Deposition Outfit Tips

What to Wear to a Deposition: Complete Guide

There are many things to figure out when you are required to take part in a legal deposition. One of those things is what to wear! Many of us have no experience in legal matters. Just the thought of involvement makes us nervous. However, what you wear to your deposition is very important for several reasons.

In this post, we are sharing a complete guide for what to wear to a deposition. Although there is not a required dress code, your deposition outfit can have an impact on the outcome of your case. Because of this, it is important to abide by some simple wardrobe tips.

You know your unique situation best. However, no matter the circumstances surrounding your deposition, it is important to put some thought into your appearance for the big day.

Although the focus of the deposition is primarily on the information you share, it is also the first time you may be meeting the opposing attorney. Because of this, it is important that both your physical appearance as well as the outfit you wear portray a positive impression.

What is a Deposition?

Deposition Outfit TipsBefore we can talk about a recommended dress code for a legal deposition, we must first establish what a deposition is. A deposition is a legal meeting that takes place before a trial in court. During this meeting, attorneys are able to ask additional questions to give them insight into the trial.

Although this meeting is not held in a courtroom and is unsupervised by a judge, it is still a legal event. The information discussed during the deposition is used by attorneys on both sides of the matter to establish their case as well as obtain evidence which will be used in the courtroom. You can learn more about depositions at this link.

What to Wear to a Deposition

Because a deposition is a legal proceeding, it is important that you dress appropriately. The only instance where this does not apply is during a telephone deposition. However, if you participate in a telephone deposition in your attorney’s office, it is wise to abide by these same guidelines for dressing appropriately.

In any situation, the outfit you wear to a deposition should portray a clean-cut appearance. Additionally, your outfit should portray confidence and trustworthiness. If you are unsure about any aspect of your deposition outfit, it is most likely wise to change into something else.

As a general rule, dress for your deposition as if it were an important job interview. It is always better to overdress for a legal proceeding than to underdress.

Deposition Attire for Men

There are a few guidelines that men should follow while deciding what to wear to a deposition. As a general rule, dressy slacks and a long-sleeve button-down shirt are a good outfit choice. A conservative tie also adds a nice touch. It is important that your outfit is not flashy. Because of this, it is wise to stick to solid patterns and more neutral colors.

However, if you feel it necessary, or if it is the recommendation of your attorney, a casual suit is another safe option. Be sure that the suit is clean and pressed, and that your pants and jacket match. In addition, stay away from flashy accessories or ties with busy prints.

It is also wise to have a fresh haircut and well-maintained facial hair. If you have piercings or tattoos, it may be a good idea to remove them or keep them covered for the duration of your deposition.

Deposition Attire for Women

The guidelines for deposition attire for women are similar to men. Choosing business attire is always a good idea. Some options could include dress pants or a skirt paired with a blouse or a nice sweater. An appropriate dress is also a good option. 

As with men, avoid flashy prints, patterns, jewelry, or accessories as these items quickly become a distraction. It is also wise to choose shoes that are comfortable and practical. Flats or shoes with a low heel are often the best options.

Taking the time to style your hair and apply simple makeup will both add to your confidence and create a cohesive appearance.  

What Not to Wear to a Deposition

There are many items that both men and women should not wear to a deposition. Although these items and styles may be appropriate and attractive in other situations, it is unwise to wear them during a legal matter.

Never wear jeans to a deposition. Even dark-colored jeans portray a casual image that is not professional. You should also avoid pants with any holes, rips, or signs of wear. Instead, choose dress slacks or pants that portray a professional image.

Avoid showing an excessive amount of skin. Some individuals may be offended by garments that show too much of the skin. In addition to this, these pieces are often not professional. Avoid things such as shorts, tank tops, short dresses, thin or clingy materials, or sandals.

Avoid sneakers, stilettos, and sandals at all costs! Select a shoe that has a closed toe and is appropriate for the situation. A nice pair of dress shoes for men or dress flats for women are the best options.

Unless it is part of your religious beliefs, your deposition outfit should not include any type of headwear.

Never wear dirty clothes. This should go without saying, but it is important that the outfit you wear to your deposition is clean and free of any stains or wrinkles. Avoiding these details presents a poor image.

Leave designer items at home! No matter your position or the circumstances surrounding your deposition, it is important that you leave any designer items at home. Opt for more neutral, conservative pieces. Wearing designer brands, carrying expensive purses, or wearing nice jewelry all convey a message of money. 

The last thing you want to do during a deposition is to provide the opposing party with hidden messages on your wealth or social status. Doing so can give them information to use against you during the courtroom trial.

Why is Your Outfit Important at a Deposition?

Your deposition will most likely be held outside the courtroom in an office building. However, in many cases depositions are attended by both attorneys involved in the case as well as the opposing party. Sometimes, your deposition will even be recorded on video to be shown in the courtroom to the judge and the jury.

Because of this, it is important to dress appropriately for your deposition. Each individual involved in your case will develop an opinion on you. This opinion is formulated based on your words and actions. However, your appearance will inevitably play a role in this as well! 

Presenting yourself in a manner that is appropriate and professional portrays your confidence and trustworthiness. This will always be to your benefit in legal proceedings.

Additionally, the way you dress has an impact on your attitude and behavior! Dressing in a way that makes you feel confident and prepared will help you present yourself appropriately throughout the deposition process.

Final Thoughts

For many individuals, the deposition is the most stressful part of the case. Because of this, it is easy to worry excessively over the outfit you wear to your deposition. Although it is important to dress professionally and respectfully, a deposition is largely about what you have to say

As you prepare for your deposition, choose an outfit that portrays the message you wish to send to each individual involved in the case. Portraying both trustworthiness and confidence is crucial to a good first impression. Keep in mind that the outfit you wear to your deposition should be professional, neutral, and appropriate.

When in doubt about your deposition outfit, reach out to your attorney’s office for advice. They will be able to provide you with additional information on the format, location, and style of your individual deposition. 

Related Questions

What are the types of depositions? There are several types of depositions which are all used in unique situations. The most common type of deposition is one that takes place in person. However, video depositions, telephone depositions, and even written depositions are all possibilities depending on your needs. Oftentimes, the opposing attorney will decide which type of deposition they wish to have.

Are depositions necessary? Depositions are a large part of a legal case. Because of this, depositions are necessary. Although the deposition is often intense and stressful, it is the best way to communicate key facts about the case. The information that is shared during a deposition is used to formulate cases and provide evidence during the courtroom trial.

Where is a deposition held? Depositions are legal events. However, they do not take place within the walls of a courtroom. In fact, a judge is not even present for this part of the case. Most times, your deposition will take place in the office of either your attorney or the opposing attorney. In some cases, a deposition may be held in a separate location such as a hotel meeting room.

Thank you for reading Deposition Academy! Click here for more information about depositions.


Matt McWilliams

Deposition Academy is an online website created to guide those in the legal videographer industry or those interested in starting a legal videography business. The site has expanded to cover a variety of legal topics that are related to depositions and the deposition process. Our team of writers have written for a variety of legal blogs and website.