Clothing Choices For Headshots

Clothing is a huge factor in getting great headshots. A strong clothing choice can set up a character type, put focus on your face and features, accentuate your body type, and transmit and strong and professional presence. Likewise, a poor clothing choice can make you look sloppy, weak, and even distract the casting director.

As a general rule, your clothing should never distract in the image. It should help put a strong focus on you.

There is not one type of clothing that is perfect for every person and every headshot type. You have to customize your wardrobe to accent your features. However, there are some things to look out for when selecting clothing:

Tight Fitting clothing is best. If its loose, it will make you look heavier in the photo.
Solid Colors work best. Patterns, logos, and anything busy distracts the viewer.
Long Sleeves are good. Short sleeves expose more skin tones on your arms. We want to see your face.

Bring clothing Darker than your skin tone for Featured shots. Exceptions apply.
Bring clothing Lighter than your skin tone for Commercial shots. Exceptions apply.
Layers are nice as they allow for a bit of texture.
Black and White are only good colors if you photographer is experienced. Don’t wear these to auditions.
Gray generally works well for everyone. Darker gray work better than light gray.
If you have blue eyes, bring blue tones.
If you have green eyes, bring green tones.
If you have brown eyes, Gray works best.
Clothing shouldn’t be super bright (unless you are doing children’s headshots)
Bring a variety of formalities (business, casual, semi-formal). Play into your character types.
A suit works great for the industrial / business look.
A long sleeve T-shirt is one of the most versatile options.
Polo shirts are great for a casual/professional look.
Don’t just bring one style. It will limit what you can do.

Make sure that you are planning ahead on your clothing selection. Lay it out. Iron it. Hang them up. Don’t leave it as a last minute decision. You want to look your best. You might need to purchase headshot clothing. This is OK. You’ll be able to wear it to auditions and take it to filming. If it photographs well, it will film well, too.

If you are getting a body shot (1/2, 3/4, or full) you’ll need appropriate pants. For men, bring a pair of dark jeans and a pair of dark dress slacks. For women, a pair of dark jeans and either a pair of dress slacks or a long skirt/dress. You want your lower half to look appropriate to the rest of your appearance.

Don’t forget about shoes. You don’t want to have sneakers in your headshots (unless you are doing a shot showing off your physical side). Generally black dress shoes work best. Ladies, heels are OK. They help shape your legs. Just make sure your look matches. Bringing a second choice is nice. Make sure your shoes aren’t distracting. Dark and solid are great. This means that they shouldn’t be full of straps, be sandals/flip-flops, and should just be there but not pulling attention away from your face.

Always bring more than what you think you’ll need. It is better to show up with too many choices than not enough. Arriving with one wrinkled button up shirt is a bad idea. The more you prepare for your session, the better off you’ll be