When you consider the traditional legal and judicial costume of the UK, you could be forgiven for thinking that it has absolutely nothing to do with fashion, or even a sense of style. However, you’d be wrong.
As a legal representative in a court of law, it’s always been imperative that barristers and judges stand out, project an air of authority befitting their years of training and status. Of course, the way barristers and judges speak, move and press points helps with that. But, the way they dress is also an important element of that air.
To ensure the clothing worn by the legal profession is as correct and well-fitting as you would expect, only the most thorough and experienced tailors are employed. That’s just one reason why Carter Savoy has been fitting, making and hand-finishing clothing for the legal profession for the past 20 years.
Years gone by
In the early fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, its safe to say the judicial costumes of choice at that time, didn’t have too much to do with fashion.
Indeed, they were based on the robes and costumes worn among the clergy. This meant judges and barristers across Europe, generally wore long sleeved tunics with a tabard or wide sleeved gown on top.
As the seventeenth century approached, fashion became more important among a growing group of people and Britons. At one point, the Monarch was the administrator of legal dress.
This means judges had to wear a taffeta-lined black or violet silk robe during the spring and summer. During the autumn and winter months, to gain additional warmth, the taffeta lining was replaced with miniver.
The addition of the wig to the judicial costume was also in the mid-seventeenth century. Wigs became de rigeur after being imported from France by Charles II. And, despite falling out of favour around 100 years later, they had been fully adopted as part of the legal attire on court and so they remained. The judicial costume remains impressive and aloof from other professions. Although, there have been some few alterations for comfort and as new capabilities and styles have emerged.
Attention to detail
As legal and judicial attire has always been made to be seen on important occasions, it’s only fitting that much of the garments still worn today are hand-finished. This ensures that the style and fit of the costume is perfect for each individual.
It also means that any small additions or changes that are required, can be made and altered, to order. Given the history behind the judicial costume worn by today’s legal professionals, it’s a real privilege that Carter Savoy is the preferred supplier to the BAR council of England and Wales.
Our made to measure legal attire packages, mean the UK’s legal profession can rely on our unrivalled quality of clothing and service and attention to detail.