Scott Smith’s tips for Alleviating Anxiety with Accessories

How one attorney at Rooney McBride & Smith uses his wardrobe to break the ice with clients.

By Jenna DeJong

May 2019

Business Attire for Men
Photo by Brandon AlmsScott Smith uses his "professional trendy" wardrobe to ease clients' anxiety. Purchase Photo

Scott Smith’s litigation career has been dedicated to assisting angry or upset clients. He spent three years focusing on product liability law before making the switch to divorce and family litigation at Rooney McBride & Smith, and he knows the importance of diffusing tension.  

When clients walk in the door, they are stressed. The people he works with are experiencing uncomfortable, traumatic and sometimes devastating life changes, which is why he does everything possible to alleviate their worries. His job requires him to make the litigation process a smooth one, and under this umbrella falls dressing “professionally trendy.”

Because of his profession, Smith says clients expect a professional dress; he tries to avoid the redundancy, not only for his sake, but also as a conversation-starter. 

“As an attorney I have to dress very professionally but also it can get somewhat boring wearing the same navy-colored suit every day, so I try to [wear] anything from fun socks to more colorful ties to add some color and character to what is otherwise boring attire,” Smith says. 

His efforts have paid off. His roughly 75 ties, unique lightsaber cuff links and patterned socks win the attention of clients, and soon the tense meeting is diffused by a similarity in likes and dislikes. 

“I think those things help break the ice, and I think it helps identify me as a person and that I have a personality,” Smith says. “When people are coming to me, it’s a very stressful time for them, and I found that maybe a tie I’m wearing or a crazy sock will normalize [the situation] and not make me appear so stuffy but rather approachable.”

Photos by Brandon AlmsTown & County; Johnston & Murphy Collection, Double Buckle Brown Itlian Calfskin; $295 Purchase Photo
Photos by Brandon AlmsTown & County; J.M. Dickens, Navy Colorful Striped Socks; $28 Purchase Photo
Photos by Brandon AlmsTown & County; Fazzoletto; $55 Purchase Photo
Photos by Brandon AlmsTown & County; Fazzoletto; $55 Purchase Photo
Photos by Brandon AlmsTown & County; Strenstroms, Fitted-body navy with bright flower pattern; $265 Purchase Photo