What to wear for a great formal headshot

It’s Monday morning and the all-staff email lands in your inbox with the subject line, ‘New team photos tomorrow!’. Can I help make preparing for your new headshot easier with a few easy hints and tips on what to wear for a top notch formal headshot?

1. Think classic

The best headshots are timeless. Avoid bold, loud, distracting patterns, and logos at all costs. Opt for simple, classic,  well-fitted tailoring where possible. If you’re wearing a suit, choose a classic colour such as black, navy or grey.

2. Colour

Jewel tones, such as blues, greens and purples are often a great choice for a flattering hint of colour without dominating the image. Avoid wearing all black or all white (if you’re intent on wearing one of those colours, try layering white underneath a dark blazer or cardigan, or try a coloured scarf or accessory over an entirely black outfit). Beige, cream or tan tones can wash you out on camera unless there’s enough contrast against your skin tone so generally it’s best to avoid these colours. With a dark suit, try pairing a light shirt with a mid-tone tie for a pleasing range of tones.

3. Necklines

A v-neck is usually the most flattering neckline. Avoid necklines that are too low as you don’t always know where the final image will be cropped. And, from one extreme to the other, avoid turtlenecks as they can chop the neck awkwardly on camera.

4. Jewellery

When it comes to jewellery, less is more. Understated, simple, classic jewellery works best as opposed to on-trend statement pieces which can detract from your face and date the image quickly. 

5. Make-up

If you’re planning to have your make-up done professionally, make sure you communicate your everyday look to the make-up artist - at the end of the day, you still need to look like you! If you’re doing your make-up yourself, make sure to define your eyes and lips (these are our points of connection) so don’t be afraid to slightly over-apply the mascara, and wear a natural / nude lipstick with a pop of colour (strong reds are best avoided for formal headshots).

6. Bonus tips

  • Pressing your outfit in advance always looks best.
  • Have a hairbrush (or comb) and hairspray to hand to tame any awkward flyaways.
  • Give your outfit the once over with a lint roller before taking your place for your headshot to remove any stray hairs or fluff.
  • Make sure you wear an outfit you FEEL really good in - that confidence will shine through into your new headshot.

So there you have it! My top styling tips for a classic, formal headshot. 

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