Wondering How Your Court Attire Is Made?

Whether you’re a newly appointed lawyer or simply need an update for your legal attire, a well-fitting robe and accessories are important elements for successful careers in the legal field. Many new lawyers actually consider a custom robe-fitting for their court attire a rite of passage that marks both academic and professional accomplishments. If you are to be Called to the Bar in the near future, be sure to arrange for your court attire at least six weeks in advance of your ceremony.

For those wondering about the specifics of what is required, legal attire used as a barrister uniform consists of seven components. The components are:

  • Black or charcoal grey trousers or a skirt.
  • White court shirt with winged collar.
  • Black waistcoat.
  • Black barrister robe.
  • Barrister tabs.
  • Black or charcoal grey socks or black, charcoal or natural hose.
  • Black shoes.

Custom Court Attire In Three Easy Steps

When you’re ready to order your legal attire, Harcourts can help you through a three-step process that will ensure you get exactly what you need.

1) Measurements

To start, a tailor will take your measurements so that every component of your new court attire fits perfectly. Specifically, your sleeve length, front length, back length, bust, hips, and abdomen will be measured and recorded. Additionally, your height and build will also be taken into account to ascertain the right size and length for your custom robe.

While your robe is a key piece to measure for, it’s equally important to make sure that your waistcoat fits properly. It must be a certain length at the back as well as the front and hit just above the natural waist. These specific guidelines ensure that there isn’t a gap between the skirt or trousers and the waistcoat that would allow a court shirt to be visible.

The waistcoat, as well as all other pieces of legal attire, should have a slightly loose fit for comfort. When dressed in full court attire, barristers need to be able to comfortably sit, stand, and gesture.

2) Selecting fabric

There are three fabric options to choose from including tropical wool, a polyester wool blend, and 100% polyester. Whichever fabric you choose, note that your robe and waistcoat will be made from the same fabric.

If you aren’t sure which material to choose, here are some more details to consider.

  • Tropical wool: the lightest and most breathable fabric option, but also the most expensive. Since courtrooms are notoriously warm, especially in the summer, this light fabric ranks high as a most comfortable choice.
  • Poly-wool blend: this fabric is relatively lightweight, but it’s not nearly as breathable as pure wool. However, it’s a less expensive option, which can be the right choice for those not frequently in court.
  • Polyester: this fabric is the least expensive option. While it’s easy to care for, the fabric is less breathable and slightly less comfortable than either of the above-listed options.


3)Creating your custom court attire.

After your measurements are taken, and your fabric is chosen, the information is sent to our factory in downtown Toronto so that your custom legal attire order can be created. Each custom piece is hand-sewn by our team, and then any buttons and other details are added before finally pressing each item. Court shirts and tabs are already in stock but can be altered if required.

When each piece of your court attire is completed, it’s placed on a hanger, and prepared to be either shipped or picked up.

Harcourts Can Create The Custom Legal Attire You Need

Harcourts has been creating custom robes and complete legal attire for more than 150 years, and we continue to take great pride in the garments we produce. If you are in need of high-quality court attire, our tailors are available to take your measurements at our headquarters in downtown Toronto, or for your convenience, we can arrange to have one of our network of tailors take your measurements in locations all across Canada. Contact us to find out more about working with Harcourts and how to place your order.