright colors have a tendency to make you look like a joke and people won't take you seriously Apart from that they're also a distraction and not really serving your client Nothing says I’m a pimp or a drug kingpin like a white suit so never ever wear that in whatever situation The only exception to bright colors is seersuckers In many courtrooms across the country especially in the south, seersucker is an acceptable material so if you do that go with a classic blue and white and try to tone down the rest of your accessories

To learn more about seersucker and seersucker suits please check out the in-depth guide on our website here Make sure you always wear a dress shirt and not any kinds of polo shirts You want a long-sleeve dress shirt never short sleeved ones Ideally you have barrel cuffs with buttons or French cuffs or double cuffs for cufflinks In terms of colors, white and light blue are your staples

You can play around with the textures, have subtle stripes, waffle weaves, twill, plain weaves or whatever you want maybe even some contrasting stripes but make sure they're not too bright and everything looks subtle and professional Also avoid extremes, that means no extreme cutaway collars, no 70’s collars If your face is round, ideally go with a more closed collar If you have an oval face, go with a slightly more spread collar As an attorney you want to wear neckwear

Traditionally it's a necktie I would stay clear of bowties because they're a little too flashy Of course you should choose the right tie So forget all the 90s ties and the hand-me-downs from your uncles because they look very dated and not professional You always want silk ties either printed or jacquard woven and stay clear of textured materials which are great for a casual wardrobe but not for a lawyer's professional wardrobe

In terms of colors, tones of red, burgundy, navy and blue are best Alternatively you can go with other subdued colors such as maybe a bottle green or a very dark orange or yellow If you want to maybe even a very dark purple In any case you want them subtle and not bright Stay clear of shiny satin ties because they make you look cheap

Instead the best solid tie for a lawyer is a grenadine tie It adds texture to your outfit without being too bold or overly different You also want a tie that is exactly right for your length because ideally it should end just above the waistband Unfortunately it's very hard to find ties in different lengths and for that reason we designed a short, a regular and a long tie so no matter your height we offer grenadine ties in all kinds of colors appropriate for lawyers in the exact right length for you So please take a look at the selection here

If you want to go with a stripe, I suggest a classic repp stripe in subdued colors works If you want a dot go with a polka dot or a pin dot make sure it's not too large but all proportional and attractive Alternatively you can wear subtle patterns such as a Glen check which I'm wearing here right now or Macclesfield neats which are small micro patterns that are recurring Stay clear of bold colors, bold patterns and any kind of cashmere or wool texture or maybe even shantung or dupioni silk because they're not really appropriate for a lawyer Also nothing says I'm an investment banker as much as an Hermes tie with little animal critters on them in pink and bold yellow or turquoise

Stay clear of those ties You're a respectable lawyer Another tie that is very underrated for lawyers is the silver and black tie It's a very formal tie at the same time it works well with navy, blue, charcoal and mid grays It works well with all kinds of hair colors and it's just a wonderful tie for any kind of formal occupation such as an attorney

For a large selection and all kinds of lawyer appropriate ties in three different sizes please check out our shop here No attorneys outfit is complete without proper over the calf socks A lot of lawyers out there wear short socks that expose their calf Not only is it unprofessional but nobody wants to see your exposed leg hair The golden rule is to pair the color of the socks with a pair of your pants and your suit

The problem is it's very difficult to match because there are hundreds of shades of navy To avoid this issue you should go with a pair of two-tone socks that has either two-tones of gray or two-tones of blue and that way it works with any kind of suit color and it always looks stylish yet subdued and understated My two pairs of go-to socks for lawyers would be the navy and blue shadow stripe as well as the charcoal and light grey shadow stripe You can find both of them here If you want to go a little bolder you can either have the navy and yellow shadow stripe or maybe the navy and red

