When you’re heading to court it’s important to not only look sharp but feel sharp as well. Going to court can have a huge impact on your life, so make sure you make the best impression.

The first thing to do when you are about to head to court the next morning is to get a good night of sleep. When you are going to appear in court, you want to look and feel your best, regardless of what you are there for, you still want to put your best foot forward. If you go to bed at 3 am and have court the next morning at 8 am, you are going to be rushing to put everything, and yourself together on time. One of the most important things about going to court is to be prepared, this isn’t something you’re going to prioritize if you only have a few hours of sleep.

The next thing you want to take care of when you are going to appear in court is to cover up your tattoos and take out your piercings. There is a time and place for everything, and the courtroom is not the time, nor the place to display and show off your tattoos and piercings. The courtroom is known to be more of a conservative place, and they value professionalism over all. When you’re there, remember you’re at the grace and mercy of the judge, make the best impression you can.

Another thing you want to do to prepare for your court appearance is to brush your hair! It may sound silly and like something every person should know how to do, but many people go to court looking like they just rolled out of bed. When you’re in the courtroom, you want to look sharp and put together, not like you just woke up. If you have purple, pink, or some unnatural color in your hair, wash it out or style it respectively. Once again, this is not the place to express yourself; you want to make sure you aren’t attracting unnecessary attention. If you are a woman with long hair, don’t try the messy bun, or some eccentric hair style. A slicked-back ponytail or having your hair pinned back is plenty for the courtroom.

Aside from making sure you are clean and appropriately styled, you should spend some time putting together an outfit for court. If your judge had to get up and be prepared for this appearance, so should you. Dress formally when you have a court date. This not the time to wear your favorite ripped jeans, or baseball cap. Business casual will do—for men, slacks and a button down; for women, a nice blouse with slacks or a long skirt. You don’t need to rent a tuxedo for court, but you want to present yourself as someone who can be taken seriously.

Above all else, the most important thing about your court appearance is that you actually show up! In addition to just showing up however, we recommend you arrive early. Heading to your court appearance early is also a promising idea because you never know what hang-ups you might run in to. Things like morning traffic, kids, long lines to get into the courthouse, and any other potential delay could arise on your way to court. It’s important to realize that you may arrive earlier than your attorney. Your job is to arrive on time and look presentable.

When you must make an appearance in court, regardless if you have an attorney, you are still there to represent yourself. Make sure you look and feel like a million bucks. Speak clearly when spoken to, don’t have an attitude or speak as if you know more than the judge, respect the system and often, you will get the desired results from your court case.