Vermont Headshots // What to Wear

Choosing the right attire for your headshot photo session (or any other portrait session) can be a common concern. While there's flexibility to wear what you prefer, following some guidelines will ensure you look your absolute best in your photos. To help you navigate this process, here are my tried and true suggestions for selecting the perfect wardrobe for your headshots.

Avoid Patterns and Stripes

When it comes to headshots, it's best to opt for solid colors and fabrics that are not distracting. While patterns and stripes may look fantastic in everyday attire, they can create optical illusions like moiré in photos, requiring extra editing work. To ensure the focus remains on you, it's important to avoid bold stripes that draw attention away from your face. Keeping your outfit tidy and simple allows your face to take center stage, rather than being overshadowed by your clothing. Remember, the goal is to highlight your unique features and personality in the headshot.

How to create a slimmer look

When it comes to looking slimmer in photos, the surprising secret is to choose clothing that fits you snugly. Loose shirts can actually make you appear larger than you are. Unlike in real life where we perceive how fabric moves around the body, in a still photograph, only the outer shape is visible. That's why it's crucial to pay attention to arm placement and leave some empty space around the torso when posing for flattering and slimming portraits. Without that space, you may unintentionally appear larger than your actual size. By opting for well-fitted clothing that hugs your body, we can capture the most flattering images. This advice applies not only to casual wear but also to dress shirts and button-downs. Ensure there's no loose fabric, especially when seated, to achieve the best results in your photos.

What about sleeves?

When it comes to headshots, many people express concerns about their arms. While this may not be a worry when wearing a suit or blazer, it becomes more relevant for women who opt for dresses in their portraits. The choice of sleeves can greatly influence the overall look. As a general guideline, it's advisable to steer clear of cap sleeves as they tend to make shoulders appear wider in pictures. For those with toned arms, sleeveless shirts and dresses can be a great option. Alternatively, the universally flattering 3/4-length sleeves can provide a balanced and appealing look. However, it's essential to ensure that the sleeves are form-fitting rather than puffy, as the latter can create the illusion of larger arms or divert attention away from your face, especially if the sleeves have elaborate designs. Prioritizing well-fitting sleeves will help you achieve a more polished and harmonious headshot.


During your Headshot session, I believe in capturing a range of looks to highlight your unique personality and style. To achieve this, I highly recommend bringing multiple neckline options with you to the studio. For women, versatile necklines such as a V-neck, scoop neckline, or bateau neckline tend to work well and create flattering results. However, I suggest avoiding turtlenecks as a general guideline. Although there are exceptions, as I've successfully photographed women who rocked turtlenecks, it doesn't always complement everyone equally. Ultimately, the goal is to find necklines that enhance your features and make you feel confident and comfortable in front of the camera.


Let's talk about jewelry and watches for your headshots. When it comes to these accessories, simplicity is the way to go. Unless you have a distinctive personal style that revolves around bold jewelry, I recommend opting for dainty necklaces and bracelets that won't steal the spotlight from your face in the portrait. It's crucial to ensure that any accessory you choose complements your outfit, particularly the neckline. To make the best decision, I suggest bringing several of your favorite pieces or those with special meaning to the studio. That way, we can collaborate on-site and put together the perfect ensemble for your session. The goal is to create a cohesive and harmonious look that allows your natural beauty to shine through in the headshots.


Once you've filtered out any clothing options with distracting patterns or stripes, it's time to make color choices for your headshot. Certain colors are known to always look good. Classic business attire options like blue, navy, and dark gray are timeless and universally flattering. From there, you can explore jewel tones like purple or venture into light-colored neutrals such as peach or ivory. Remember, having multiple options on hand is a fantastic way to introduce variety into your headshots.

Now, it's common to hear photographers advising against pure black or pure white for headshots. However, I believe that it ultimately depends on how you wear them and the background you pair them with. Personally, I have a fondness for white-on-white or black-on-black monotone headshots. This approach directs the focus towards the person in the image rather than their clothing, creating a minimalist and impactful aesthetic. However, embracing this more artistic approach is essential if you opt for this style in your professional image.

Another factor to consider when it comes to color is whether you have a signature color that you consistently wear. Some individuals have built their entire personal brand around vibrant pink or sunny yellow, for instance. If you fall into this category, it's definitely worth considering incorporating your signature color into your headshot. Doing so adds a personal touch and reinforces your unique brand identity. So, take a moment to reflect on the role of color in enhancing your overall image and confidently infuse your signature color into your headshot.


Headshots go beyond simply capturing a photograph. It's about creating a comfortable and guided experience that helps you look and feel your best. If posing for headshots isn't something you're accustomed to, don't worry. I understand the importance of providing posing direction and wardrobe guidance to make the process smoother for you.

As a photographer, I believe in working closely with my clients to ensure their comfort in front of the camera. I guide them through various expressions and poses that highlight their best features, resulting in headshots they truly love.

If you've been considering updating your headshot or exploring a comprehensive Personal Branding session for your business or online presence, I invite you to click below to learn more. Together, we can create a collection of images that authentically represent you and your brand.