Choosing outfits for headshot photos can feel overwhelming but we’re happy to help! Don’t let concerns over clothing selection delay your headshot session. With a bit of guidance and a few suggestions all of my headshot clients can feel confident and photo ready. I’ve put together my top 5 tips for choosing outfits for headshot photos to get you started if you’re not sure what to wear.

1. Start with Style

Choosing outfits for headshot photos is best started with thinking about the type of style of outfit you’d like to wear. The style, or level of formality, you choose to wear really depends on your profession and your goals for your headshot photos.

Does your line of work or business call for a very formal look in headshots? If so, you’ve narrowed down your choices already and can start with considering all of your business formal options.

Are you in a more creative or casually minded line of work? Think of what message you’d like to send to the viewers of your photos. There are some industries that don’t have “rules” or norms for work attire so you might be able to think outside the box. You may want to consider options that are more on the business casual side or perhaps even something that’s a bit more unexpected. Clothing style is one of the ways we can express our personality so something a bit more laid back or edgy might better meet your goals than business formal.

2. Pick patterns with care when choosing your headshot photo outfits

You don’t have to choose solid colours for your headshot photo outfits but you should look out for a few things. Patterns can be a great way to add interest to your outfits and help make your photos stand out from the crowd.

But patterns in clothing can also cause distraction if they’re really busy and the goal of headshots is to keep the focus on yourself. Avoid really bold or bright patterns that draw the eye away from your face.

When choosing an item of clothing for your session also take a look at the fabric or pattern to ensure it’s not made up of close together lines. Really narrowly lined patterns and fabric textures can distort on camera leaving you with a moire effect (wavy lines) in your photos.

3. Find a fit that flatters

You can choose an incredible outfit but if it doesn’t fit you well, it’s likely not the best choice for your headshot session. Give yourself time ahead of your session to try on outfits to ensure that they’re not too loose or too tight. Clothing that doesn’t fit well doesn’t look nice and can alter the appearance of your body. There is a tendency for some people to want to hide behind baggy clothes or squeeze into something too tight. Rather than flatter, an outfit in the wrong size can make you look bigger than you are.

Every person’s body is different so it’s worth spending time trying on different cuts, necklines, and styles of clothing to find something that you like and flatters you. Long or 3/4 length sleeves tend to flatter most people better than capped or short sleeves. A lot of women find wearing wrap style shirts or dresses or empire waists flattering in photos. Structured jackets for both men and women can flatter all body types when they’re well fitted to you.

4. Avoid fabrics that wrinkle easily when choosing your headshot photo outfits

Part of the goal of a headshot photo is to present an image of confidence and capability. I would argue that a wrinkled or bunched up shirt on your headshot photo is probably not the best way to present yourself.

Some fabrics (e.g., linen) really tend to wrinkle no matter how careful you are on the way to your headshot session. It’s best to choose the fabrics of your outfit for their ability to stay wrinkle free. If you’re not able to find an outfit that you love that doesn’t wrinkle easily it’s not out of the running completely. If a shirt fabric tends to wrinkle easily, arrive at your session with your shirt on a hanger for a quick change before we start.

5. Consider colour

A lot of people go straight to black for their clothing colour when preparing for their headshot session. While not a terrible option for clothing colour, it’s also not the only option! Black can work well for certain skin tones, backdrops, and headshot purposes but there are other times it is not the only (or best) option.

Light coloured neutrals and jewel tones tend to look great on most skin tones. They also work well with a variety of different backdrop colours. Before you jump straight to black when choosing your headshot outfits, I encourage you to try different clothing colours on to see what you think. I’m also happy to discuss what message you’d like your headshot photos to send before you choose. Certain outfit colours may help or hinder a message you have in mind for your photos but I’m happy to make suggestions!