WHAT TO WEAR TO YOUR PHOTO SESSION: MEN’S EDITION


SELECTING THE PERFECT LOOK FOR YOUR BUSINESS OR LIFESTYLE BRANDING

The most challenging part of preparing for headshot sessions is trying to figure out what to wear. Overall there are no hard and fast rules, but there are many factors to consider in order to ensure that you look your best. So, gentlemen, this post is for you! Here are all my tried and true tips and tricks for looking your best for your next photo session.

The only exception to the no-rule rule, whatever you choose to wear make sure it feels like you, a style that you're comfortable in.


  • Generally: Solid colors looks great
  • Contrasting colors
  • Wear something fitted but not too tight not too loose

STYLING

Overall, men often tend to wear clothing that is way too big for them. A collared shirt should always fit snug to the back of the neck, and should never be too baggy. Here in the Bay Area, a buttoned up shirt is staple for professional men’s attire, but be sure to go for the style that has a stiffer or button-down type of collar. The collar that lies flat is not a good look for a headshot. It ends up looking too casual and messy and ruins the natural lines of your neck and chest, distracting from your face, which is the most important part of your headshot. Shirts and jackets (and pretty much all clothes) should be wrinkle-free. Photoshop is amazing, but fabrics with textures and patterns cannot be retouched well. Wrinkles can’t always be removed and they can seriously affect the overall appearance of the shot. Long sleeve dress shirts really need to be well-pressed and wrinkle-free. Or, if you don’t have time to have your clothes pressed, wear a well-tailored jacket over your shirt to solve that problem.

COLORS

Keep patterns to a minimum. No logos. Ever. If your hair is graying, it may be a good idea to wear darker colors (avoiding light grays) that contrast with your lighter hair so you don’t look washed out. In general, solids are better than patterns. Avoid pastels if you have light skin tone – they can wash you out and the color can wash out in the bright studio lights. If in doubt bring one neutral that is light (think cream, beige or white), one neutral that is dark (think navy blue, or gray), and then one bright color option. Consider if we shoot in the studio that the studio background will be gray or white, so your suit jacket or shirt should contrast a bit with one of those backdrops. As we age, lighter colors may be more flattering and fresh than all black as darker colors near face can draw more attention to wrinkles.

ANITA'S TIP! Usually, you can never go wrong with a simple, classic well-tailored button up shirt with a jacket.

SUGGESTED COLORS FOR HAIR AND SKIN TONES


GENERAL RULE OF THUMBS BLUES and GRAYS ARE COMPLEMENTING COLORS NEARLY ON ALL SKIN TONES

If you have more a yellow skin tone avoid greens and yellow. If you have a rosy skin complexion avoid reds for your photoshoot

FAIR TO MEDIUM SKIN BURNETTES:

  • Light, Medium blues
  • olive, medium greens
  • light medium purples
  • Grays

FAIR TO MEDIUM SKIN BLONDES:

  • Medium and Dark Blues
  • Grays
  • Medium to dark reds
  • Medium to dark greens
  • Medium to dark purples
  • Grays

MEDIUM TO DARK SKIN BRUNETTES:

  • White & ivory
  • Light to medium pink
  • Light to medium blues
  • Medium to dark reds
  • Grays

REDHEADS:

  • Medium to dark greens
  • brown
  • medium to dark blues
  • Grays

ACCESSORIES


Women are not the only ones who have to worry about accessories. Accessories are fun, but be sure to choose accessories that do not overwhelm your face. The point of a headshot is to accentuate your most engaging features, your face, so distracting from that was a giant pair of glasses or a monster tie may not be the best choice, unless that is a part of your personal style. If you are having a portrait-3/4 length look taken along with your headshot, be sure to wear a belt. If you are wearing a suit jacket, bring a variety of tie choices to be sure to pick which one best fits with the overall headshot look.

ANITA'S TIP! Simple is always best. While accessories can provide a polished and complete look in person, often these little details can go unnoticed in the images due to long hair or angles. Choose your accessories wisely, and keep it simple.

For larger branding photo sessions, consider working with a stylist to plan your different wardrobe looks. Some clients have had great success with going to Nordstroms and working with one of their stylist in the men’s department.


UNDERGARMENTS


Some men like to wear t-shirts under their shirts, but for headshots, this is not a good idea unless you really want to add bulk to the overall look of your shot.

ANITA'S TIP!  Try your undershirts on with your shirt before your shoot. Make sure it’s fitted and not too bulky while also not showing through your outer shirt. White or nude colors are best.


WHAT NOT TO WEAR FOR YOUR SESSION - STYLING SELECTIONS TO AVOID!

If you have recently lost weight, then this is the time to buy new shirts that fit. I can’t tell you how many guys come in with shirt collars that are way too big on their necks. Collars need to be stiff and/or have a collar stays put. Yes, these all probably seem like no-brainers, but you’d be surprised how many people bring these kinds of items to their shoots. Once you’re here, what you’ve got is all we’ve got to work with. That shirt that fit “perfectly” a few years ago might not fit so well today, so be sure to test everything.

Trends may seem fashionable today, but keeping with a clean classy look will ensure that your photos will last years longer and still flatter your best assets.

Contrary to popular belief, there are really no absolutes when selecting a wardrobe for headshots. So please bring anything that feels good and looks good on you. 

  • Avoid too loose or baggy
  • clothing wrinkled shirts or coats
  • Crazy busy patters
  • jackets that are too small for you
  • shirts that are too tight causing your buttons to look like they could bust out at any moment.