Monday, March 10, 2008

Dressing Like a Lawyer

The portrait, above, is of an early nineteenth century American lawyer.

A number of years ago when former Chief Justice Rehnquist decided to add adornments to his judicial gown, I received a telephone call from a reporter asking about the history of legal and judicial dress. I was able to give her a reasonable answer based on a file which I keep. Here are a few sources on the subject:

--W.N. Hargreaves-Mawdsley, A History of Legal Dress in Europe Until the Eighteenth Century (Oxford:OUP, 1963)

--J.H. Baker, "History of the Gowns of the English Bar," Costume, no.9 (1975), pp.15-21

--Charles M. Yablon, "Judicial Drag: An Essay on Wigs, Robes, and Legal Change," Wisconsin Law Review (1995), pp.1129-1153

--Susan L'Engle, "Addressing the Law: Costume as Signifier in Medieval Legal Miniatures," in

D. Koslin & J. Snyder, Encountering Medieval Textiles and Dress. Objects, texts, Images

(N.Y.: Palgrave, 2002), pp. 137-172
For those wishing to pursue this subject further a good starting point is:
--Valerie Cumming, Understanding Fashion History (London: Batsford, 2004)

1 comment:

令健 said...

hi,i am glad to meet you here,i am a student from china.and you can call me "Xiao-Zeng".

i am creating a article about "judicial ritual",so what you said in this paper is useful for me,but there may be some slip:"History of the Gowns Worn at the English Bar",not that "History of the Gowns in the English Bar"

in the end ,could you tell me more information about this thesis
my email

thanke you and wish you and your family menber happy.