Social Security Appeal: How Should I Dress?

One item we like to hammer home to clients is that how they present themselves during a hearing can have an outcome on their case. 

Some of our clients are able to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) without a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). However, many people are asked to attend hearings before they can collect benefits as part of the Social Security process.

Often, we see people representing themselves before ALJs who show up to hearings with very casual clothing. This is a bad choice. The picture above is one that we captured recently before a claimant hearing in Tulsa. Our Social Security Disability attorneys are very clear with the clients about how they should dress. Whoever is representing this individual did him no favors; or, perhaps no one is representing him. This is a good example of the difference between working with our attorneys and getting little to no help.

Our clients understand that they should wear professional clothing. The Wall Street Journal had an excellent report a few years ago discussing how court officials are often surprised by how people dress. One California judge told a reporter that she took into account someone’s appearance when he or she came before her.

The newspaper reported that clothing is incredibly important when making an impression. Here are some suggestions:

  • For men, wearing a suit and a tie is important, when possible. Otherwise, dress pants and a collared shirt are recommended. In all cases, you should wear dress shoes and shocks, and avoid caps, even if they are fashionable.
  • For women, conservative attire, including dress pants or skirts that are darker and not patterned, is recommended. Remember, if you wear a skirt, make sure that it is not too short. Additionally, in some cases, conservative judges prefer women who wear pantyhose or tights rather than displaying bare-legs.

Our Social Security Disability Attorneys Portray Respect

We take tremendous pride knowing that our clients are often the best-dressed people at hearings. If you need assistance with an SSDI appeal or application, you can contact us using the case review form on this page. We will help you every step of the way.

Thankfully, if you do not have the resources for dress clothing, you can visit outlets like the Salvation Army or Goodwill, where you can get second-hand clothing that is highly fashionable.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security Disability lawyers


“(My disability lawyer) was professional and very knowledgeable. She explained how Social Security determines eligibility in a way that was understandable. She and her staff were quick to respond to emails or phone calls. She won an appeal of a denial of disability benefits for my son. I highly recommend if you need help with a Social Security matter.”

Maureen Knudson in Google Reviews


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