Man oh man. I know it can feel kind of daunting to pick what to wear for photos. Here are a few guidelines I’ve put together so you can be sure to look professional and feel authentic, while still making sure the images are focused on your mission and company, not what you’re wearing. Full disclaimer, I don’t know anything about fashion. I wear men’s t shirts and socks with sandals every day so there’s a good chance you’ve got better style than I do! This is just what I’ve found to work best from trial and error from past shoots, they’re only guidelines, not rules! You can show up wearing potato sacks if that's your brand!


Dress like you're trying to impress your ideal customer or a prospective client. Consider your profession.

  • Lawyers, government employees or people working in more conservative industries should wear darker and more formal clothing.
  • People working in start-ups or less traditional industries can wear more casual clothing for headshots.
  • Artists can do just about anything, but don't wear anything that will detract from your face.

Choose Colors That Fall

in the Mid-Tone Range

Choose colors that fall in the mid-tone to jewel tone color range and avoid pastels and neons. The best colors to wear for headshots are the colors that lie in the mid-tone area of the color spectrum, or the muted or dark tones.

  • A few of my favorite colors for headshots are burgundy, navy, plum, emerald green and charcoal. Within each of these colors, however, is a tonal range, and your skin tones should help you determine which specific tone of each color work for you.

  • Do not wear bright pink, bright orange, turquoise, mint green, coral or any neon colors whatsoever.

Black and White Clothing Works!!

Most photographers will tell you not to wear all black or all white. I really love all black for black and white portraits, and if white is in your color palette, a white button up can be a clean, classic look (wear a no-show white cami underneath).

Solids Are Best

Large patterns take over the photo. Solids are best for headshots. Some prints can work when layered with solids over the top. For example, a medium sized floral print under a solid top can be very flattering and add some visual interest to your photo. Avoid really tight patterns or tight prints, like tight pinstripe or polka dots.

Choose Moderately Open Necklines

  • The best necklines for photos are modest V necks, boat or crew necklines.
  • Avoid turtlenecks or scarves that can't be loosened around your neck. Turtlenecks make you look like you have no neck, and in photos, can make you look out of proportion.
  • Avoid really low necklines that you'll be tugging on.
  • Avoid buttoned shirts that are too tight around your neck. If you wear a buttoned shirt, it should fit without causing bulging.

Do Not Wear Tight Patterns or Tight Textures

  • No tweed (synthetic print or real) or tight patterns. All of these textures and patterns can create a moire effect in photos viewed online. This effect looks like wavy lines that dance around on clothing on a screen but not in real life.
  • Avoid small polkadots, pinstripes, small checks and tight patterns of any kind.

Wear Long Sleeve or Three-Quarter Length Sleeves

  • Long sleeves or three-quarter sleeves look more professional. Because I typically have you turned at an angle to the camera, your arms will be the most camera-forward part of you. Unless you absolutely love your arms, you will want longer sleeves. 
  • If you decide on a tank top or sleeveless top, bring a sweater along too for a few shots.

Wear Layers for Headshots

  • Layers work well for headshots, but be strategic about fit and color. Lighter colors should be underneath, with darker colors over the top in suit jackets and blazers. 
  • If you don't love your midsection, pick a jacket, sweater or blazer that can be buttoned.

Make Sure Clothing Fit is Right

  • Clothing should be well-tailored and fitted.
  • Avoid baggy or loose clothing, as it will make you look larger in photos.
  • Avoid fabrics that are clingy or shiny, especially thin, stretchy polyester or velvet. These fabrics highlight every bump and crease. Do not wear silver or shimmery gold.
  • Avoid wearing something that is too tight, as this can lead to bulging.
  • Longer shirts are best if you plan to be untucked. They elongate your torso and hide mid-section insecurities.
  • Avoid shoulder pads in jackets and suits. Shoulder pads make you look boxy, wide and can convey tension rather than relaxation.

Look Put Together and Tidy

  • Arrive with clothing pressed and lint-free. If you are wearing a shirt that wrinkles easily, hang it up and put it on right before photos to avoid it getting wrinkly in the car.
  • Wear the right bra for the shirt you will wear. Make sure the color won't show through. Watch for lines and seams from bras that might show through shirts. If you are going strapless or with a tank top, wear a strapless bra (but again, I generally don't recommend sleeveless or short sleeves for headshots).
  • Avoid logos of any kind, unless they are your company logo.

Wear Glasses Without Reflective Coating

  • Only wear glasses that have minimal to no reflective coating. The purple tint that helps with screen glare is a nightmare for photos. Please, please, please try to bring a pair without coating. Sometimes you can borrow a display pair from your optometrist that doesn't have coating.
  • Make sure the lenses are clean before your headshots.

Jewelry Should Be Tasteful and Minimal

  • I love jewelry, but try to keep it somewhat subtle so it doesn't distract from your face.
  • Try to avoid anything super flashy, shiny or sparkly to avoid it catching light and becoming a distraction.

Keep Hair Shiny and Natural

  • Only use products that enhance shine. Don't use mattifying products (be careful with dry shampoos on this front!).
  • Do your hair in a style you typically wear. Photo day is not the day to try a new style.
  • Do not wear your hair in a bun or ponytail. It can look like you don't have hair, or if your head is turned, like you have a big bump on one side.
  • Bring a comb or brush and some hairspray with you.
  • Wear facial hair the way you normally would. If you're normally clean-shaven, use an electric razor to avoid redness.


I realize this is a lot to process! Please reach out if you need help deciding what to wear for headshots or if you have any questions. Of course, these are general tips, not hard and fast rules that apply to everyone all the time.

Much Love,