Outfits can make or break your senior photos. What colors do I choose? What styles should I go for? What should I avoid? There can be many options and each senior is different, but there are a few general guidelines I recommend when it comes to designing your senior portrait outfits. Many seniors are able to choose their outfits on their own before their session, but you are always welcome to bring a variety of options and we’ll put together the best looks here at the studio!
Here’s list of my do’s and don’ts to help guide you when it comes to selecting the perfect outfits for your senior photo session.
DO choose clothing you feel great in
Many seniors see a look or outfit they want to emulate and while I encourage that, I also want to make sure it’s a style YOU feel comfortable in. Form fitting clothes are a good choice for all body types, while more baggy looks that hang off the body can add bulk. If you are self-conscious about your arms, avoid tops without sleeves. If you love how a particular color family, fabric, or cut looks on you, go for it! If you feel good in your clothes, it will show in photographs and help you get comfortable in front of the camera. If you are constantly having to adjust things, you will have a harder time relaxing and focusing on having fun.
DO Layer, Layer, Layer
An important part of any camera-ready outfit is interest. The easiest way to achieve this is by layering. Layers can range from a simple cardi or jacket to a scarf, or a button down under a sweater. Anything that adds multiple colors or textures to your look is a layer. If you want a simple look, choose solid, muted colors. For more pop, choose patterns or neutral colors with one bold one. Check out our post all about layering the right way as well as our favorite layered looks!
DON’T be afraid of color
Jewel tones like royal blue, rich dark greens, and plums look amazing in senior photos! Pair a punch of color with black or white to balance it out. Or, roll with it and make a statement by pairing a bold piece with a pattern. If you aren’t super into color, try using it on a smaller scale- a pair of bright red pumps or a chunky turquoise necklace. It’s up to you how you want to show it off! If you do opt for a mostly neutral palette, be sure there is enough contrast (black is usually the best way to achieve this) so that your photos don’t look washed out.
DO bring a variety of looks
Since the Signature Senior portraits session comes with multiple outfit changes, we always encourage our seniors to choose different styles- at least one casual look and a more polished one. This ensures a good variety of final images to choose from and you may find that you like one over the other. Jeans are always a staple, but can be dressed up or down depending on what you wear with them. Most girls bring a dress or skirt for those fun, playful images, plus mom always appreciates those more dressy photos. You want your senior photos to reflect ALL of your styles!
DO add little extras
Accessories and shoes can make or break a senior portrait outfit. Jewelry is essential, even if you don’t wear it on a daily basis. It finishes off the outfit and adds sparkle to the photos and its a great way to add a pop of color to a mostly neutral outfit. Shoes often dictate the final feel for each look- either casual or dressy, so think about what you want the overall feel of the outfit to be. If you plan to tuck your top in or are wearing a non form-fitting dress, a belt is a nice addition. Hats are one of my favorites because it can completely change the look of an outfit so you basically get a two-for-one! They are very in right now and there are so many types to choose from. Bring plenty to choose from to your session- I can guide you if you are unsure what to pair with each outfit.
DON’T forget to hang up your clothes to keep them neat
Wrinkles are your worst enemy. They cannot be edited out easily and make your photos look sloppy. No one wants that. If an item can’t be neatly folded and keep it’s shape, then bring it on a hanger. Running a steamer over clothes before your session is a good idea or a tumble in the dryer with a damp washcloth works well too. Collars should be shaped and lay neatly.
DON’T stress- we’ll help you choose your perfect portrait wardrobe
I never want you to worry about any aspect of your senior photos, so I help you every step of the way. Your welcome packet includes tips for choosing your outfits and my Pinterest page is full of inspiration! When in doubt, you can always ask me and I’ll guide you in the right direction. Even the day of your session, we can narrow down and customize the perfect looks for you. AND, to help you get started, take the STYLE QUIZ to find out which Style Type you are and browse specially curated Pinterest boards to show you exactly how to put together your looks!
Want More Tips on Prepping for a Session? Download the Senior Prep Guide to get all of my secrets to designing your session- from finding inspiration to choosing a makeup look- there’s even a timeline to make sure you have everything covered!