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How to Wear Patterned Wardrobe for Headshots

SRK Headshot Day

Certified Life Coach Ronit Drobey pulls off her personal style by using a red patterned wardrobe for her headshot.

Many of our customers prepare for their headshot session by reading our guidelines for how to look their best in their session that we send each customer when they sign up — especially the wardrobe guidelines.

One of the questions we hear often at a headshot session is about wearing clothing with patterns. Customers follow our clothing guidelines but often bring in their favorite patterned shirt “just in case” it might be a good clothing option for their headshot.

And sometimes that favorite shirt does work! But more often than not that shirt with the large orange and yellow plaid pattern doesn’t make the cut.

Here are more detailed guidelines on choosing the best patterns for your headshot clothing wardrobe.

Our preference for clothing in your headshot session is solid colors and not patterns. The goal for your headshot should be to have the viewer focus on your face — we don’t want anything to distract from that goal. You want that recruiter or new customer to see you and not the pattern in your favorite shirt. We think you should make your clothing statement with colors, and not patterns. See our headshot wardrobe guidelines.

If you do want to bring a few clothing options with patterns — follow these guidelines:

Use Medium or Small Patterns for Headshot Wardrobe

Medium size patterns are best — not too tiny and not too big for your headshot clothing.

Herman Man chose a small check pattern in blue for his headshot clothing wardrobe.

Minimize Patterned Wardrobe Using a Solid Blazer or Sweater

Minimize patterns by wearing a solid colored blazer or outer layer over a patterned shirt or blouse for your headshot clothing.

Architect Bret Walters pairs a grey blazer over a small patterned blue shirt for his headshot wardrobe.

Minimize the Contrast in Colors in Patterned Wardrobe

Pick clothing with a slight difference between the colors. For example pick grey and black and not black and white.

Patricia Johnson goes low contrast between her patterned blouse and leather jacket for her headshot clothing.

Consider Texture Instead of Pattern

Consider texture instead of pattern if you want a clothing option that is not a solid color. That can be a nice alternative — at first glance the garment appears to be a solid color but a second look shows the texture in the garment.

Adriana Mantilla chose a lace woven garment for her headshot wardrobe.

Minimize Patterned Clothing in Group Photos

Of course there are always exceptions when you are giving guidelines and we suggest that you avoid patterns completely if your photo is going to be on a Team Page on your website or if you are in a group photo on the website. These can be distracting because they draw attention to a single individual over the group.

The Tugboat Group chose solid clothing for their group photo wardrobe.

Use Patterns to Show Your Personal Style

So is there a time when you can wear large and loud patterns? Yes! You can wear patterns if you are trying to communicate something specific about your creative style that send a message to “look at my style” and not at my face. You can use patterns to show your big personality. These photos aren’t typically a standard headshot but more full-body photos that are used in personal branding photography.

Donna Clervi shows her personal style and creativity with this leopard patterned dress

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