What you wear for a photo shoot is just as important as other details like how you pose posing, the shoot location, and lighting. But most people have a hard time figuring out what to wear for a corporate shoot. While there are no hard and fast rules, there are some things you need to keep in mind when selecting the perfect outfit.

Whether you’re preparing for a full corporate photo shoot or just a business headshot, use this blog post as a guide to choosing the right outfit.

Style

If this is a corporate photo shoot, you want to look professional. Remember, you are representing the company, so go with the office look.

For the ladies, a blouse and skirt, a blouse and trousers, or a suit jacket over a shift dress makes a great option.  Women may also wish to consider knits and jersey fabrics, as they lay nicely on the body.  Avoid stiff fabrics that don’t move well.  For men, sport coat, suit, dress shirt, tie, and polished shoes will do just fine. Make sure that your clothes are clean and free of pet hair.  Make sure that the style is current–not trendy, but current.  You may wish to consider bringing a lint roller to your headshot or portrait session.

Colors and patterns

You should be the main focus of the photo. Steer clear from clothing that is busy or has big patterns as they can be distracting. Plain, mid-tone colors like purple, wine, green, and blue are your best choices since they are universally flattering. Stay away from tops in bright colors or flesh tones, unless they’re mostly covered by a jacket.

Lighter colors are ideal for mature individuals. Dark colors may look more professional, but they can draw more attention to your face; thus, making any wrinkles more visible.

Accessories for your photo shoot

Accessories are fun. But since photos from this session will be used as part of the company’s marketing materials, simple is always best. Avoid wearing accessories that will overwhelm your face. Big necklaces and a giant pair of earrings may not be the best choice.

Get the right fit

How your clothes fit is as important as the color and style. You want to make sure that your clothes fit well. Not too tight, not too loose. If it’s too tight, you’ll end up feeling uncomfortable. When you’re uncomfortable, it shows in your face. Meanwhile, if you wear something that is too loose, it may come off as looking sloppy.

No matter what you choose to wear, make sure not to wear it on your way to the shoot. You want your clothes to be clean and neatly pressed. If you’ll be driving to the location, your clothes may get wrinkled in the car. As such, I highly recommend that you bring your clothes with you and change before the shoot.

When rules are meant to be broken

Sometimes certain professionals can get away with breaking the rules.  There are no rules about who gets to break the rules, but in general, if you’re in a creative field you have more leeway than someone in financial services.  If you’re marketing your identity, and your “look” is part of your identity, then rules can fly out the window.  The most important thing to remember is to think about what your clothing choices are communicating about you, and that the message is in sync with your overall marketing message.

See some of our samples below for excellent examples of wardrobe selections by both men and women for their corporate and business headshots and portraits.