Welcome to What To Wear To Your Divorce!
Congratulations! You have survived the year of separation (in most states) and are ready for the finish line of your divorce. It is a difficult process, and you should be proud to have made it to this moment.
Divorce court is a professional environment and what you wear is going to send a message to the probably white, male Family Court Judge. That judge has his own ideas about women based on his upbringing and personal experiences. What you wear that day, that one day may determine your fiscal future.
So, what will you wear to your divorce? Pants or a dress?
Let’s start with pants. They are professional looking, and, as many of you have jobs, you may have a pair already in your closet. If you don’t, you will probably need a pair of work pants for your new life in the workforce once the economic reality of being head of household takes hold (yes, ladies, that is more than a tax status, and it is both glorious and difficult). Find a pair of professional black pants, perfectly paired with a sweater set. Add a conservative and wholesome faux pearl necklace and matching earrings. That judge will see that you can keep it together. That heartbreak and daily fatigue don’t show on you, Miss Lady!
Next option, a dress. I highly recommend you consider wearing one. Find a dress that makes you feel…magical. Happy. Pretty. Like you were before you had children! A good dress is a ticket to a time long ago when we women did not carry the burden and scars of the reality and indignities of real life. But this ain’t no Disney movie, and Cinderella wasn’t over 35.
Moving on, the hard part: shoes. How about a pair of 1-2 inch black heels? Some of you may need to wear flats, having gone up a size or two from carrying that 30 pounds around for 9 months, and that’s OK. But do not, and I repeat, do not wear flip flops or open toe shoes. This is a no-no both in the courtroom and the office. Do I need to explain toe cleavage? You want your look to say: I am wholesome, classy, ethical, and moral, even with the indignities I have suffered at the hands of that son-of-a-bitch I married. We are placed into categories in their subconscious: slut or saint. Don’t let the toes make the choice for you.
Last thing…I would be remiss if I left out this very important accessory: the handbag.
Don’t laugh. This is more important than you realize. Did you know that during medieval times the handbag was a metaphor for the vagina? You might now notice that mine is large and red and shiny. It isn’t falling apart. It has maintained its shape. This is an intentional choice, and it works. Do not walk into divorce court with a backpack, baby bag, or a slouchy hemp sling.
Here’s the real talk: You have to use your female/mother-ness for court. Dress it up. Practice the performative part of this charade. Your real life may be a painful, oppressive, messy, pinot grigio-soaked hot mess, but that is not what you should bring into court.
By the way, if you haven’t gotten screened for STIs since you found out about your cheating ex-husband, I’d recommend it. STI screenings are not a mandatory service provided during your annual lady appointment, so know that you do have to ask for them.
Ok, ladies, thank you, best of luck, and put your structured bag and best closed-toe shoe forward into your bright futures.