Dressing for Portraits

KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER

Simplicity is always the best when dressing for a portrait. The following points are the most important to consider and remember when preparing for your portrait session

Solid colors are best. They help keep attention focused on your face. Avoid large, bold, or busy patterns and bright colors as they will draw attention away from the face. Avoid wearing yellow or green as they can create unpleasant color casts on your skin. Think little green Martian. Not exactly the look you want on your otherwise beautiful portrait. 

White, ivory, khaki, or light pastel clothing — shoes, stockings, pants or dresses — look best in portraits taken against a white or light background. They are also better with fair complexions. Save stronger colors and patterns for accent items. Darker-to-medium colors look better with darker backgrounds and dark hair or complexions.

Light tones in clothing tend to emphasize body size while darker clothing tends to minimize body size. Long sleeve shirts and dresses are recommended. They draw attention away from the arms and focus it on the face. And skirts should cover the knees. (Short sleeves are acceptable for infants and small children).

Coordinate your attire from head to toe, carefully selecting appropriate shoes and stockings, in case you are portrayed in a full length pose.

Necklines are important. A vee or scoop neck is best if your neck is short and your face is full. A turtle neck or high necked garment is more flattering if your neck is longer and your face is slender.

If you’re having a family portrait or couples portrait have everyone dress in the same style of clothing. You don’t want to mix casual and formal attire. You also want to have everyone dress in the same color tones and range. Clashing colors won’t look good. Don’t mix light and dark. Save patterns for accent items like scarves and neckties.

 To assure a successful portrait, try to bring along one or two additional clothing choices if at all possible.

 

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