What to Wear

It’s time to decide what to wear for your session!

Does this statement excite you or strike fear in your heart?

What to wear is one of my favorite topics.   It makes a huge difference in your photos.   How you dress helps to illustrate who you are, what you like, how multiple people go together and either lets you shines or takes center stage.  I love to help clients with their wardrobe choices which we usually do by text, email or Facebook picture messages.

First Things First

My number one piece of advice is for ladies to wear a well fitted bra.

Wearing a great bra does amazing things for a woman's figure including loking more fit and slim.  When there are no extra lumps or gaps and the sisters are in the right spot, your outfit comes together in a fabulous way.

Great bras make clothes just fit so much better.

Coordinate | Not Matchy Matchy

After that awesome detail is taken care of, the fun part starts.  The key is to coordinate without being matchy matchy or clashing.

Pick the same tonal value and apply it across all outfits.  Tonal value is the relative lightness or darkness of color.  Sticking with the same lightness or darkness through everyones clothes really makes for a cohesive look (example color pallets below).  It also ensures that you are the stars and not your outfits.  Think of it as the opposite of household design where you want a pop of color for visual interest.  When you add the pop of color in a your session outfits, the attention is then drawn to that pop or just the person wearing it.

It is also important when considering pairing your deep outfit colors with bright white or when you are going for soft light colors with dark pants.  That dark or brightness of the highly contrasting color snaps the viewers eyes to the 'pop of color'.    Almost no one gets it perfectly right.  That is soooooooo ok.

This advice is about the absolute perfect ideal and anywhere close to that looks fabulous.  No fuss No muss.  The featured family image has very coordinated light tones with two in deep toned jeans.  They look awesome.  If it has been only one person in those deep toned jeans, then it would have been off in a way that didn't work.

What Else?

Finding colors is great.  There is also style, texture, pattern and fit.

Mom is #1

Most of the time I suggest starting with clothes for mom and build everyone the other outfits around this one.  When mom is happy with how she looks, everyone is happier.

Of course, in some families there is one person with either a limited wardrobe or a very specific sense of style.  In those cases, build their outfit first, then turn the attention to everyone else.

Check Your Closets

Start with what you have, especially if you have a tight budget, and then add complimentary pieces if you need to shop.  The pictures will last forever, while the outfits will only last until the kids grow out of them or the trend ends.

Texture is Awesome

Layers and textures work great to add visual interest in images.  Layers can also be very flattering for showcasing or minimizing body features.  There are a lot of examples of great layering, how to get fit right and slimming in my Pinterest board dedicated to plus size women.  Now, if you aren't plus size, it is still great resource as ALL of the tips are good for the slim ladies too.  

If you are on Pinterest, I highly recommend checking it out!

Plus Size

I photograph real women.  That means women who come in a wide range of sizes.   Over the last few years, I've spent a lot of time looking for examples of good clothing choices for women over size 12.  These are pinned on my What to Wear for Plus Size women board on Pinterest.  I've commented on every image and design graphic pinned to the board why the image or graphic is great.

If you are on Pinterest, I highly recommend checking it out!  

If you aren't on Pinterest.  In short: v-necks are great, shoulder seams go on the shoulder edge, if wearing a loose top or bottom the opposite piece should be fitted, use accessories and any patterns to create verticle lines .

Building Outfits for Your Family | Pinterest Link

So far, I have concentrated most of my advice on women.  A lot of people think to pick out the kids items first, but I think people are happier when they start with mom.  Building the family wardrobe is great when you start with the color advice and add in the fit and texture advice.  

This What to Wear for a session Pinterest board is filled with visual inspiration no matter what your style.  There are outfit examples for an everyday look, dreamy/flowy, stylish, soft neutrals and bright bold looks. Lets not forget fitting a bra properly is also in there. ;)

There are image examples showing families, parent/child snuggles, couples, maternity and adults.  Most of the Pinterest images I find are of slim folks, but the ideas work for everyone.  You'll find in my own samples and image shares people of all sizes and ethnicities, because that is real life.

Fit, Style & Other Tips | What to Wear Inspiration

Finding colors is great.  There is also style, texture, pattern and fit.  

Fit is key

Popular styles change over time.  Some trends are great for picture day, while others are not so delightful.  Keep in mind outfits look great when they are not too tight and not to loose.

I love shoulder seams on the edge of a shoulder and not coming down the arm.  That verical line comign off the shoulder slims and defines.  

When wearing something tight, then the other half of the outfit should have more fullness and vise versa.   

Check Yourself Out

The test of a good outfit for women is to stand in front of a mirror and move around in different directions seeing how you look in different angles.  Some outfits look great when we are standing static in front of the mirror but may not perform so well when bending and hugging our little ones.

So move, bend and do a little dance. Grab your sweet child and have a moment where you wrap your arms around their neck and say sweet words to them as you look at each other in the mirror.

Be You

Having said all that, I am a huge fan of dressing to your personalities and similar to how you normally dress.  

Dress in what brings you happiness.  If you love dressy clothes, let's do it.  If you love comfort and jeans, then go for that.  If your family is all out there with widely different personalities, then don't coordinate at all.  

Rules are there for the majority, and some should not follow them to be happy.


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