The Foremost Reasons Behind the Wearing of Wigs in Court
The historical white powdered wigs also referred to as peruke wigs, which are wigs wear in court by judges and barristers, have been popularized in court since the 1600s. It has been part of the court dress in Great Britain and become the emblem of the British judicial system during that century.
In the next centuries, the symbolic wig was inherited by other countries such as Australia, Canada, some nations in Africa such as Kenya, Ghana, Malawi, Zimbabwe, among others. In 18thcentury, it became popular in the United States, but the practice diminished in the mid-nineteenth century.
However, there are still a number of countries that continually practicing the wearing of peruke in court up to these times. Many people have been wondering why judges and barristers wear wigs in court ever since. Why do judges and barristers wear wigs in the judicial system? Here are some of the ultimate reasons for the wearing of peruke wigs in the court.
· Cover Baldness
In the 17th century, there was an epidemic of head lice all throughout Europe, particularly in France and England. Because of this, people tended to shave their head or used a thickly woven mat atop the head to prevent lice from infesting their heads. At the same time, wigs were introduced to cover baldness of those who shaved their heads.
The use of wigs was more of practicality before, but later on, it was sported as a fashion. Louis the XIII, the French king, wore a wig to cover his baldness in 1624. This was followed by Louis the XIV in the mid-1600s, which made the wearing of wigs popular for those who were rich and powerful. Later on, this fashion entered England and it was adopted by the Court of Charles II in 1663.
This started the wearing of emblematic wigs in the judicial system. On the other hand, some people have been debating the use of wearing wigs in the court for centuries. Yet, peruke wigs have remained in the judicial system until now in some countries in the world.
Since the 16th century, the use of peruke wigs in Britain’s courts has grown very deep. This became the tradition of wig and as part of the court dress in the judicial system in many countries around the world particularly in Europe. Although, there were attempts to abolish the use of peruke wigs in court in the 1990s, still, it remains and religiously observing this tradition in court.
Likewise, the modern British are in favor of the tradition and perceive the peruke wigs as providing respectability and prestige to the judges.
· Emphasis on Uniformity
The peruke wig features a typical curly horsehair wig, which is quite long in length. It is a white powdered wig in color. Wearing a peruke wig in court could be perceived as one in authority on the supremacy of the law. And at the same time, it makes the judges and barristers at distance from any personal involvement.
With this, the wearing of wigs among the judges and barristers emphasized uniformity inside the judicial system. In case, a barrister is not able to wear this wig, it is perceived as an insult in the judicial system or court.
The typical peruke wig of the barrister features horizontal curls on the sides and back. Also, it is quite frizzed at the crown and has two long strips of hair below the hairline on the neck and curly at each end.
Meanwhile, the peruke wig of the judge is a full wig and is just like the barrister’s wig. On the other hand, it is more elegant and longer than the barrister’s wig. The judge’s wig costs over $3,000, while the barrister’s wig is priced around $500.
· A Sense of Formality and Solemnity
Most of the judges and barristers think that the peruke wigs provide a sense of formality and solemnity in court. They are also seen as well-dressed professionals.
Likewise, the traditionalists think that the court dress with peruke wigs emphasis power. It makes the court in a serious atmosphere and provides respect for the law.
· Provides Protection
The court dress, which comprises the robes and peruke wigs, could provide protection for the judges. This attire could cover the identity of judges and make it difficult for the criminal defendants to identify them outside the courtroom.
Today, the tradition of wearing of a wig by judges and barristers remains in the courts of Great Britain and other nations for above reasons. This has made an impact among the legal professionals and perceives as grandeur and respect inside the courtroom. Meanwhile, for the rest of the people, it could be seen as national pride or a source of entertainment. In some cases, they wear this wig in costumes parties, for a play, theme party such as Renaissance or even on Halloween.
About the author:
Gary is the owner of Wigsmaster, a blog that shares useful resources on wigs, hair pieces. Apart from that, he is also an internet enthusiast and enjoys updating himself on everything that contributes towards creating rewarding and wholesome lives.