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What to Wear for Headshots

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Styling yourself for headshots.

Choosing the right outfit for professional headshots can be stressful, and sometimes we aim to find a way to start that process. While our outfit choices can play a significant role in how we appear on camera, the neckline and sleeve cuts can make an even bigger difference. So, let’s start there! Choosing the right neckline and sleeve cuts can flatter our features, complement our body shape, and create a more balanced and cohesive headshot look. It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed or like you don’t know where to begin when choosing the best neckline for your body type, especially when so many options are available. In this article, we will explore how to choose the right neckline and sleeve cuts for your body type to ensure that you look your best in your professional headshot.

Professional portrait of an African American woman with short brown hair, smiling at the camera, wearing a plum purple blazer, taken by Twin Cities headshot photographer.

High Necklines and Headshots

If you have a smaller bust, wearing tops with higher necklines can help to create the illusion of a fuller chest. Tops with high necklines, such as turtlenecks, mock necks, or crew necks, draw attention upwards towards the face and neckline, creating the illusion of a longer torso. This can help balance your proportions and create a more flattering silhouette. Additionally, tops with ruffles, embellishments, or textured fabrics can add volume and create the illusion of a fuller chest. Avoid low-cut tops or plunging necklines, as they can make the chest area look even smaller. Instead, opt for tops with higher necklines to enhance your features and create a more balanced look in headshots.

Lively portrait of a Caucasian woman with brown hair, wearing a blue floral shirt, sitting on a white couch with greenery in the background, smiling at the camera, and holding a mug, taken by Minneapolos-St. Paul professional photographer Block Portrait Studios.

Boat and Slash Necklines!.... Wait what?

Wearing tops with a boat or slash neckline can be an excellent option for individuals with a pear-shaped body who want to create a professional and polished appearance in headshots. Boat necklines make a horizontal line that visually widens the shoulders and balances out the hips, creating a more proportional photo appearance. On the other hand, slash necklines create a diagonal line that can elongate the neck and create a more streamlined look. These neckline styles help create a more open and approachable frame for the upper body without exposing too much skin. Choosing a top that fits well is essential for a professional headshot, as this can create an unflattering or unprofessional appearance in photos.

Portrait of a blonde, Caucasian woman, wearing a black, boat neck shirt, smiling at the camera, standing in front of a white background by Twin Cities photographer.

Should I wear a V-neck for my headshot?

For individuals with broad shoulders, a larger bust, or a shorter neck, wearing tops with a V-neckline can be an excellent option for a professional headshot. V-necklines can create a more flattering and balanced look by drawing attention downwards towards the center of the body and creating the illusion of a longer neck, which can help make a more streamlined and polished appearance in photos. Additionally, V-necklines can create a more open and approachable frame for the chest area without being too revealing. Opt for a top with a moderate V-neckline and pair it with a pencil skirt and blazer for a sophisticated, professional look in your headshot.

If you’re wearing a top with a high neckline but want to create the illusion of a V-neck, jewelry can be a great way to soften the neckline and add that same elongated effect.

Photo of a Caucasian woman with curly brown hair, standing in front of a black wall, wearing a grey turtleneck and a chunky necklace, posing for a professional headshot by Block portrait Studios.

Sleeve Types to Avoid

If you’re getting professional headshots, it’s generally best to avoid tops with batwing, grown-on or dropped shoulder cuts as they can create an unflattering or overly casual appearance in photos. For example, batwing sleeves are typically loose and baggy, making the arms and shoulders appear larger than they are. Similarly, grown-on or dropped shoulder cuts can create a more relaxed and slouchy appearance, which may not be suitable for a professional headshot. Instead, opt for tops with more structured and tailored sleeves, such as set-in or inserted ones. These types of sleeves can create a more polished and put-together appearance in photos, helping you to look your best in your headshot.

Avoid Batwing Sleeve Style: This style can appear unflattering in photos as it adds width to your midsection.

Verdusa Women’s Batwing Sleeve Knot Side Round Neck Blouse Shirt Top: https://a.co/d/hzofLCc

Avoid Dropped Shoulder Sleeve Style: This style can appear unflattering in photos as it pulls down your shoulders and frame. 

BTFBM  Solid Color Ribbed Knitted Casual Winter Pullover Sweater: https://a.co/d/hwAQ7pI

Jewelry Tips for Headshots

Wearing earrings or bracelets can add visual interest to your outfit and create a more cohesive and put-together look. When choosing jewelry, it’s essential to consider the neckline of your top and select pieces that complement the style and color of your outfit. Avoid wearing jewelry that is too bulky or distracting, as this can take away from the overall appearance of your headshot. Choosing the right jewelry can soften high necklines and create a more flattering and balanced look in your photos.

Look and Feel Comfortable for Headshots.

Choosing clothing that is not only flattering but also comfortable and easy to move in is essential. Rigid or stiff fabric clothing can be uncomfortable, making you look stiff and awkward in your headshot. Additionally, the stiff fabric can create unflattering wrinkles or folds in your clothing, which can detract from the overall appearance of your photo. Instead, choose soft, breathable clothing that drapes well and moves with you. Fabrics such as cotton, silk, and jersey can be a great choice for professional headshots, as they are comfortable to wear and create a more natural and relaxed appearance in your photos. Softer fabrics can also create a more flattering and feminine silhouette, which can help to highlight your best features and make a more flattering appearance in your headshot.

Portrait of a blonde, Caucasian woman, wearing a black, boat neck shirt, smiling at the camera, standing in front of a white background by St. Paul Photographer.

Express Yourself in Your Headshot

While all of these tips refer to the structure of your clothing, the most important thing to remember when deciding on an outfit for headshots is that it should still represent you and your unique and personal style. So express yourself and show off the style that makes you, you.

Professional portrait of a blonde, Caucasian woman, with tattoos on her arm, wearing a blue shirt and leaning over a couch smiling by Twin Cities Photographer.

Professional portrait & business branding photography studio, Block Portrait Studios helps celebrate professionals and teams like yours with thoughtfully captured business portraits & headshots. Call us now at 651-400-0714 or schedule a call with us today!

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