Engagement Session Style Guide
Many people have anxiety about picking out the right outfits for their engagement session. On a wedding day, your outfits are already picked out, so no worries there! But for an engagement session it can be challenging to pick out the perfectly coordinated outfits that reflect the couple's personality and looks good! I've decided to put all my outfit advice in one spot to help my clients pick out the best outfits!
You want to coordinate, NOT match. Wearing the same colored shirt, pants, shoes, etc. looks a bit awkward. Coordinating color is what really brings wardrobe together. I usually choose two to three main colors of wardrobe, and maybe one accent pop of color. Expression is important. We want to see your personality through your wardrobe.
The color scheme you pick may be depend on your preference, where you are getting your photos taken, and what time of year it is. Spring and summer are great times for softer colors, like blue, pink, green and white. However, if you are doing a fall or winter session, you cold pick some deeper colors like maroon, some oranges or yellows.
Coordinate but play with texture
Mix it up. Do not be afraid to mix prints and textures. Or styles for that matter! For example: You could choose a piece with polka dots and a piece with stripes. You could put a denim top with a corduroy pant. Your prints and textures don’t always have to come from your main pieces. From here, you can go a step further and start mixing “styles.”
Find a piece you love and go from there
Find a focal point. When you begin your shopping, look for a patterned piece that you simply cannot live without! This may be a top that you feel absolutely fabulous in, or a beautiful dress. Whatever that piece may be, commit to it and work from there.
Outfit 1: The Classic look
Ladies, dresses always look great! Couple a beautiful dress with some heels or wedges and you have a very romantic look that is slimming and flattering on everyone. Add some jewelry and a few details and your are good to go. Guys, match your lady with a button down shirt, with either some really nice jeans or dress pants. This is a timeless look that never goes out!
Outfit 2: Show your personality
So what if you aren't "fancy" people? I recommend doing one "classic" outfit, and one more relaxed and fun outfit! Pick out something that connects to your relationship. If you both work at the hospital, do one picture in scrubs for fun! If you enjoy working out together, do a picture in your workout clothes! Have fun with it and make sure you feel comfortable!
Dress for the environment. If it is going to be cold during your shoot, invest in really cute coats that look nice and incorportate them! No need to freeze! If it is warm, wear cooler clothes and be sure to bring lots of water!
Also be sure to match your outfits with the setting. A fancy black dress and a dress shirt and tie wouldn’t be the most appropriate wardrobe for a forest or grassy setting. More formal wear would be more appropriate for an urban or “big city” feel.
A few more things
Purchase clothes to fit. And fit well. Keep in mind that for pictures, too large of a polo shirt, saggy ill-fitting jeans or a jacket that’s falling off the shoulders looks sloppy. You’ll be purchasing outfits specifically for pictures, most likely, so choose something that fits perfectly, or even just a little bit snug. Make it look almost tailored. Go a size smaller in jackets, cardigans or blazers. A too-big jean jacket will not compliment shape. If you typically wear a size medium jacket, try on the small. Even if it’s just a little snug in the shoulders, it should lay nicely around your hips and waist, creating a tailored look.
Play on your strengths. Ladies (& gentlemen), let’s be honest…most of us have some insecurities about our bodies. But, my best advice to you is to WORK what you’ve got! Know your body type and what styles will flatter your figure. If you like your legs, show them off! If you think you’ve lost your waist, try a high waisted pant or a tailored blazer. Any shoe with a higher heel will elongate your body and instantly make you appear thinner.
When in doubt, be in contact with your photographer for advice. I know I always give my clients my number so they can text me outfit choices. They are the professionals, so they can give advice about what will look the best.
Many brides have their hair and make up trial on the same day as the engagement session. Not only do they get to kill two birds with one stone, but they have that professional and polished look for their engagement photos.
Most of all, pick something you like and feel good in. Put it on and go have a blast at your session!