July 1, 2020

What to Wear for Senior Portraits | Amanda Howse Photography

What to Wear for Senior Portraits

Deciding what to wear for senior portraits can be nerve-racking, but rest assured you have come to the right place. I love helping seniors pick out the best outfits for senior portraits. So much so that I even have the AHP Style Closet at my studio to help seniors select on-trend pieces for their portraits!

There are a few things to keep in mind when planning your senior portrait outfits, especially if you book an AHP Le Diva session with unlimited wardrobe changes. Scroll through for outfit inspiration and helpful tips, including how to accessorize for your skin tone and what not to wear.

Picking the Best Outfits

The best outfit for senior portraits will combine multiple elements. Start with nude undergarments. The last thing you want is a distracting color underneath taking away from your carefully styled outfits. Avoid patterns or dark colors for your undergarments. Save the bright, jewel-toned colors for your outfits instead.

You will also want to put together layers for your outfit! Layering is a great way to show variety throughout your portraits, as you can add or remove layers to change up your look. Tailored clothing will accentuate your best assets, so make sure you pick clothes that fit you well and make you feel your best. Confidence shines through in senior portraits.

How to Pick Outfits for Senior Portraits | Layer leggings, dresses, jean jackets and more for a versatile look | Guide by Tacoma Senior Photographer Amanda Howse Dress for your body type | A what to wear guide for senior portraits by Tacoma photographer Amanda Howse

Showing Variety

Another way to show variety throughout your senior session is by bringing outfits that represent different styles. Bring a casual outfit and a dressy outfit, but branch out and try on looks that might be considered edgy, glam, or boho. You want to look and feel like yourself, but it is also fun to try out new styles!

And since you’ll be posing throughout your session, make sure all of your clothing is functional. You will want to be able to comfortably sit, squat, stand, and even jump in all of your outfits.

Pick a variety of outfits and different styles for your senior portraits so every photo looks unique. | What to Wear Guide by Tacoma Senior Photographer Amanda Howse

Adding Accessories

Once you have picked out your outfits, it is time to pick accessories! This is such a fun way to show off your unique style, and I love seeing seniors pick jewelry that is meaningful to them. Classic and minimalist jewelry is often the best way to accessorize for senior portraits, as these pieces never go out of style. Stud earrings are the perfect accessory. Simple accessories also won’t distract from your natural beauty.

Fun senior portraits with casual outfit inspo | Photographed by Tacoma senior photographer Amanda Howse | Jean Jacket and other Senior Portrait Must-havesSenior portrait outfit ideas and guide to accessorizing from Tacoma's best senior photographer Amanda Howse | BFF senior portrait session with coordinated outfits

Dressing for Your Skin Tone

Understanding if you have warm, cool, or neutral skin tones is an essential part of deciding what to wear. Dressing for your skin tone will make sure every outfit you wear looks great against your skin. But how do you know what skin tone you have? Here are a few helpful tips:

Look at the veins on your wrist. If they are olive or green, you have warm skin tones. If they are blue, you have cool skin tones. But if there is a mix of both, then you are neutral-toned.

Hold a white sheet of paper next to your chest. If your skin color looks blue or pink, you are cool-toned. If your skin looks green or gold, you have warm tones. Neutral skin tones will fluctuate based on the season.

The jewelry test is another way to confirm what skin tone you have. Using a necklace or bracelet against your skin, ask yourself which metal makes your skin looks healthier. If it is gold, you have warm tones. If it is silver, you are cool-toned.

Also keep in mind that cool-toned skin tends to burn easily, while warm-toned skin tends to tan easily.

If you have warm skin tones, try outfits with orange, red, and gold hues. If you have cool undertones, try wearing blue, purple, or blush colors. Neutral skin tones often look great in white, navy, and grey outfits. But these are just general guidelines! Try out different colors to see what you look and feel best in.

How to pick outfits for your skin tone | Senior girls in casual outfits photographed by Tacoma senior photographer Amanda Howse

What Not to Wear for Senior Portraits

It is just as important to understand what not to wear to your senior portrait session.  Avoid wrinkled and dull clothes. Your senior portraits will be printed, framed, used in yearbooks and graduation announcements, and treasured for years to come.

As tempting as it may be, avoid wearing anything overly busy or trendy! Patterns like camo and plaid can be distracting, as can neon colors. Chunky jewelry and statement pieces may draw attention away from your face. The same goes for cleavage-baring tops and blouses or tight-fitting clothing that may accentuate problem areas.

And mixing it up is so important. Wearing four dresses during the course of your senior portrait session does not show as much variety as a mix of outfit pieces would. Branch out from what might be your signature style and try something different.

Let’s Connect!

Want more ideas on what to wear for your senior portraits? Sign up for my email list and I will send you my guide that breaks down what to wear by body type. Shoot me an email at [email protected], or call/text me at 530-412-0730 to get on the list. You can also reach out on my website.

What to Wear for Senior Portraits | The Best Outfit Ideas and Tips on How to Accessorize from Tacoma Senior Photographer Amanda Howse