Do you find that, in general, (or at least, in court), the women are dressed more casually than men? In the court I practice in, the men are always in a suit (with jacket, even in the summer), but women get away with a lot less - slacks and a sweater, for example. I'm wondering if it's like this everywhere...Pants suits seem to be the order of the day here for women. They are more casual for those people who practice in court on a daily basis. You can always tell female civil lawyers because they have the severe black or dark blue pants suits (you know, the ones which make even the most attractive woman look like a male). However, I've seen slacks and a sweater plenty of times and nobody bats an eye.
On the other hand, guys are not supposed to depart from the accepted uniform. I started wearing sweater-vests over the Winter. A judge in juvenile court commented that I was dressing "fancy" but allowed as he guessed it was the time of year when a sweater could be allowed. Another lawyer I know wore a sweater-vest to circuit court and the judge made him pull out his tie because it couldn't be seen under the sweater.
The furthest we're allowed to dress down is khakis and a blazer. That's known as dressing like a country lawyer. You can also wear seersucker, always remembering to be conscious of the season, but that marks you as a well to do country lawyer.
Male dress is also somewhat of a peer pressure matter. If you practice in "the city" your colleagues are going to comment if you come in wearing a blazer or seersucker. If you wear a blazer to circuit court anywhere you will hear comments. If you don't wear white or blue shirts you will hear comments; sure, it will be tolerated (with shaking heads) for those young guys starting out but solid, upstanding lawyers don't wear black or maroon shirts. If your hair cut gets a little too long or strange (ie a shaved head) you will hear comments. If you persist in your foibles the razzing will get worse. If you still persist the razzing will tone down some but people will still comment to you and others about it. You have to ask yourself whether your personal sense of fashion in wearing beat up old boots is worth the hassle it brings from clerks, other lawyers, and quite possibly (eventually) the 100+ year old (male) judge who thinks anything more modern than the robes and powdered wigs his great-grandfather Lorde Smyth used to require in his courtroom back in England is progressive and disrespectful.
I've not seen the same thing on the female side. Of course, I assume I'm not privy to those conversations if they take place. Still, if somebody refuses to conform on the male side it eventually spreads around the courthouse grapevine and everybody knows. I've not encountered that with any female attorney.