Teen Style that Began in a Courtroom


Written By Danielle Hart I have a really classic, professional style. I prefer structured, timeless pieces, such as blazers and pencil skirts, because they help define the waistline and in my opinion are très chic. I’d rather have a few versatile pieces (like a blazer or a cardigan) that can be paired with lots of tops and bottoms and will virtually never go out of style, than anything else. (Except shoes... I have a weakness for shoes of every shape, color, and kind!).

It wasn’t until about four years ago that I actually found this style and it began in a courtroom.

I’m involved in a program called Teen Court, which takes first-time juvenile offenders and tries them in a real courtroom, but the jury and attorneys are comprised of volunteer teenagers. One of my friends told me about it the summer before my freshmen year, so I went to observe, just to see if I would like it or not. I fell in love with it immediately and I have volunteered ever since (which is going on four years now). We usually have court every other week, but it varies sometimes and I often go up on non-court days, just to help out. The staff and volunteers truly care about the defendants that come through, and want to help them get their lives back on track. Teen Court has an extremely low recidivism rate (a fancy term for how many of the defendants get in trouble with the law again.) Teens will often listen to their peers more than they listen to adults, which is one of the reasons that it’s such a great program. The volunteer teens actually interview, try, and sentence the defendants, and they must comply with everything that we give them.

Teen Court helped me develop my style through their dress code. Which is just typical courtroom attire, such as no sandals, no shorts, no tank tops, etc. However, I’m an attorney (even though it's volunteer) so I wanted to look more professional.  I should say, they don’t force volunteers to wear dress clothes. So it began; I started wearing trousers and blazers and pencil skirts to court.  When I did, I knew I had found the perfect style for me, both in and outside the courtroom.

As an attorney, I either have to prosecute or defend (though they have to plead guilty before they come, so we just argue the appropriate sentencing), but either way I represent someone. If I’m prosecuting, I represent the State of Florida. If I defend, I represent the teenager on trial, my client. But no matter who I represent in the courtroom, I always represent God.  The whole concept of representing someone in the courtroom with my best crosses over in my personal walk with God.  I believe my personal style should honor God and not distract from my representation of Him to others, no matter where I am or what I’m doing.

I want to encourage other girls my age to find their own personal style. A lot of people don’t dress like I do, which is fine with me! Dressing in one's own unique style while considering our representation of God is a great guide to stay on the right track with what clothes to wear.