What to Wear For Senior Portraits

What to Wear for Senior Portraits

The first question that comes to most of my clients mind as they consider having their senior portraits taken is what should I wear? So to answer all your questions I have written this article to give you confidence that you are making the right choice and now you are ready for a wonderful photo session.

What to Wear

I have put together a few suggestions on clothing to help you have a great portrait session creating truly flattering images.

Eagan Senior Portrait Photographer Alyssa Oakmas Session

What to wear for senior portraits

First and foremost, you really want your face and expressions to stand out in your portrait. Everything else is secondary. When photographed against a medium or dark background, dark or medium toned colors photograph best for your close-up poses. And of course, darker shades are more slimming.

For shirts and tops, avoid colors that are too similar to your skin color. (These might be a brown, beige, tan, or very pale peach, and very pale gray). For many people these shades can drain the color from your face, making you appear washed-out.

Bring a variety of color, don’t bring all blue outfits even if it is your favorite color. Change up the style, bring some dressy, some semi-dressy, and some casual outfits that express who you are.

When planning your outfits think about your complete look from head to toe. We will taking photos that are close-up, full length, and some in between. So you want to think about shoes and accessories too.

What to wear for Senior portraits

Casual and Stylish

Casual portraits give you much more variety in clothing, color and style. We can also be much more creative with our digital imaging.


You can choose your favorite sports outfit, sundress, slouchy sweaters, shorts or jeans outfit. Pick the colors you really like. Chances are, they’re colors others say look really good on you, too. Textures are great, as are interesting hats, belts, jackets and scarves.


Eagan Senior Portraits Cool Senior Portraits

You can choose your jeans, casual or sports wear, letterman jacket. You may want to bring your sports uniform and equipment.  I have been finding really great results with guys in solid colors and long selves.   Like this picture of Joe above,  It is awesome .    BTW, use the color of the shirt to blend with skin tones or eyes.

Dressier Looks


Wear a neckline that is flattering to your face and neck: Round faces, square jaw lines, or shorter necks look best in a v-neck as opposed to a round or crew neck. Thin faces, pointy chins, and very long necks look better in a boatneck, crew neck, or round neckline.

Avoid tops with large, contrasty, distracting patterns. Solid colors are much better. Unless your arms are super-skinny, avoid short sleeves because they make arms look heavier and shorter. If you feel your arms are heavy, sleeveless looks are great but avoid “spaghetti” straps. They too can draw attention away from the face.


A sport coat and pants work great. An alternative look would be a dress shirt and a sweater that is a solid color or has a slight pattern. If you want to wear only a dress shirt and tie, wear a colored shirt. White shirts look best under a jacket.

Outdoor Portraits

location senior beach portrait
Bring an outfit that blends with the colors of the outdoors, be it the park or the beach. If you are the outdoor sports kind of person, let’s create something special with your gear.

Wear blue jeans or khaki pants unless you want a dressier look (girls, wear longer, flowing dresses.)

Additional Tips

Be sure to include one outfit mom will like– we can still do plenty of stuff you like!

Be sure to iron any of your clothing that is wrinkled prior to you portrait session.

If you choose clothing with large words on it – please bring an alternate piece because somethimes text on clothing may not photograph well.

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About wpadmin

As a Minnesota based photographer and artist I have been greatly influenced by the Upper Midwest. I focus my skills and energies on landscapes, cityscapes, architectural, fine art and portrait work. My best work comes from images first painted in my mind. I mull over a prospective image for weeks or months, seeing it from different angles and perspectives, then finally deciding what to capture. The result is images that deeply touch people's emotions and powerfully evoke memories and dreams. My images are used commercially by companies and organizations ranging from Financial Services firms, mom and pop Ice Cream shops and The Basilica of St Mary to communicate their shared vision and values. Book and magazine publishers have featured my images on their covers. My photographs also grace and enhance the decor of many fine homes.
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