I was sorting through a box of materials the other day when I came across a picture of the solicitor Sue MacGregor in polka dot tights. Many of you will recall that in 1993, Justice Smithers castigated Ms MacGregor for coming to court in polka-dot stockings and a suit with a skirt that finished above the knee. For a feisty response, see Magistrate Jennifer Coate’s protest. [Read on]
Margaret Thornton commented
“It would appear that combination of the coloured hair and the patterned tights was thought to have improperly eroticised the Family Court” (Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession p 225).
Jocelynne Scutt wrote about the event and similar episodes in Restricted Vision-Women, Witches and Wickedness in the Court Room in 2001 (and recalls the famous story of the not so young female solicitor being told by a Judge to ‘Sit down girlie’).
But legal dresses standards in the law appear have moved on just a little. Cristy recently commented on this blog that she just didn’t wear stockings. Legal Eagle also took them off. But tights seem to be coming on again. I see barristers sporting an array of remarkable tights on their way to court. Sexy fun hosiery also appears to be making its way into the city law firms.
Yet how professional sensibilities vary. It appears that any either option (off, or on with a statement) would be scandalous in some US jurisdictions (such as Chicago, as described here ), and also perhaps for Ms Ardnt (see the recent posts by Kate Galloway here and here).
(Of course, I now can’t find the picture of Sue Macgregor’s tights, but perhaps someone out there has a copy?)
Have you abandoned the hosiery and tossed the tights? Or are you a fan of the sexy or saucy stockings for the office? Does what you wear (or don’t wear) on your legs have any impact on your advocacy or credibility as a lawyer?