Most countries in the British Commonwealth (who require robes be worn in the courtroom) consider proper legal dress to be comprised of four basic components:
- Waistcoat: Barrister’s or Queen’s Counsel and Judges design.
- Robe: Barrister’s, Queen’s Counsel, Judges, and Justices of the Peace.
- Wing Collar Shirt: Same for all ensembles.
- Tabs: Barrister’s or Queen’s Counsel and Judges type.
The Barrister’s ensemble is made of wool (or a wool blend) and includes a robe with pleated 3/4 length sleeves and traditionally “shirred” yoke and shoulders. The Q.C. and Judges ensembles are comprised of a silk robe with a slit sleeve and a wool waistcoat.
The design and styling of these items has changed remarkabley over many centuries, however court attire that is currently worn originated in the late 17th century. Barristers must be attired properly in order to be heard by the Judiciary in the court room.
In addition to the above basic attire, England, Australia and many Island Countries continue to require that white wigs be worn by both Barristers and Judges.