If you want something solid but you want to be different I suggest to go with a socks with clocks They have a solid background in mid gray, charcoal and navy, but the fine clocks make them look different, make them look professional, and you stand out from the crowd in a very very subtle way and only if you sit down If you want to learn more about how to combine shoes with socks and your suit, please check out this guide here With accessories, the same rule applies as with all other things in a lawyer's outfit Keep it simple

If you wear a French cuff or double cuff shirt go with simple cufflinks in gold or silver Stay clear of precious stones, maybe semi precious stones in multiple colors as well as enamel It's simply over the top I'm wearing a pair of silver monkey fists knot cufflinks which are very appropriate for a lawyer's outfit You can also wear them in gold, maybe rose gold depending on what other accessories you usually have

Apart from cufflinks, a wedding band is acceptable and maybe a signet ring or a pinkie ring if you wear it or if you're at an interview or you're just starting out it may be wise not to wear that and just keep it plain and simple So if you're a partner, you can think about wearing tie bars or maybe collar pins If you're just an associate starting out I would suggest not to wear those because it could be interpreted the wrong way Should you were belt or suspenders, a belt is probably your classic choice and it's okay Make sure it matches the color of your shoes and ideally you want the metal parts to be tone and tone with your briefcase and maybe your cufflinks

Also maybe your monk strap buckle if you decide to wear that Personally I really like to wear suspenders a lot because they keep my pants at the same height all day long Now if you take your jacket off a lot and you show your suspenders in some law firms that may be a symbol of hierarchy so figure out if it's okay for you to wear suspenders or not When in doubt stick with a belt because it could be interpreted the wrong way and be held against you For the winter, I suggest you invest in a dark overcoat either single breasted or double breasted

Double breasted helps because it keeps you warmer Also invest in a solid cashmere scarf maybe in a shade of blue or go with a subtle pattern such as a herringbone The ideal pair of gloves for a lawyer is not black but gray because it provides a contrast It pairs with everything that you have in your wardrobe At the same time, it's not as boring as black

It's always professional and understated For a selection of nice cashmere scarves and grey gloves please check out our shop here When it comes to shoes I think most lawyers underestimate their impact When it comes to suits, you can have a $5,000 bespoke suit but if you wear it with cheap shoes it ruins the entire look Apart from oxfords and derbies you may also want to investigate a monk strap shoe or maybe a double monk strap shoe

Word is also on the street that especially older lawyers will always judge you by the look and the quality of your shoes So I suggest you buy the best pair you can afford You take care of them, rotate them, and put them on shoe trees They should wear you for decades to come and the cost per wear will be extremely low You definitely want a pair of Goodyear welted shoes and to understand the difference what that is please check out this guide and for an in-depth comparison of $100 versus $500 dress shoes please check out this video here

Now I'm not saying you have to invest $500 in your dress shoes You can find Goodyear welted ones starting at $200 But in general the more you pay the better the leather, the more comfortable and the better the last so you're comfortable all day The first pair of shoes you should invest in is a black cap toe oxford shoe If you have very big feet and it's uncomfortable you can think about going with a black derby but it's a classic wardrobe staple that you will be able to wear in court, at the office and when your meeting clients

On top of that you may want to go with a brown shoe maybe a very dark chocolate brown or maybe something like a chestnut brown If you go that route you can go with a little bit of brouging maybe across the cap Avoid full brogues and only stick with half or semi brogues at the most Anything else would be too informal To understand the differences between an oxford shoe, a derby, and a blucher, please check out this video here

Another underrated shoe color for men is deep burgundy or oxblood red It's something that pairs with everything in your wardrobe and it's very classic but you can also wear it maybe with a blazer or a sport coat combination on casual Fridays If you can just invest in two shoes I would go with a black and a burgundy If you can do three – black, burgundy and dark brown For a fourth and fifth pair I would maybe go with another black pair

One as a plain cap toe oxford, one with slight broguing maybe on a cap toe because then you create different outfits and you can rotate your shoes and that way they last you even longer Always avoid square toed shoes because they make you look cheap In the same vein, stay clear of snakeskin or alligator shoes because they make you look too flashy For the same reason stay clear of any other colors like blue or green It's just over the top

