How Legal Robes Have Evolved With Time

court wig

Would you recognize a lawyer robe? These long black robes date back as far as 1685 and were originally worn to mark the importance of legal proceedings and of the judicial office. Still to this day, judges and lawyers are required to uphold traditional legal dress when practicing in courtrooms all over the world.

Barrister robes haven’t evolved that much over time. While the required legal attire does vary based on different levels of court and different geographical locations, they are still considered an important part of the legal profession, starting from when one is called to the bar.

Is a Lawyer Robe Still an Important Part of Legal Attire?

In recent years, a broader conversation has begun as to whether or not barrister robes should still be required. In addition to a robe, the requirement to wear other items such as barrister jackets (also known as a barrister’s waistcoat), and wigs have also been questioned as well.

For some lawyers, they believe that the traditional dress only serves to create distance between those in the legal profession and the people they represent, which doesn’t accurately represent the openness and trust that lawyers have with their clients.

For others, the opportunity provided by lawyer robes and other legal attire to ensure all lawyers appear equal is a top reason to keep the traditional attire as a requirement.

While the basic structure of barrister robes has remained the same, here are some ways legal attire has evolved with time:

  • Fabric
  • Quality
  • Price

For those practicing in warmer climates, know that you can select a lighter fabric. Similarly, Canadian winters can be harsh, so those practicing in Toronto may also want a heavier robe or barrister jacket to help keep warm during our coldest months.

When it comes to quality and price, evolution mostly revolves around more choice. At Harcourts, our expert tailors have been making custom legal robes for more than a hundred years and can guarantee that the quality you’ll receive will meet your expectations. We’ll work with you to help you choose the fabric, cut, and style that suits you best and then deliver a robe that helps you look and feel your best.

Find Quality Legal Attire in Toronto from Harcourts

As time progresses, things may continue to evolve in terms of what lawyers and judges need to wear in court, and when representing the law. Harcourts understands the significance and the history of legal attire and is committed to delivering top-quality lawyer robes and accessories that meet your needs. Our superior craftsmanship and tailoring mean you’ll feel dignified and professional in any courtroom you appear. To find out more about placing an order for your custom elegant and hand shirred robes, contact us.