Fashion Victims Unit

I’m not usually the one to give sartorial advice around here. My blogging attire can be exclusively purchased from MLB Shop if I so desire. I need a suit or two for television and then, whatever, it doesn’t matter and I don’t care.

But back when I was in Biglaw and I had to be presentable, I appreciated some basic advice from the people who cared about how I looked way more than I did. Don’t confuse the issue with your WASP-y tales of Seersucker Saturdays. Just tell me the bare minimum I have to do to fit into your shallow little club, and I’ll do it. I really can’t stand people who are all like, “Well Jasper, did you see that chap wearing white after Labor Day? How gauche.” But if that’s going to be a rule that affects my professional advancement, just tell me and I’ll follow it. Biglaw pays enough for people to invest in their wardrobe in whatever arcane ways are required.

So, in a way, one can appreciate this list put together by an office managing partner of a national law firm about the business casual dress code for men. Sure, it comes from an annoying place of conformity that values style over substance. Sure, it’s a document dripping with low-grade sexism that contemplates a time when men were men and somebody else did their laundry.

But we’re talking about guys who work at law firms, we’re not talking about rebels; nobody should be trying to be a hero. Everybody should just wear what they’re told…

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Do not wear this to court.

When temperatures soar, so do women’s hemlines. When cold fronts drop, women’s necklines do too. This is standard when it comes to the general populace, but we’ve come to expect more from professional women — especially from attorneys. Law is a very conservative field, and if you show too much skin, you may be looked down upon. And if we have to use the term “may,” you know that people will be talking about you behind your back if your clothes are too racy.

Yes, it’s hot out, and that’s too bad. Ditch the sleeveless dresses, throw out your above-the-knee skirts, and don’t you even dare to wear a pair of peep-toes. Sorry, ladies, but you still have to dress like pilgrims, especially if you’re in the South.

If you’re lucky enough to be an attorney with breasts in a southern state, even showing an elbow will earn you a reprimand from this judge…

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For some in the legal profession, the most powerful tool in a lawyer’s arsenal is not the argument he makes, but the suit he wears. This way of life, of course, can lead to some rather asinine arguments being made by the male fashionistas who happen to practice law.

For example, if you were accidentally given the wrong suit after having some alterations made to it, you probably wouldn’t be inclined to sue over something so silly. But if you were a graduate of Yale Law School with a history of filing lawsuits having to do with customer service issues, you better believe you’d sue. You’d sue and you’d go so far as to demand thousands of dollars for less than two hours of your time as damages.

Believe it or not, despite that hefty hourly fee, this guy doesn’t even work for a Biglaw firm….

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It’s been quite some time since we last wrote in great detail about wedding litigation; in fact, it’s been almost a year. Could that possibly mean that the bridezillas of the world have been happy with how their magical days have turned out? Maybe everybody is happy now that Elie is marrying people. Eh, doubtful. Besides, they’ve probably still got plenty of time before the applicable statute of limitations runs out.

But when a bridal litigant thinks that someone’s actually ruined their wedding day, you can be damn sure that she’s going to sue, and quickly, especially when the thing at the heart of the potential lawsuit is the wedding gown itself. Pretty much every bride looks at the wedding gown — and how beautiful they look in it — as the thing that people will remember most about their big day (but no matter how fabulous the dress, if the food sucks, you’re probably going to be screwed as to what your guests will take away from the overall experience, sorry about that).

Anyway, the plaintiff-bride in this wedding lawsuit was pissed off, and rightfully so, because thanks to the faulty alterations on the gown, she couldn’t even use the bathroom on the day she got married….

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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….

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Fashion: brought to you by lawyers.

* A bill to legalize gay marriage in New Jersey has passed in the state Senate. If this passes in the state Assembly, will Chris Christie put the kibosh on it? Someone better make him a faaabulous offer he can’t refuse. [Wall Street Journal]

* They might not be the most stylish bunch, but without lawyers (and the contracts they write), events like New York Fashion Week wouldn’t happen. Models, please keep that in mind while you do your little turn on the catwalk. [Reuters]

* Is a mandatory life sentence a cruel and unusual punishment for the Underwear Bomber? Because you’ve got to remember, it’s not like the guy actually killed 300 people. He only almost killed 300 people. [Detroit Free Press]

* Hey 0Ls, here’s some advice on how to “beat” the wait-list blues that’s reminiscent of bad dating advice: don’t call too soon; it’ll make it look like you’re “desperate and hasty.” [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News]

* Two Occupy Wall Street protesters are suing the police officer who pepper-sprayed them. Here’s a video of what happened. Those poor little hipsters, they didn’t even see it coming. [New York Daily News]

Earlier this morning, former IRS tax attorney and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann held a press conference to announce that she’d be dropping out of the race. Although she won the Iowa straw poll in August, with a percentage of votes in the single digits, she placed sixth during last night’s caucuses. In her concession speech, Bachmann stated that “[l]ast night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice.” They sure did: they told her to STFU. Not even her high-powered lawyers from Patton Boggs could save her.

Let’s face it, she did the honorable thing. Unlike Rick Perry, who announced that he’d be going back to Texas to cry “reassess his campaign,” Bachmann grew a pair and decided end her embarrassment — but she has “no regrets, none whatsoever.”

It really is a shame that she decided to call it quits, because people love Michele Bachmann. Although she looks like a semi-retarded deer caught in headlights in her Newsweek cover, she’s usually one of the more attractive women in American politics.

She’s like Sarah Palin, but dumber, and with an inept stylist. With that said, we present you with a recap of Bachmann’s finest moments on the campaign trail….

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Courtroom or catwalk? Perp walk or runway strut? These are the “important” questions that the media has focused on in recent years when it comes to celebrities’ run-ins with the law. Headlines focus not on their underlying criminal offenses, but instead on their couture du jour.

This rings especially true in the case of Lindsay Lohan. From head to toe, LiLo’s courtroom fashion choices are hot-button issues that result in full-length articles in fashion magazines, gossip blogs, and even the New York Times.

When everyone is commenting on your clothing, you know that you’re doing something right (or something very, very wrong). And unfortunately for our favorite Mean Girl, those comments usually aren’t very nice….

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I once observed that federal judges are “the closest thing this nation has to an aristocracy.” If that’s the case, then justices of the United States Supreme Court are royalty — or maybe even deities, gods, and goddesses who walk among us (and occasionally crash into us, too).

Alas, it seems that two members of SCOTUS didn’t get the memo. They are comporting themselves in public in ways that are inconsistent with the dignity of the Article III judiciary.

This is a bipartisan problem. One of the offenders comes from the left side of the Court, and one comes from the right….

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It seems like lawyers got a little wild last month, especially the ladies. In fact, our candidate pool for October’s Lawyer of the Month contest was mostly dominated by women. Score one for women’s equality in the legal profession, even if we’re out there embarrassing ourselves.

Only one of our candidates is a man, but given his choice in women, he’d probably love to be surrounded by all of these hot messes.

Last month, we offered you the sex, violence, and stupidity edition of the competition. We suppose you can call this one Lawyer of the Month: Drunk, Slutty, and Naked. Let’s check out our nominees for the month of October….

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