The Relationship of colour ‘Black & White’ with the Advocates

The Relationship of colour ‘Black & White’ with the Advocates


We know that every profession has a certain dress code, and the people belonging to that particular profession are recognized by their outfit. For say, doctors are recognized by their white coat, engineers by their helmets and so on. In this way, lawyers are identified by their black & white outfit. The outfit of lawyers differs from country to country.

For example:

  1. Afghanistan & Iran: White gown and Black Turban
  2. Australia: Court dress varies according to the jurisdiction
  3. United States: Normal Business Outfit
  4. Canada: Red and White dress


The history starts with the 17th century and that is still being followed till now. These colours are not chosen randomly but they relate to the valid points and formulate a history. King Charles II died in February 1685, after that people started wearing a black & white gown to offer sorrow on his death. From the same point of time this particular outfit termed to be the uniform for lawyers.

From the olden days, we can see that advocates used to wear a wig and a gown as well but in today’s scenario, we can see that only senior advocates carry gown and wig. Two specific reasons have been specified for wearing the colour black.  The first reason stated is related to the sufficiency of dyes. So, black became the obvious colour for the dress. Another reason which is specified is that black colour represents strength and authority.

And the colour white is selected for its purity and innocence. It shows that no cheat is involved. And for every client, his advocate is everything and the one who shows hope for justice for the client. The concept of neckband is originated in England and after sometime adopted by Indians. These bands represent the tablet of law. The ‘ADVOCATE’S ACT, 1961’ makes it legal too, to wear a black coat and trousers, white shirt and a white neckband.

The Dress Code

The Advocate’s Act, 1961 makes it compulsory for advocates presenting before the Supreme Court, High Courts, and Subordinate Courts, tribunals or authorities to wear a dress that is sober and dignified.

Section 49(1) (gg) of the Advocates Act, 1961, prescribes the same dress for all the advocates irrespective of the designation.

Advocates other than lady advocates:

(a) a black buttoned-up coat, chapkan, achkan, black sherwani and white bands with advocate’s gown, or

(b) a black open breast coat, white collar, stiff or soft, and white bans with advocates’ gowns

In both of the cases mentioned above the pants includes long trousers (white, black, striped or grey) or dhoti.

Moving forward, an overall outfit which is considered to be a common outfit for a lawyer is a white shirt, black trousers and a coat with a white neckband.

It is also well said that advocates have one of the most elegant dress code compared to other professions. Advocate’s dress brings out the confidence and discipline to fight for truth and for justice.

By Muskaan Sharma,
A B.Com.LLB  4th Year student of Banasthali Vidyapith, Rajasthan

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