Finding the best outfits for engagement photos can be overwhelming! Clients often ask me for help when they are picking their attire, so I wanted to share my biggest tips. This way, you can go into your engagement session with a little less stress, and feeling confident in what you chose! For many of my clients, I suggest they bring a few outfits to the shoot, and I can help them decide on the final look. Or, they can send me photos beforehand! I am not a fashionista by any means, but I have seen plenty of success and failures in photoshoot wardrobe to be of some help.
How Many Outfits Do I Bring?
One big question I get asked is how many outfits to bring. Most of my clients wear just one outfit for the entire shoot. If you do want another outfit, I recommend just one change – otherwise, a lot of time is spent changing instead of taking photographs. But it’s totally up to you! For my engagement sessions, there is no time limit on the shoot. However, my clients typically get tired after 1.5-2 hours, so that is the average time of an engagement shoot. So for a 1.5 hour shoot, we would have enough time for 1 outfit change.
Also, depending on where we are, there may not be a place to change clothes. Some clients have just hopped in the back of their car or quickly dipped into a coffee shop if there was one nearby. So keep this in mind when bringing outfits! This is where layering can come in handy. For the guys, they could wear a sweater over a button-down, giving them two top options.
How To Coordinate For Your Engagement Photos
1. My biggest tip is to select outfits that you feel like yourselves in. You want to be comfortable! Make it a snazzier version of your everyday selves.
2. Wear shoes and clothes that you can move around in. We may do quite a bit of walking. Or bring some flats you can slip on and off while we walk to different locations.
3. Choose outfits that are similar in formality. For example, don’t pair her cocktail dress with his flip flops. If one person is wearing a formal dress, have the other in a formal suit.
4. Opt for coordinating colors, from the same color family (blues, earth tones) instead of matching colors. You don’t have to both wear the same color! Another way to pull this off is to accessories in the same accent color. So maybe the ladies shoes matches the guys tie!
5. Don’t forget the accessories! The accessories are a huge part of your outfits. Whether you chose cute flats or fabulous heels, they will be showcased! You can also include fun jewelry, scarves for the colder weather, or hair accessories.
6. Bright solid colored shirts photograph best. This is a big one for the guy! Be careful if choosing a pattern. Loud patterns can photograph too busy or distracting. I recommend a simple pattern in neutral colors – or just stick with solids to be safe!
7. Layers are awesome! Remember, we might not have an ideal changing location for your shoot if you decide to change. So layers can create multiple outfits, without changing.
8. Avoid bright white shirts. Ivory or cream photograph better. Also, color looks great! But if you prefer darker tones, I feel strongly that darker colors like eggplant, navy, rust look better than black unless we are doing something super formal and glamourous.
For The Guys
While the lady sometimes steals the show when it comes to outfits, don’t forget what the groom is going to wear!
1. My go-to outfit is simple. Cool jeans, a collared shirt, and a loose tie is simple, easy to put together, and fun! Remember, simple is good!
2. Wear stylish shoes, they will be in the photos. Unless you are in a swim suit, Do NOT wear flip flops. Boat shoes, Sperrys, or casual sneaker are better if you are going summer / casual for part of the shoot. But pay attention to your footwear. They are part of the overall look and tends to be what is thought about the least. Let’s keep those beat up tennis shoes at home!
3. Consider clothes that flatter your figure – this means be careful of wearing gigantic oxford shirts that don’t fit properly. Try to make sure your attire fits you well!
For The Ladies
1. Most important – wear clothes that flatter your figure and you feel beautiful in. Wear something that shows off your waistline…”Don’t waste a waist!”. Even if you’re more of a billowy sundress type, I would recommend wearing something that is more fitted in the waist. Those billowy dresses and blouses make you look much heavier when it’s a looser fit. If you don’t love your arms, please avoid sleeveless shirts and dresses. (This is me totally! I can’t do sleeveless!)
2. A fun jacket with colorful jewelry with a neat pattern underneath always looks great. Accent jewelry (colorful bangles, a large necklace, rad earrings) looks killer in photos. And don’t forget to bring the accessories. Cute hats, tons of jewelry, scarves, heels you name it. We can mix and match throughout the shoot.
3. While I love accessories, avoid wearing watches or rings unless they have sentimental value. We want to emphasize your engagement ring.
4. Similar to the guys, my go-to outfit is simple! Cool jeans and high heels are awesome and always look good.
5. Avoid polo shirts and short hemlines – for some reason, very few girls can pull this off well. If you want a polo shirt, make sure its fitted to a woman’s body and not cut straight. The bottom edge of the shirt should hit at your hips or lower.
6. Watch dress or skirt hemlines for when you are sitting. Test all of your dresses sitting and standing before picking them.
7. Don’t forget the hair, makeup, and nails. I would recommend wearing a bit more makeup on the eyes and cheeks than you normally would. False eyelashes on the outer corners of the eye look amazing without making you look like a Kardashian. A stylish hairstyle always looks amazing. This can be a great opportunity to do a hair and makeup trial with your hair and makeup artist! Professional makeup always photographs well. Or, pamper yourself with a blowout – you deserve it! And don’t forget the nail polish. Painted nails look great in photos. Your hands are going to be featured in a ton of photos showing off your gorgeous ring, so make sure you have a fresh manicure!
Plan Your Austin Engagement Session
As you plan your engagement photos, make sure to go over these outfit tips! And always pick a few outfits, and take photos in them so you can see how they look before you are in front of your photographer’s camera. And if you are still unsure, ask your photographer! They can help you finalize your outfits. Looking to do your engagement session in Austin? See my complete portfolio for more inspiration!