Vinny was from NY City where suits are if anything more common than in Alabama.
He does know of the necessity to wear a suit to court. He doesn’t for a few reasons:
- He has never been in a real court as a lawyer.
- He underestimated the sophistication of the southerners.
- He underestimated the seriousness of the charges.
- For someone like Vinny, his attire was akin to haute couture for someone of his street background.
he had seen in manhattan how people dress. he had seen lawyer shows. he was in a murder trial, pretty serious. italian americans in even brooklyn or queens wear suits -- u think he goes to church in a leather jacket for like a wedding or communion? it don't make sense. Sep 24, 2020 at 0:16
3People in Manhattan and the rest of New York dress in all sorts of different ways. Walking through Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, or even Manhattan during lunchtime, you won’t find everyone walking around in a suit. All of New York is not Wall Street. And yes, I would expect someone like Vinny to wear a leather jacket into a church if they are not the groom. Possibly even a nice track suit. Remember, Joe Pesci is playing to a stereotype. Albeit an exaggerated one.– Dean F.Sep 24, 2020 at 1:59
1By the way, who says suits are not common in Alabama? Are they the norm amongst blue collar workers? No. But, neither would suits be common amongst the average blue collar workers of New York. Birmingham has a robust financial district and industry. Your comment makes it sound like you are underestimating the sophistication of Southerners yourself. And, for what it’s worth, you would be hard pressed to find anything but the best in respectable dress in a church in the South. Even if it is their Sunday boots and hat.– Dean F.Sep 24, 2020 at 8:09
According to the script:
(confused) Vinny, you are a criminal attorney, aren't you?
Actually, this will be my first foray into the criminal arena.
(crushed) First time?
(he looks at Bill, then at Vinny) What kind of law do you practice?
Up 'till now, personal injury. (laughs) It just keeps gettin' worse here doesn't it? Got any more questions?
But you are a trial attorney? Personal injury trials?
Actually, this will be my first foray into the trial process - I haven't had to go to court yet - knock on wood.
It does get worse. (beat) You haven't been to court yet, uh, how long have you been practicing?
Six ... weeks ...
(corrects himself) ••• almost six weeks.
STAN looks at Bill, with a hopeless 'what is this?' expression.
But ••• you graduated from law school six years ago, what've you been doing since?
Studying for the bar.
Six years? That's a lotta studying.
(slightly embarrassed) 'To be honest with you, I didn't pass the first time out.
Not only was Vinny not a criminal defense attorney, he had never appeared in front of a judge before, so it is likely he had no idea of any of the procedures, or even expected dress-code. Believable? Not very. However, it is supposed to be a comedy.
The fact that it is a comedy must be the reason to accept this. Nobody does not know that lawyers wear suits to court. It's in movies and tv. If Vinny participated in a moot court while in school, he would have probably worn a suit -- I did as the "defendant" as did my two "attorneys" and the "judge." Sep 25, 2020 at 18:32
Also, later he mentions the DA disclosing the evidence the prosecution has collection, and speaks of it as the DA being charmed by him into doing a favor, rather than legally required discovery. He's clearly being characterized as not being very sophisticated. Sep 26, 2020 at 21:21