Clothing Answers

Can attorneys wear formal clothes when arguing before the US Supreme Court?

Yes, but traditional "morning dress," consisting of a specific shade of gray pinstriped trousers, matching solid gray waistcoat, gray ascot and black cutaway morning coat with long tails, is no longer standard dress for attorneys arguing at bar before the US Supreme Court. The Court rules required all attorneys to wear morning attire until the 1970s, when dress requirement became more relaxed. Today, most lawyers opt for dark, single-breasted, two-piece suits with white shirts and a tie (or a similar, conservative skirt suit for women).

By tradition, attorneys from the US Solicitor General's office, who advocate for the United States in oral arguments, still wear morning dress. Elena Kagan, the first female US Solicitor General, has opted to appear in conservative business attire, instead.
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