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Linda Evangelista, Cate Edwards, Lindsay Lohan... Does Court Room Style Matter? (PHOTOS, POLL)

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When Linda Evangelista showed up for court on Thursday, you can bet she was camera-ready. As the paps snapped her famous face outside the New York City Family Court, the supermodel appeared strong yet not off-putting: her floral blouse, ladylike skirt and low pumps signaled a softness... but her sunnies were pure glamour.

Was Linda trying to send a specific message? Moreover, should it matter?

On Thursday, Slate took up the question of court room style in response to The Daily Beast. The Beast's Robin Givhan, a Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic, penned an article on Cate Edward's appearance at her father John's recent trial, arguing that Cate has strategically dressed down as a "visual rejoinder to any argument that her father is slick, narcissistic, and cold." Outside the court room, she is a smart, savvy Harvard Law grad with a keen fashion sense. But her casual court room fashion, noted Givhan, conveys a softer, more familiar touch.

But none of this should matter, says Slate. Focusing on Cate's fashion, writes Sarah Elizabeth Richards for the site, is "obnoxious" and disrespectful to a woman forced to witness her father's disgrace, particularly so shortly after her mother's death. "The Beast has the nerve to call her a sloppy dresser," she writes.

Kicking someone while she's down, of course, is one thing. But dissecting an individual's outfit in the court room might be worthwhile, just as we dissect people's tone of voice (anger? nervousness?) and facial expressions (remorse? impassivity?) when they take the stand.

Tell us what you think. Is examining court room style fair or unnecessary?

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