Definitely avoid slip-on shoes or loafer They're great for casual environments but not at a law office Stay clear of shoe brands like Steve Madden, Kenneth Cole, Banana Republic or Johnston & Murphy If you really want to know what I think about all kinds of different shoe brands please check out these live sessions where I discuss just that Now that you know what to wear also think about your hair

First of all make sure you get a haircut regularly or maybe a trim in-between because that way you always look very presentable and professional To shave or not to shave? That's a big question Traditionally most lawyers would always go clean-shaven for a professional look I think these days you can find a lot of lawyers with a beard so if you decide to go that route make sure you have a clean well groomed beard and own it and wear it with confidence No matter if you go with a beard or clean-shaven wear it with confidence and it will make you look very professional like a proper lawyer

So what to wear on casual Fridays? Most law firms in the US have implemented that dress code and to get a basic understanding of what that means for men please check out this video here Now I just provide general guidelines there and ideally you want to maybe talk to your secretary and ask her what's appropriate or simply look around you What are the other people wearing and especially what is your supervisor wearing? Because that will give you a good indicator what's expected from you Keep in mind it's always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed For example, if denim is acceptable in your office make sure to go with a dark wash no holes and should all look decent

If you're not quite sure or you want to go slightly more dressy go with a pair of chinos or khakis and to learn more about the intricacies of that garment please check out this guide here If you want to learn more about accessories or things like briefcases for lawyers I suggest you take a look at lawyeristcom who have covered these things in depth In terms of tie knots, I suggest to keep it simple Avoid a Windsor knot because it's too big and it makes you look like a used car salesman instead go with something like a four-in-hand knot

You can learn how to tie it in this video here Now some people prefer to go with a dimple others prefer to go without Personally I always like to tie a dimple and if you want to learn how to tie it every time please check out this video here Pocket squares are an accessory that work really well with suits For lawyers however I suggest you keep it crisp, simple and clean which means a simple white linen pocket square with hand rolled edges

Although you can have different folds such as a crown fold or a puff fold, I think for lawyers the most acceptable and some say the only acceptable fold is a TV fold I'm wearing here right now If you want to learn how to fold a pocket square that way check out this video here And for a great selection of white pocket squares with your first initial please check out our shop here Oh one more thing, you're a lawyer so wear a proper briefcase and skip the backpack That makes you look like a boy and really cheap and it's inappropriate

In today’s outfit I'm wearing a typical lawyer's outfit consisting of a two-piece dark navy suit It has two buttons because one would be too little and three may be too much The pants were made for me so I have side adjusters and neither a belt nor suspenders The shirt I'm wearing is plain white with a medium spread collar It's not too extreme

The tie I’m wearing is a red, black and white Prince of Wales check tie It's a very small pattern It's very subtle and I tied it in a four-in-hand knot with a dimple You can learn more about how to tie tie knots in this series here The shirt has French cuffs so I'm wearing them with silver Monkey Fist cufflinks from Fort Belvedere

I could also wear them with gold ones or rose gold ones My pocket square is a white linen pocket square from Fort Belvedere folded in a TV fold which is probably the only acceptable fold for a lawyer My socks are two-tone stripe shadow socks in navy and blue and they go with any kind of navy My shoes are black oxfords with a cap toe They have a little Balmoral stitching over the cap toe and they're made from Pediwear in England, cost about 250 bucks and are Goodyear welted

I'm also wearing a carnelian silver ring on my ring finger of the right hand that goes well with the color of my tie I decided to go with cuffs on my pants because it'll be heavier and pull everything down The fabric of the suit is a nice 12 ounce simple weave from Holland & Sherry and it really drives much better than it’s thinner flimsy fabric If you enjoyed this video please give us a thumbs up and also subscribe to our newsletter so more clothing advice specifically for lawyers come right to your inbox

Source: Youtube


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