Is There a Hidden Message Behind Amber Heard’s Courtroom Style?

Louisa Gabriel
4 min readApr 18, 2022

So, I have to admit that like many people I’ve been drawn into the daily court drama that is the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp libel case. My inner voyeur has me tuning in each day to the ongoing saga of their destructive relationship and I’m playing the role of judge and jury in a case that has all the makings of a Law and Order episode. But aside from the actual drama of the case, there’s something else that has caught my attention in a major way…Amber Heard’s courtroom style.

As an Image Strategist ™and personal stylist, I’m always reading the messages people send through the clothes that they wear, and I have to admit that even with over a decade of experience I’m confused by what Ms. Heard is trying to say and who she’s actually speaking to. Let me explain…

Personal stylists and image professionals like myself are often called on for legal cases to help defendants visually present in a positive way to the judge and jury. Our goal is to make the defendant seem more personable, and likable, and help the jury see them as a person and not the crime they are being accused of. We consciously choose styles and colors that reflect specific personality traits and send specific messages, we create a visual persona.

In the case of Amber Heard, the goal would be to give her a softer, feminine image. We’d want people to see her as a loving, caring person who is the victim and not the aggressor. We need to show sweetness and innocence, and likability, but what we’re currently being shown appears to be the opposite.

Amber Heard arriving for court
Amber Heard arriving in court

The image above shows Amber arriving in court for jury selection in a grey pinstripe suit. It’s the first time the jury members and judge will see her and it’s the perfect opportunity to help them connect to her in a positive way before all the negative mud-slinging begins. But what message does the grey suit send? It sends very masculine energy that is business-like and seems almost devoid of emotion. The power suit has always been a symbol of being in charge and controlling others, and the grey color makes her appear cold and elusive. Not exactly the warmest of first impressions that’s for sure!

So far we’ve seen Amber choosing business-like outfits in black, blue, and grey — no color, no warmth, it’s almost like she not even trying to connect with the jury! And don’t get me started on the blazer with military buttons — can you say authoritarian!?!

Amber Heard in Court

But in true Hollywood fashion (no pun intended), there’s more to this story than just a bad stylist or image consultant! Instead of using her clothing choices to send a message to the jury, Ms. Heard appears to be trying to send a message to a completely different audience: her ex-husband, Johnny Depp.

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp at Court

It is possible that the similarity in Amber’s outfits to those of her ex-husband is nothing but a coincidence, but given the abuse and control in their relationship, it is completely possible that by dressing this way she’s playing some kind of narcissistic game and sending Johnny some kind of message. Her choice of masculine power suits and military-influenced looks could easily be seen as her way of being in charge and she’s making sure that Johnny knows it! I’ll leave the in-depth analysis of the message behind the clothes to the experts in human behavior, but these outfit choices have not been made to positively influence the jury as they should be, so what’s the deal Amber?

Amber Heard and Johnny Depp wearing bee ties

Is it simply a case of having the same taste in clothes? You saw Johnny’s bee tie and loved it so much that you immediately went to buy one and wore it the next day to court? Maybe Johnny is your style icon? But that doesn’t seem likely since we heard in court that you said he wasn’t stylish enough for Dior to want to work with him! Whatever the reason, you’ve got me hooked, and I’m going to keep watching to see how this fashion drama continues to unfold.

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Louisa Gabriel

Image Strategist ™ and CEO & Founder of The Style Academy International — Empowering people to use the power of style to change their lives.