Bronx Judge Joseph Dawson is fed up with the overly casual attire worn by defendants in his courtroom, and he's putting lawyers on notice that their clients need to class it up. On Monday he schooled a man for wearing shorts and a T-shirt, explaining, "I'm not saying you have to wear a suit. You don't. Just wear something appropriate." And he berated lawyer Edward McGowan: "Your client comes up in a T-shirt and sweatpants, chewing gum? This court deserves more respect than that." The fashion lesson sent defendant Mirabel Aquino—who was awaiting her drug-case sentencing in purple shorts, a tank top and gold flip-flops—scrambling to the ladies room to swap outfits with her better-dressed sister. After the quick change, she got five years' probation, and her lawyer admits, "In the Bronx, things can get a bit lackadaisical." But is judge Dawson demanding too haute couture from indigent defendants? A lawyer with the nonprofit Bronx Defenders tells the Daily News, "All of our clients are poor. What may be the best clothes they have might be considered by others to be disrespectful to the court."