Dress, you ask? Why does it matter — it’s a headshot!

Au contraire, my friend. “Headshots” is a misnomer. Close crops often include shoulders, and wider shots can be waist-up or full-length. An environmental or team shot might show you standing within a group or sitting at a desk or on a sofa. Think about the goal (what does the ideal end photo look like?), and work backward to choose your wardrobe. 

1: Clothes don’t make the man or woman, they express the individual

What do you wear to work or an audition when you know you’ve got to nail it? Chances are you should wear the same type of outfit for your headshot. Do you have a favorite look? Sharply tailored, sporty, bohemian, casual and easygoing? I’ve said this a few times, but it’s important: what do you want to express about yourself–you specifically, not some fake you? Let that guide your choices. 

2: Comfort is key

There’s a cardinal rule in running: don’t wear anything new on race day. Same goes for headshots. If your shirt tag is scratchy, if the pants are too tight, or if those new heels are rubbing a blister, you can bet it’ll show up in your face. A headshot session can run anywhere from thirty minutes to a half-day, depending on which package you choose and how many different types of shots you want, so make sure you’re dressed to go the distance. You’re the only one who can judge exactly what that is, but we’ve all been in shoes that don’t fit. Not pleasant. 

3: Clean and neat can’t be beat

It goes without saying (even though I’m saying it) that your clothes should be clean, but make sure you try them on and give them the once over before the shoot. Wrinkled shirts, missing buttons, crinkled collars, dangling bra straps and even minor makeup stains show up on camera.  Be your own best assistant. 

4: Color you beautiful

You probably have a good idea which colors complement your skin tone and eye color. (The compliments are never about the clothes, they’re all about you — what beautiful eyes, glowing skin, lustrous hair, etc.). In general, if you have medium or dark skin & eyes, any color except one that matches your skin will work. Contrast is key. Fair skin and blue eyes? Try blues, pinks and grays. Green eyes? Browns, greens and oranges. These are general rules of the color chart, but go with what you know — and you know what you look and feel good in. Keep in mind that solid colors or simple patterns are usually best, because they won’t distract attention from the star — you!  

Want to learn more? Read my whole Guide to Great Headshots:

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