First impressions are critical when you are acting in a professional capacity. You must adopt the necessary formalities when you assume the role of advocate, including dressing in a professional manner.
Prospective clients are searching for someone to advocate on their behalf in matters that may have life-altering consequences. Your appearance is part of a client’s assessment of your competence - clients expect their counsel to dress appropriately for their role. A mismatch between client expectations and your presentation may undermine a client’s confidence.
Proper attire is also an element of effective advocacy in court. Your appearance should convey the message that you understand your role as a professional and that you respect the process. The judge should be focused on your arguments, not distracted by your clothing.
Suiting up also has psychological benefits for counsel. We play many different roles in our lives and the uniform that we choose for each is useful for putting us in the right frame of mind for confronting the task at hand.
Just as Bono adopts the persona of characters such as “The Fly” or “Macphisto” through a change of wardrobe during a live performance, so must counsel adopt the appropriate costume for their role as advocate.