What To Wear For a Headshot


Preparing for your professional headshot is not just about the clothes you select. It’s also about how you feel about yourself. Be prepared by following these professional tips.

We love when people ask the ever-important question, “What should I wear for a professional headshot?” Coming prepared for a professional headshot is not only important but essential as a great headshot can help not only present yourself to your best advantage but ideally, express your highest potential.

“When you look good, you feel good, and when you feel good, you do good”

Preparing for your professional headshot is not just about the clothes you select but how you feel about yourself, inside and out. Be prepared by following these professional tips:

  1. Avoid drinking too much alcohol or smoking.
  2. Drink plenty of water for a few days including on the day of your professional headshot photo session.
  3. Get plenty of sleep the night before your photo so you look and feel rested.

These tips will help the appearance of your skin look hydrated; lighten under-eye circles and give your skin a healthy glow.


It is recommended not to cut or dye your hair right before the shoot. Stylists tend to cut hair a little shorter so that within 2 weeks it is at its “perfect” length. A new haircut looks more natural after at least a week and colored hair looks best after the first to second week of shampooing.


The best advice for whiter-looking teeth is start the process as early before your professional headshot session, as possible. Either with a natural whitening method or whitened by your dentist. A quick and natural method is to mix some toothpaste with 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of food-grade hydrogen peroxide, and about 1/2 teaspoon of water. Polish your teeth with this mixture and it should quickly whiten your teeth a shade or two. Warning: It is recommended not to use this method more often than once a month as baking soda is abrasive on your teeth and can wear away your enamel if used too frequently.


Wear the amount of makeup that you would during a job interview rather than a first date. Professional, natural and classy is our goal here.


If you have a beard, a nice trim will give a neat and well-groomed appearance, especially important for a professional headshot. If you have a darker colored beard, ensure it is trimmed well so it’s not too thick, as the darker colored beards are accentuated in photos. If you prefer to have a clean-shaven look, get a good shave before your professional headshot.


If you normally wear glasses, bring them to your headshot photo session. If you have multiple frames, particularly colorful frames, bring them and they can be coordinated with the rest of your wardrobe. Also, make sure the glasses are clean and if your glasses tend to slip, we suggest to have them professionally adjusted.

What MEN Should Wear for a Professional Headshot

Think classic when choosing the outfit for your professional headshot.  A favorite suit in darker colors is best. For example, a navy blue or a gray-colored suit would be considered ideal. Stay away from bold and distracting patterns. Thin stripes that are a little further apart are acceptable, like a pinstripe.

Considering wearing a tie? The color of the tie should be where the color tone lands between the suit and the shirt. For instance, if you choose a light-colored shirt to be worn under a dark suit, select a tie in a shade somewhere between them. And stay away from reflective ties that are shiny or too silky, as they don’t reproduce well in a photo.

Considering not wearing a tie? Choose a non-white shirt, if possible. And if you wear a button-down shirt, it is best to wear a jacket or sweater to layer the look. Lastly, if you like to wear undershirts, please make sure it is not visible under your shirt or consider wearing no undershirt for your professional headshot session.

IMPORTANT! Make sure your clothes fit really well.  For example, check your jacket for gaps at the back of your neck and make sure you shirt isn’t too tight where your neck might be bulging over your collar.

What WOMEN Should Wear for a Professional Headshot

Once again… your look should reveal a classic appearance for your professional headshot. The good news is there are many ways to achieve a classic and professional look without compromising your authentic style. Think about your target audience and the image you are trying to portray when selecting your attire.

Considering wearing a business jacket or suit? Colors ranging from medium to dark grey, blue, navy or even red jackets photograph well. Try hues that bring out your eye color and enhance your natural skin tone.

Considering wearing a shirt or blouse over pants or skirt? Consider jewel tones or rich colors. If you want something more neutral, a medium to dark grey would work. Steer away from turtlenecks and shiny fabrics. Dresses are a great option for a professional headshot.  A dress has the ability of translating great color and great fabric texture and can instantly give a classic look. A dress with mid-length sleeves wears well.  Conversely, if appropriate for your business and audience, a sleeveless dress that shows bare shoulders can look vibrant. We suggest having a few photos taken with and without a blazer over a sleeveless dress.

Accessories – Jewelry and Scarves.  Simplicity is classic. The theory of less is more totally applies when having a professional headshot.  However, if you have a signature necklace or jewelry that represents you, then bring it along to your professional headshot photo session.

Likewise, if scarves are your signature trait, we suggest that you bring your scarves and get a few photos wearing a scarf. Scarves can compliment a professional headshot by adding a nice pop of color.

Your Professional Headshot – Final Tips

  • To avoid wrinkles, consider bringing your wardrobe to your professional headshot session on hangers or in a garment bag.
  • For business headshots, bring at least two outfits.
  • Be your true and radiant self.

So there you have it, we hope this article has helped guide you to getting the most from your professional headshot. If you have thoughts or questions after reading this article, please join the others and comment below. We are always delighted to hear from our followers. Cheers!

If you’d like to take look at what we can do for you… check out some of our work here. Better yet, if you’d like to begin a conversation on how we can help you look your best, get in touch with us at jj.loveinmedia@gmail.com or call 720-722-4127.