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why we wear black coat, gown and white bands ?

hi friends.

why advocates wear black coat, black gown and white  band or collar  ?
what are the purposes and reasons behind it  ?
does they cannotes any special meaning  ?


 23 Replies

Shree. ( Advocate.)     21 November 2008


   The history of the black coat dates back to 17th century

England when robes adopted in 1685 were the symbolic of mourning for King Charles II. It was believed that gowns and wigs gave a degree of anonymity to judges and lawyers.

In India, the Advocate’s Act 1961 makes it mandatory for advocates appearing in the supreme court., high courts, subordinate courts, tribunals or authorities to wear a dress that is sober and dignified.


The dress code is not merely a status symbol, but brings out discipline among lawyers and gives them the confidence to fight for justice. The dress code also differentiates the lawyers from other professionals.

Sapna Makhija (Lawyer)     22 November 2008

Besides, Black is the color of authority and power. Black also implies submission. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. So is the case with lawyers. Their submissions are towards justice.

white band symbolize innocence and purity.



Sapna Makhija (Lawyer)     22 November 2008

Besides, Black is the color of authority and power. Black also implies submission. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. So is the case with lawyers. Their submissions are towards justice.

white band symbolize innocence and purity.

Rajan Salvi (Lawyer)     22 November 2008

shree is right. as soon as we adorn the coat , gown and band our personality undergoes a subtle change. I have personally experienced it.

Ajay kumar singh (Advocate)     22 November 2008

I am thankful to Shree for giving such an information.

Shyla (Student)     22 November 2008

It sounds great to knw the question and the answers.

Shree sir is right.

It is a great forum


Rajan Salvi (Lawyer)     22 November 2008

How did the concept of 'uniform ' [ as in dress] come into place. ? i think it must have been [ in the early days , to identify people of a clan/race. Imagine a battle where you do not know your foe or friend. so uniform originated there. So that people identified who is on our side and who is not.

In the early days synthetic colours were not available and mostly natural dyes were used. As purple was rare and costly it was only used by the royalty in the roman empires. We read about the ships coming all the way to india for indigo.

Thus certain colours came to be identified by certain professions, mainly because of the purchasing power.

When all the world was busy being colourful , one colour - black stood out and said , i am not touched by this display of colours. I am nuetral and above all this things.

Law is not a flamboyaunt display of our attire but of our knowledge. Hence black may have been chosen.

I may be wrong but shree has rightly pointed out the historical significance.

Rajan Salvi (Lawyer)     22 November 2008

Scientifically, when all colours are mixed black colour is formed. So black is a summation of all the colours[ groups] .

In a lighter vien if black is thus , then why the craze for being fair? Using fair and lovely?

Seriuously speaking, see how the psyche is influenced. Man [ as in mankind] so readily believes a fair person with straight acquiline nose and pointed features - inspite of there being no relation between features and human behaviour. The reason is from initial days we are taught - black is dirt- dirty.  Enough for now.

anonymus (confidential)     23 November 2008

Well said Mr.Salvi. Not only this, the 'Whites have even coloured the angels white and the devils with black' and have created an illusion that everything bad is related to black. That's why we today have black magic etc.

Arbind Kumar (Job)     26 November 2008


Great and balance information.

Realy ,this type of questions always came in mind but I today I got answer

Thanks all of you


mahesh (jj)     29 December 2008

ur answer is very academic as well as nice.


Shree is very right. And under Advocates Act, this is prescribed Uniform for the Lawyers. 

Anil Agrawal (Retired)     10 November 2009

 In a tropical country, why children even in KG classes forced to wear ties? 

Black is the colour of authority and power. Then why President, Vice-President, PM, Speaker don't wear it? May be they have no authority.

There is nothing sacrosanct about it. It is all in the mind. Just a generation ago, children went to school without uniform and shoes. Did they become unruly, indisciplined and less intelligent? Remember Lal Bahadur Shastri. Swam the river to go to school. He did not wear any uniform. Have militarised the profession? We have borrowed lock, stock and barrel everything that Englishmen dished out to us? Then why our judges left wearing wigs?

1 Like

HANUMANT DESHMUKH (Activist)     11 November 2009

There is nothing sacrosanct about the dress code worn by Indian lawyers. It is just a relic from the history of our subjugation by the English. They picked a dress that suited their climate, culture, and history. We are still clinging to it like dumb sheep.

Don't get me wrong, I am not against a dress, or black color or wig. All I am saying is that we should have picked a dress that suits our climate, culture, and history.

Advocates sweating in their worn out black coats in hot months (which is almost all year in most parts of the country) is a pathetic site. It's like we still have a british noose around our neck. To be frank, it is disgusting that even after 60 yrs of independence the keepers of the law themselves are not able to speakup and get rid of this stupidity. Instead, they have legalized  this stupidity through Advocates Act.


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