Are you wondering what to wear for headshots? Your clothing should be flattering and appropriate for the occasion. Whether you want to take a casual or professional headshot, here are the best fashion tips to employ.

What To Consider Before a Headshot Session

Before you decide what to wear for your headshot, it’s important to consider the following:

a) Purpose 

What is the purpose of the headshot? There are several types of headshots, each with an intended purpose. These include:

  • Creative artistic headshots: These are taken to show your personality and style. They are stylized for press releases, book covers, social media profiles, and other casual uses like Valentine’s Day photoshoots. You want the headshot to convey your charm, essence, and unique selling points. These headshots are ideal for thought leaders, musicians, designers, artists, and other creatives.
  • Commercial headshots: These are taken to sell a product or service. They are more formal than creative photos and are often used on business cards, company websites, and corporate brochures. You want the headshot to look trustworthy, competent, and likable. These headshots are ideal for CEOs, salespeople, real estate agents, and other business professionals.
  • General/Professional headshots: These are taken for general use. You can use them on resumes, CVs, personal websites, and social media profiles. You want the headshot to look polished and professional. These headshots are ideal for anyone who needs a headshot for work or other purposes.

b) Audience

Another factor to consider before choosing what to wear for your headshot is the audience. Who will be seeing the headshot?

  • Formal audience: If you’re shooting for a formal audience, such as a corporate brochure or website, you’ll want to wear appropriate clothing for the occasion. This might include a suit or other business attire.
  • Informal audience: If you’re shooting for a casual audience, such as social media or a personal website, you can be more creative with your outfit. You might choose to wear something that reflects your personality or style.

c) Location

The location of the shoot will also affect what you wear. A studio shoot gives you more control over the environment to dress more formally.

An outdoor shoot will be more casual, so you can dress accordingly. However, if you’re not sure where the shoot will take place, it’s best to err on the side of caution and dress more formally.

What to Wear For Professional Headshots for Female

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Assuming you want to go the more professional route, here are a few tips:

a) Work with solid colors

Solid colors are always a good choice for professional headshots. They are flattering and easy to work with. Avoid any patterns and prints that are distracting. Stripes can cause a moiré effect when the lines in the fabric create a wavy pattern on the image.

b) Choose a color that compliments your skin tone

If you’re not sure what colors look good on you, ask a friend or family member for their opinion. You can also consult a color wheel, which will show you what colors compliment your skin tone. Having a variety of colors to choose from will give you more options for selecting the perfect outfit for your headshot.

c) Stick to classic styles

Classic styles are timeless and always look good. These are fashion items like cardigans, shirts and blazers, or or favorite dresses. They are also easy to wear and easy to find in your closet. If you’re not sure what style is right for you, ask a friend or family member for their opinion. You can also consult a stylist who can help you choose the perfect outfit for your headshot.

d) Go for fitting outfits

You want your clothing to fit well, as baggy or ill-fitting clothes can be unflattering. If you’re not sure if something fits, ask a friend or family member for their opinion. You can also go to a tailor or seamstress and have them make alterations to the garment.

e) Avoid cap sleeves

Cap sleeves can cut off the line of your shoulders, which can be unflattering. Instead, opt for a garment with sleeves that come down to at least the middle of your upper arm.

f) Consider a variety of necklines

There are a variety of necklines to choose from, so you can find one that flatters your face shape. Some popular options include V-necks, scoop necks, and boat necks. In addition, you might want to avoid turtlenecks, as they can be constricting and uncomfortable.

g) Go easy on the jewelry and accessories

Jewelry and accessories that could distract from your face, such as large statement pieces, should be avoided. If you must wear them, keep them simple and understated. Dainty earrings and a necklace are usually a good choice.

h) Make sure your clothes are wrinkle-free

You want your clothing to look neat, so avoid anything that is wrinkled or stained. If you’re not sure if something is wrinkle-free, ask a friend or family member for their opinion. You can also iron or steam the garment before the shoot.

i) Hair and makeup

Your hair and makeup should be simple and understated. You want your features to stand out, so avoid anything overly dramatic. If you’re not sure what style to go for, ask a friend or family member for their opinion. You can also consult a hairstylist or makeup artist.

What to Wear For Professional Headshots for Male

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Here are some tips when preparing to take a professional headshot for men.

a) Colors

Dark-colored suits are always a good choice for professional headshots. They are flattering and easy to work with. Avoid patterns and prints, as these can be distracting. Shirts in light colors are a good option, as they can help soften the suit’s look.

b) Ties

Ties should be simple and understated. You want your features to stand out, so avoid anything overly dramatic. If you’re not sure what style to go for, ask a friend or family member for their opinion. You can also consult a stylist.

c) Hair

You want your features to stand out, so avoid anything overly distracting. Shaggy or unkempt hair can be unflattering, so make sure to comb it before the shoot.

d) Beard/Mustache

If you have a beard or mustache, make sure it is well-groomed. Avoid anything that is too bushy or unruly.

e) Makeup and accessories

Your makeup and accessories should not be too dramatic or distracting, so it is best to keep them understated. Classic styles are always a good choice. Caps and hats should be in colors that complement your outfit.

f) Feature multiple outfits

While you want to keep your clothing simple, you can add interest by featuring multiple outfits in different colors. Different colors can help to add variety to your shoot and give you more options to choose from.

g) Avoid overly casual outfits

You want to avoid anything too casual, such as t-shirts, jeans, and sweatshirts. These items can be unflattering and make you look unprofessional. Instead, opt for more formal clothing, such as button-down shirts and dress pants.

Choosing Colors for Headshots

When choosing colors for your headshots, it’s important to consider the following:

1. Color theory

The colors you choose can affect the way others perceive you.

  • Warm colors, such as red, yellow, and orange, can make you appear more approachable and outgoing. They are also good choices for headshots used for professional purposes, such as resumes and business cards.
  • Cool colors, such as blue, green, and purple, can make you appear more calm and collected. They are also good choices for headshots used for personal purposes, such as dating profiles and social media.
  • Neutral colors, such as black, white, and gray, can make you appear more professional. They are a good choice for headshots that will be used for both personal and professional purposes.

2. Contrast

You also want to consider how your chosen outfit contrasts with the backdrop of your headshot.

If you’re shooting in a studio, you can choose any color. However, you’ll want to avoid colors that blend in with the background when shooting outdoors.

You’ll also want to avoid colors too similar to the background, such as black or dark-colored clothing on a city street.

Outfits that contrast with your skin tone can also be very flattering. For example, if you have a fair complexion, you might want to choose a dark-colored shirt or dress. On the other hand, if you have a dark complexion, you might want to select a light-colored shirt or dress.

3. Textures

In addition to colors, you’ll also want to consider textures when choosing an outfit for your headshots.

Ruffles, lace, and other embellishments can be very distracting in a headshot. You’ll want to avoid anything too busy or overly dramatic.

Solid-colored clothing is always a good choice. However, if you want to add some interest, you can choose an outfit with a subtle texture, such as a linen shirt or a silk dress.

Conclusion

What you choose to wear for your headshot determines how viewers perceive you. After reading this guide, you should better understand selecting the right outfit for your headshot. Remember, the less distracting your outfit is, the better your headshot. Unlike full-body photography, the focus is on your face.

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