General Rules & Advice
You should like and feel comfortable in the clothes you wear in a headshot session. What do you wear to auditions? Chances are you should wear the same type of outfit for your headshot.
Bring shirts in a variety of collars/necklines. The picture may be cropped pretty tight, and some collars and sleeves look funky when cut off. Women, don’t forget to bring bras that match your tops’ colors and necklines.
Solid colors are usually better. Patterns and busy prints distract from your face. The same goes for clothes with big buttons or other features that might take away attention from that beautiful mug of yours. Fine textures and weaves often look nice in pictures.
Wear jeans or dark pants. Even though it is a head shot, your waist and legs might show up. In addition, you might want to bring a dress, suit, skirt, or something else different from a typical pants & top combo.
Make sure your clothes are pressed and clean.
Color Me Beautiful
Choose clothes that complement your skin tone and eye color. No solid white shirts if you’re Caucasian or light-skinned. And bright red usually doesn’t work for anybody. It’s just too strong a color.
Fair skin and blue eyes? Try blues, pinks and grays.
Green eyes? Try browns, greens and oranges.
Medium or dark skin and brown eyes? You can probably wear most colors, but avoid those that closely match your skin tone (contrast is key).
Clothing for Legit vs. Commercial Headshots
For legit/theatrical headshots, bring dressier, upscale clothes with darker colors.
For women: stretchy tops, sweaters, velvet, satin, scoop necks, spaghetti strap, tank tops and v-necks. Also business suits and other professional clothing.
For men: Dress shirts, crew necks, textured sweaters, v-neck, and turtle necks. Also suits and blazers. You can create contrast by layering a t-shirt, collared shirt, and/or leather jacket.
For commercial headshots, bring casual clothes & lighter/brighter colors. Think sporty and fun. Consider layering light and dark clothes for contrast.
For women: t-shirts, tank tops, sweater sets, denim/leather jackets, textured sweaters.
For men: t-shirts, hoodies/sweatshirts, work shirts, polo shirts, denim/leather jackets, textured sweaters.
Want to learn more? Then read the whole Guide To Great Headshots: