What to wear

Clothing Advice For Your Portrait

The goals in offering some clothing advice are:

  • to make the people the main subjects

  • to flatter the subjects and help make everyone look their best

  • to have the clothing disappear and be a non-issue


Some clothing advice for your portraits:

  • Wear solid colored clothing so that we see all of your faces and no one person stands out. 
    If someone wear stripes or flowers, they will stand out from the rest of your group.

  • Choose muted tones that are a bit subdued so that you are the subject, not your clothes, and you don’t stand out from the group. 
    Bright colors project (especially reds, oranges, and yellows), which can also make someone look larger.

  • Choose similar tones for your top and bottom (both dark or both light) so that one doesn't look bigger than the other.  
    A white top and dark pants will make your top half look bigger.  White pants and a dark top will make your bottom half look bigger.

  • Choose 1-3 colors for your group portrait, ones with similar tones that go nicely together and have everyone work within that color palette. 
    For example: dark green, navy, and burgundy – all dark jewel tones; or tan, a lighter olive green, and denims – all lighter, softer tones.  So that we see the people first and your portrait looks great.

  • Choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow because arms take up more skin area than the face and will draw attention and it may also make the arms look larger.

  • Choose long pants for men or ladies or a skirt below the knee for ladies so that the legs don’t take attention from your faces, and you will be able to sit and bend without showing too much leg.

  • Choose dark socks and footwear because white just sticks out like a sore thumb and that’s all you’ll notice in your portrait.

  • Keep jewelry simple and minimalistic because too much draws attention away from your face. 
    Graphic t-shirts, sports logos and other items with text draw the eye away from the face and these items can also date the portrait.