What to Wear for Family Photos

The calendar says fall. But, for us living in the South, fall won’t hit us until maybe Christmas Eve. We delight in wrapping up in warmer clothes, sipping on lattes, and cranking down the air conditioner to make it feel a little more like the season.

Since living in East Texas, I don’t think I’ve ever taken Christmas photos when it actually felt like Christmas. We’re usually sweating, sticky and miserable, but we’re holding onto the Christmas spirit.

One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What do we wear for family photos?” This can be a tricky one to answer when it comes to Christmastime. We want to evoke a winter feeling, but oftentimes, we’re shooting in September and October while we’re still hitting stifling temperatures.

Here are a few tips for what to wear, with a couple hints on how to make Christmas shoots in the South a little more bearable.

Coordinate, but don’t match.

Let’s officially squash this trend of everyone wearing the exact same thing. Say it with me now, “No matching.”

Great. Good. Let’s talk about coordinating. Coordinating means to pick hues in the same color family, or hues that look nice next to each other. I’m going to be selfish here for a moment when I say—Mom, start with your outfit. Find something you love, and then coordinate the rest of the family to you.

Match your style.

Look at your home décor, look what’s in your closet. Do you love bright colors? Or, are you surrounded by earth tones? This can give you a jumping off point to a pallet that you’ll love and feel comfortable in.  

Limit patterns.

Keep patterns to a minimum. Limit patterns to 1/3 of your group. So, if there are three people in your family, only have 1 member of the family wear some sort of pattern. AND, if you do have a pattern, keep it minimal and subdued. That means, a light check pattern is good—a bold Hawaiian shirt is bad.

Southern hint—Look for a blouse or shirt that has a fall pattern, but thin, breathable fabric. You’ll look more like fall but feel a whole lot cooler. Dresses are a great option, too.

Don’t forget accessories.

Belts, scarves, ties, jackets, bows—they all add dimension to a group photo. Jewelry fits here, too, but just like patterns, keep it minimal and subdued.

Southern hint—Look for a thin linen scarf to keep you a touch cooler but feel like fall.

Plan ahead and look for inspiration.

This is the hardest piece of advice for busy families. But, don’t wait until the last minute. Plan out your outfits. Make sure everyone has a coordinating piece to the puzzle, and make sure everything fits! That pair of khakis you pulled out of the closet for your tiny tot may have fit three months ago, but now he looks like he’s catching crawfish. Still not sure what to wear? Go online and check out your favorite clothing retailer or Pinterest for inspiration.

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