What to Wear?

by Taylor Hooper


WHAT TO WEAR IN YOUR HEADSHOTS? – Headshot Tips by Taylor Hooper: Headshot Photographer, NYC

What to wear in your headshots is one of the most important things to think about before your session. Clothes should enhance and not distract; say something about the characters your are right for, but not look like a costume; show you off at your best, stand out in a pile of head shots; and finally show your personality. Look at my portfolio and other resources and see what you like about the clothes in headshots that jump out to you. Think about what outfits you have that make you feel hot, get you lots of compliments, or that you wear for auditions. There are no rules in my book, but some of the guidelines below might make it easier to choose from your wardrobe.

1. SIMPLE: The simpler the better, we don’t want the clothes to distract from you and your personality in the shots.

2. FITTED: This is most important! Tailored, fitted clothes photograph best!  Baggy, flowy, blousey clothes will make you look heavier in the shots.

3. CRISP: In a perfect world we would prefer clothes to be brand new- but washed once. So that it isn’t straight out of the package, but also isn’t faded or distressed. I recommend having everything you bring professionally cleaned and very well pressed/ironed. Bring your clothes on hangers if possible. Wrinkled clothes photograph very messy and are distracting. *Dress/button up shirts MUST be ironed as crisply as possible (pressed professionally is ideal) or they may not be usable.

4. COLORS/PATTERNS:  Blacks, browns, and vibrant colors (yellow, green, red, bright blue) all look great in headshots. Solid colors are best. Bring at least one color that matches or brings out your eyes. Patterns that are bold but not busy can work- stripes, gingham, bold polka-dots, stuff like that can look pretty cool.

5. LAYERS LAYERS LAYERS: Layers look GREAT in shots- especially for men. Bring a variety of shirt styles and layers that can go on top. Blazers, jackets, hoodies, sweaters are all good choices.

6. JEANS: Bring a pair of nice-fitting jeans. They look great, plus, having pockets gives you something to do with your hands in the shots. So make sure that your jeans actually have pockets- jeggings I am talkin’ to you! This is especially important for women.

7. T-SHIRTS AND TANK TOP: Ladies- please bring at least 1 tank top (if it’s spaghetti strapped make sure you have a bra that works well with it- like a perfectly fitting strapless that doesn’t show through at all), even if you don’t like your arms or shoulders. You might be surprised at how flattering they are in headshots! And if you don’t have any new tank tops in your drawers, head to H&M, Uni Qlo, or Forever 21. Men- Bring a couple t-shirts, V NECKS tend to be more flattering than crew necks. And if you don’t have any FITTED, SOLID COLORED NEW t-shirts (Preferable v-neck) head to Uni Qlo, Old Navy, or Express for men.

8. BELTS: Bring some belts- ladies especially. For the ladies they can look really nice over a dress or cardigan to make it look a little more on trend- and cinch the waist in a little bit.

9. AVOID: Busy patterns, baggy clothes, and jewelry/accessories. Pastels don’t usually work- richer colors photograph better. Cardigans don’t usually work for women unless you are trying to look more matronly, conservative, or a bit older. Cardigans VERY rarely work for men. Although they are very trendy right now, they do not always translate well in headshots.

If there is something that you really love that doesn’t fit the guidelines, bring it and we can try it out!