Chelsea Williams Photography | What to wear for your Headshot

What to wear for your Headshot

March 23, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

What to wear for your headshot

A professional headshot is an important element in how you communicate your personal brand and market your business to others. A little outfit planning can go a long way in assuring that your final pictures say exactly what you want.

These are my TOP wardrobe tips to consider when preparing for a headshot session. Always bring more clothes than you think you’ll need; you’ll be more relaxed knowing you have outfit options and most photographers will work with you on-site to pare down your selections.

Now for the important part: smile and have fun!


DO: Consider your undergarments. Most fashion stylists will tell you that good “foundations” are the key to any great outfit. For ladies, make sure you have a proper fitting bra—minimizers and full-coverage options are best. Don’t forget a strapless bra if you’re worried your straps will show in a sundress, off-the-shoulder or spaghetti strap top. Seamless panties and shapewear in nude tones that match your skin are also a good idea. Men, don’t forget an undershirt, especially for under lighter tops.


DON’T: Hide your figure. As Coco Chanel once famously said, “Fashion is architecture. It is a matter of proportions.”  The best outfits are ones that balance the width of your shoulders to the width your hips and show your waistline: a classic hourglass figure. Blousy or boxy tops end-up falling from the widest spot on your body, inadvertently making you look shapeless (and bigger) on camera.

DO: Embrace figure-skimming styles. For a slimmer look, believe it or not, form-fitting is definitely best! Don’t feel like you have super model proportions? Most of us don’t, so please don’t stress-out. As they say, fake it until you make it. Belts, princess seaming on jackets and empire waists on tops will help define your waistline while minimizing tummy issues. Shoulder pads will widen the appearance of your shoulders to balance wider hips and whittle-in your waist.


DO: Think textures. Textures like lace, ruffles, and ruching add visual interest without overwhelming.  Look for textured tops in solid colors. Avoid patters as they may detract from your face.


DO: Bring a variety of colors – something light (ivory, white, pastel) something dark (black, charcoal gray, navy), something with a “pop of color” (pick a shade that brings-out the color of your eyes).


DON’T: Show a lot of skin. A little coverage goes a long way in keeping your shot looking professional.

DO: Consider longer sleeves. ¾ length and long sleeves are universally flattering and slimming. Avoid cap sleeves which can actually shorten the appearance of your arms.


DO: Look for layers. Form-fitting jackets (especially those with princess seaming on the back) or slim-fit knit cardigan will work double-duty to cover and slim arms and give you a gorgeous waistline.


DO: Watch your neckline. Scoop, cowl neck, or v-neck silhouettes are great options. Avoid high neck tops as they may make your neck look cut-off in your headshot.


DO: Coordinate your bottoms. Many head shots are taken to show  ¾ of your body’s length. Bring pants or skirts that match your favorite tops: that way if your knee or hip is in the frame, you’ll be stylishly covered. NOTE: There’s typically no need to bring shoes, but always check with your photographer first.  


DO: Accessorize with jewelry. Subtle? Or bold? You choose! Whatever speaks to your personal style.


DO: Come with clean, manicured nails. Hands come into the frame a lot with headshots. Neutral colors, simple buff, or French manicures are recommended as they won’t be distracting and the style is timeless.

Check out my Headshot Pintrest Board for visual examples