Hat Lore

Question: Is a judge a judge without a wig?
Answer: Yes. In Canada.

Believe it or not, wigs are a part of the British legal costume that Canadians have never adopted. A fashion popular with English gentlemen of the 1700s — judges and barristers among them — the wig was worn as an article of legal formal dress. When wigs fell out of fashion, legal practitioners continued to wear them as a head-dress to lend dignity to their proceedings. The North American colonies were the only British territories where no judicial wigs were worn. Some nineteenth-century observers bemoaned the absence of such traditions, but there was never a movement in the Canadian legal profession to adopt what one critic called "the silliest adornment that the human head has yet invented for itself."

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