Lindsay Lohan is scheduled for another court appearance today, this time for lying to the police about a car accident. (Update: No show!) Over the years, Lohan’s days in court have evolved into must-watch Hollywood events, a miniature Academy Awards for rule-breaking. And, following Hollywood tradition, there is a red carpet: Lohan’s endlessly analyzed court outfits have become their own grim genre.
What celebrities wear to court can have a great deal of meaning. Will they abandon sexiness and signature eccentricities in the name of projecting responsibility? Will they flout authority with tiny “Fuck U” messages? From Jacko’s waistcoats to LiLo’s defiant manicure, these images, be they genuine or contrived, can define how the public processes the celebrity’s redemption.
Historically, the courtroom wardrobes of high-profile people have carried meaning, too. Joan of Arc’s masculine clothing played a role in her demise. Mary, Queen of Scots’ decision to wear the colors of a Catholic martyr announced the role she wanted to play in history. To the famous, court is a place where reputations can be saved and personalities reborn. Though the law requires a certain sober respectfulness, the pressure of a court date can force statement-making style to new heights. To appear in court, after all, is to present oneself for judgment, to be seen. Everyone, and their manicures, gets their day in court. Click ahead for 34 high-profile people, past and present, whose fashion choices made a splash in court.