What NOT to Wear to Your Headshot Session

Business woman smiling at camera for headshot on dark background

Whether we want to admit it or not, first impressions determine so much in our lives. And a good way to ruin a first impression is to wear the wrong thing. We don’t want that to be you. We’ve written about what you SHOULD wear to your headshot session, but what about what you SHOULDN’T wear?

Here are five things to avoid:

1. Clothes that don’t fit 

Tailor measuring man's back

If there’s one thing you absolutely should leave at home, it’s ill-fitting clothes. Besides not flattering your body, clothes that don’t fit also make you feel self-conscious which makes for a worse headshot experience. When in doubt, take the clothing item to a tailor or replace it with a well-fitting option. You may be tempted to bring an item that almost fits right, but in our experience, our clients end up regretting wearing an item that doesn’t fit quite right in the headshots they choose to purchase. You’ve invested in getting a new headshot to propel your career, so don’t waste that investment by trying to make do with what you have. Sometimes it’s worth a trip to the mall or your favorite online store. 

2. Trendy clothes

Woman choosing between two sweaters

While we’re all for trying new things, your headshot session is not the time to try out a new trend. As we all know, fashion trends change quickly, so we don’t want you to be stuck with clothes that are sooo last year in your headshot. We recommend sticking with clothes you’d wear in your professional day-to-day. Unless of course you are also the type of person who gets a new headshot each year. In that case, you are our favorite kind of person!

3. Busy patterns or loud colors

Tye dye shirt

The focus of a headshot should be on… you guessed it, your head, not your body. When an individual wears distracting patterns or colors, the eye can’t help but focus on the clothing, rather than the individual’s face. On top of being distracting, neon colors, for example, reflect the color of the top back onto the face which is very unflattering. Logos also generally fall under this category. The one exception to this is if you’re wearing clothes with your employer’s logo on them.

4. Wrinkle prone clothes

Person ironing clothes

There’s nothing more distracting than big wrinkles on someone’s clothes. Wrinkles can easily be prevented by choosing clothes made from wrinkle-resistant materials. Cotton and linen clothes are some of the most wrinkle-prone so definitely avoid those. Wools and synthetics on the other hand are extremely wrinkle-resistant so opt for those instead. We also recommend not wearing the clothes you’ll be photographed in ahead of time in order to reduce the chances of your car seatbelt or other movement creating wrinkles before your session. 

5. Uncomfortable clothes

Man grabbing tie knot while looking uncomfortable

Now this one may seem obvious, but a lot of people wear uncomfortable dress clothes to their sessions because that’s the “professional” thing to do. Even though a lot of jobs call for formal pieces like blazers and dress shirts, you don’t have to opt for ones that make you feel uncomfortable wearing them. We are lucky to live in a time where there are many alternatives to uncomfortable dress clothes. For example, many companies now offer performance dress shirts that are wrinkle-resistant, stretchy, breathable, and feel great on your skin. We recommend opting for modern versions of the classics that provide you with comfort yet still look professional.

Now that you know what NOT to wear, you can focus on choosing clothes that will make you feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. 

As we mentioned earlier, check out this blog post for ideas on what to wear.

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