What To Wear: Family

February 10, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

When it comes to family portraits, one of the most common questions is, “What do we wear?”

Since these photos will last a lifetime, you’ll want to choose something timeless.

First things first: make sure everything fits everyone and is comfortable. Keep in mind you may be posing in different positions, so the outfits should be comfortable while sitting, too. Ask your children what they’d like to wear. It will make sure they feel comfortable and involved, which might help them feel more like cooperating.

Wear coordinating (not matching) outfits. Stick to a palette of one or two main colors. Lay everyone’s outfits out next to each other to see if they go together, in color, in style, in seasonality. Soft tones and shades of the same color work very well together. Stick with neutrals on the parents, especially if the children are wearing bold colors. If you are planning to hang these pictures on the wall, try to choose a palette that coordinates with your home décor.

Use textured clothing to add depth to your photographs. Accessories, such as a scarf, can add an element of interest. Just don’t go overboard or they will become a distraction. Think one key piece above the waist (e.g., statement earrings with a simple necklace OR simple earrings and statement necklace – not both) and one key piece on one arm/wrist/hand (rings/bracelets, as above).

Stick with solid colors (avoid patterns). One or maybe two family members wearing a pattern or print in moderation might be okay, but patterns tend to draw too much attention and too many tend to clash. Avoid graphics, too - including large logos, as they tend to distract from the most important part of the photo: your faces!

Start with one outfit and build everyone else’s around it. Styling looks one at a time makes it easier to visualize how they will complement each other.

Make sure everything is wrinkle and stain free.

Since it’s cool outside:

For Mom, I recommend a simple, yet elegant, dress. Something in light gray tones and classic lines, such as a sheath dress or A-line skirt. The silhouette is timeless and flattering for any body type. Pair with black heels and delicate jewelry (like a long neck chain) to complete the outfit. Works in any season.

For Dad, let’s put him in a sweater and jeans, if that makes him more comfortable. Choose a dark gray pullover for texture and interest while coordinating with Mom. Black jeans and dress shoes bring some polish to the ensemble. Once it gets warmer out, trade out the sweater for a classic button-down.

For your daughter, I bet she’ll look adorable in a cute red dress. Choose a darker shade to add a pop of color without standing out too much. Strappy black shoes, tights, and a headband complete the look.

Have your son follow Dad’s lead with a sweater and nice jeans, too. Choose a solid neutral gray that picks up Mom’s or Dad’s grays or select a color that coordinates with his sister’s red. Pick a simple but stylish dress shoe. In warmer weather, go for that button-down shirt or a nice T-shirt.


Women are multi-faceted, and I love helping them share images that show their authentic, beautiful, confident shine! How do you want to be photographed? Let's meet over coffee and talk about it. Contact me: text/call 434-226-0365 or email [email protected].



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