We’ve written about appropriate courtroom attire quite frequently in the past few months. By now, you’d think that everyone, including journalists covering the courts, would have a firm grasp of what ought to be worn to show respect for the judicial process. But, as always, someone just had to go and prove us wrong.
Apparently a reporter’s fashion sense (or lack thereof) caused a major kerfuffle this week at the High Court in Wellington, New Zealand. Laura McQuillan, writing for NZ Newswire, was dressed so inappropriately that she was ejected from the courthouse before the proceedings she was observing broke for lunch.
Because nothing says you take your job seriously like dressing like a low-rent disco queen to report on a high-profile murder trial….
So what, exactly, was so inappropriate about McQuillan’s outfit? It seems she foolishly thought that the best way to show decorum at a murder trial was to wear a pair of skin-tight sequined gold leggings. Seriously:
According to the New Zealand’s Media Guide for Reporting the Courts and Tribunals, journalists must “ensure the court process is not interrupted or distracted.” Surely McQuillan couldn’t have thought that her pants wouldn’t serve as a distraction, as they were enough to make any judge, barrister, or juror turn his or her head and wonder, “What in the holy name of f**k is this woman wearing?”
The NZ Herald News has more on McQuillan’s epic fashion faux pas at court:
Miss McQuillan defended her choice of clothing on Twitter, saying: “I’m sitting under a table! No one even sees my legs!”
She added: “I don’t know why people are acting like they’ve never seen sequinned pants before.”
Sweetie, they’ve all seen sequined pants before, it’s just that every time they have it’s been a tragedy — and they’ve never seen them on a journalist who’s been specifically instructed to show up “professionally dressed” for court. That said, we’re not entirely sure what profession McQuillan thought she was dressing for.
In the end, Sara Gates of the Huffington Post put it best: “Girl, those pants are just too sparkly for court.”
Reporter ejected for ‘disco pants’ at trial [NZ Herald News]
Laura McQuillan, Court Reporter, Kicked Out Of Murder Trial For Wearing Gold Disco Pants [Huffington Post]
Media Guide for Reporting the Courts and Tribunals [New Zealand Ministry of Justice]