Dress And The Law

Our team at the London College of Fashion!

Our team participated at this year’s ICOM Costume Committee Meeting held at the London College of Fashion from the 25th until the 29th of June 2017!

The meeting’s theme was “The narrative power of clothes” and Chryssa and Myrsini presented the paper “The narrative power of dress during trials: the practitioners of law at work. A Greek case study”.

The abstract of the paper you can find below:

In the Greek legal system lawyers do not wear a specific uniform during trials. However, the Royal Decree of 1936 introduced a specific dress code, which lawyers should adhere to, during appearance at court. In recent legal history, there have been incidents when judges considered certain lawyers’ outfits as inappropriate and even went so far as in some instances, to dismiss cases because of this. How do Greek judges react towards lawyers’ outfits today? Do Greek lawyers think that the application of a specific uniform should be essential during hearings? Do lawyers carefully choose what they wear at court? In what way do they use what they wear in order to support their arguments? Based on the results of a ballot conducted in 2014 and subsequent interviews with lawyers focusing on how their court outfits were potentially related to the outcome of a case, this paper will seek to explore the narrative power of dress during trials and the relationship of male lawyers with what they wear at court. Suffice it to say that at present this relationship more often than not, is governed by what type of case each lawyer addresses in court; in other words and relative to the deemed importance of each case – or how highly graded or not a specific case may be, does indeed influence the attire a lawyer chooses to wear or not. This does unfortunately inevitably leave everything open to interpretation from both the lawyers’ side as well as from the official side of the adjudicating process.

Many thanks to Tania Pashali for the photographs of the participants and videos of their interviews!

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