Fashion Brought to Justice: A guide to accessorizing your robe

By: Anna-Leigh Firth and Mackenzie Barrett

A year ago we asked NJC alumni if they like wearing a judicial robe, and more than four out of five said yes. But let’s face it, as well as a plain black robe communicates the solemnity of legal proceedings, it’s not exactly high fashion.

Just for fun, we decided to imagine the possibilities – remote though they might be – of up-fashioning the venerable black bag. We’re talking way beyond Judge Judy’s collar doily or Justice Ginsburg’s jabots (ornamental frills or ruffles).

We challenged our two fashion-savvy (they swore they were!) Communications interns, Anna-Leigh Firth and Mackenzie Barrett, to take the judicial ensemble from “drab” to “fab.” Here’s what they came up with.

What’s your verdict? Post comments on our Facebook page or tweet us @theNJC.

All rise and witness your new au courant courtroom attire! Pro-tip: Bold statement brooches on white create a sophisticated and timeless look. Brooches are great accessories because you can interchange them whenever you want to mix up an outfit. We like these in particular because they are simple, chic and dignified.

A bow of ribbon or a scarf around the neck adds personality to any professional ensemble. Like defense counsel hoping to compensate for a weak case by occasionally prefacing remarks with “May it please the court,” this particular bow compliments the pattern of the sweater without being too “extra.” And it adds a proper dose of flair.

The charge before the court is decent exposure – how do you plead? Not guilty! This look is way beyond decent. Leave your robe unfastened to show-off accessories. Here a ribbon tie, belt and flower brooch complete an elegant black-and-white look. Outside the courthouse, a trendy newsboy cap can control those flyaway hairs and provide cover on bad hair days.

Clashing has officially been ruled admissible. Here multiple layers of patterns with similar color schemes create a unique and fashion-forward look. (Are you holding us in contempt, yet?)

Bling bling! If you leave the top of your robe unfastened, you have entire inches of real estate to accessorize. Necklaces, earrings and bracelets have the power to overturn any fashion faux pas. Plus they can be as simple or ornate as you want!

Judges can highlight any look with their footwear – if it’s the right footwear. Fashion high heels and kicky booties like these sentence dowdiness to the gallows. Whether you want to match your shoes with all of your other adornments, wear something practical for comfort, or make a statement—the options are endless!

Men, this look oozes “swagger.” The two patterns complement each other stylistically to create a bold yet refined look that doesn’t intimidate or badger the witness to your fashionista-ness.

If your courtroom is in Nome and outdoors and it’s February, these looks would simultaneously keep you warm and à la mode beyond a reasonable doubt.

The verdict’s in! There isn’t a more iconic duo than a judicial robe paired with our exclusive “Because Everyone Deserves a Good Judge” unisex short-sleeve T-shirt. Although we may be a little bit partial, you can’t object to a sharp look like this. The women’s v-neck shown above and other styles are available only at the NJC in Reno. Only the unisex style can be purchased at the NJC online shop at present.

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