What to Wear

Our senior session series is back! It’s been a busy summer and fall for me, so it went in the back burner in favor of shooting weddings and sessions. But in anticipation of the fall, it’s back. And this week, I’m covering probably the most asked question I receive from seniors: what to wear!?!

This is a HUGE topic. Entire books and tv shows are based on fashion and flattering your body, so to think I could cover it all in one post is slightly ridiculous. Instead, I’m going to aim to hit the most important points that work for my clients and seniors. 🙂

I’m going to start with guys, but ladies, all of what I’m writing to the guys pretty much applies to you, so don’t skip ahead!

1 I always recommend at least one dressier outfit. Does it have to be a suit and tie? Absolutely not. It should be your own version of dressy that still fits your style. For one guy, it was a button up shirt, casual blazer/sweater and nicer pants.  For another, it was a three piece suit. And yet for you, it may be a more vintage or layered dressy look. Whatever “dressy” means to you, I encourage you to have at least one outfit for your senior photos that fits that category. Why? Mostly, your older relatives will appreciate something a bit more formal. And I bet your girlfriend will too! But also, it’s nice to have a greater variety of looks to choose from. Also, even if you HATE getting dressed up, I promise it will be fun to take a few photos looking extra sharp. And it will be quick. 🙂


2) Layers, texture, and well thought out styling is your friend.
You probably don’t browse through fashion magazines a ton, but the best looking photos of guys typically include at least one of these elements. Layering a Tshirt, button up, hoodie, AND jacket is something you see quite a bit. Or scarves and hats. A crisp button up short with a more rugged worn in denim jacket and leather watch is a great combination of textures. It can be tricky to get the balance on this right, so feel free to ask for tips or input! I also will send you some inspiration pics.

3) Fear not the pattern!
If I had a dollar for every time someone asked if it’s ok to wear patterns…WEAR THEM and wear them proudly. If you like it, I say go for it. What’s more boring than wearing nothing but solid colors and black and white?  If you want to wear a plaid country style shirt, do it. Aztec print t shirt? Stripes? Argyle? just go for it.

4) Be sure to think about your feet.
A lot of guys forget this since they are used to wearing the same shoes every day. Make sure you have shoes AND socks to match your outfit. That means, brings black, tan, white socks to match your shoes and pants.

5) Beg and Borrow
Does your friend have a cool leather jacket that would work perfectly for your fall session? Ask to borrow it! If you’re falling short on layers or don’t know if you’ve got enough variety, ask to borrow from friends.

Now, ladies turn!

1) Go strapless.
Ok, hang on…you do not need a strapless outfit! What I’m talking about here is undergarments. Please do everyone a favor and just go buy one great seamless strapless nude bra and wear it for your session. Why? Because editing bra lines and hiding bra straps under shirts will get old very fast. Trust me and just do it.

2) Think Beyond Black
Many women think black is the best color because it’s slimming. Yes, this is mostly true. However, it’s not always the best color for photos. Since it’s hard to detect dimension, shadow, and light in black, it doesn’t always photograph well. Yes, this means black “hides”, but in the same way, it doesn’t really reveal he best either. I certainly love black and you shouldn’t be afraid to bring it for your session, but please try not to bring all black.

3) Dress it up
Just like the guys, I encourage senior girls to bring dressy outfits as well. This could be a skirt, dress, or even your prom dress – or all 3! You may not get dressy often or you may love it, either way, try to bring at least one dressy option. You’ll appreciate the variety it adds! And don’t forget jewelry!

4) Bring your best pair of jeans
You know that pair that you love and you look awesome in? Bring those. Most likely, you will only need one pair for your session and you can change tops, but feel free to also bring leggings or other pants. Just know that melt likely you don’t redt bring 5 pairs of dark wash skinny jeans with different pockets…just pick one 🙂

5) Heels!
Bring them. Borrow if you have to, but bring a pair of heels. Even if you never wear them, just do it. Why? Because you posture and posing will change dramatically when you wear heels because of the way your weight shifts when you are standing in them. Plus, you will feel different too! But bring a pair of flats or flip flops for walking – there’s no need to walk 2 blocks in platforms if you don’t have to!


There are SO many more things I could say about what to wear.  When in doubt, bring lots of options!  And bring what you love 🙂



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