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What To Wear For A Photoshoot – Body Type Style Guide

what to wear for a photoshoot
sunglasses: DVF, earrings: Sphera Milano, necklace: Orelia via Lilola Boutique, dress: ASTR The Label, boots: Dolce Vita, bag: Michael Kors (also available in other colors, here), eye makeup: Beauty Counter

Brand photographer, Meg Marie, recently reached out to me to for some help. She wrote: “I’m looking to collaborate with a stylist for my 13-page style guide I’m creating…. [I’ve] shared it with a few clients already and they had the feedback that they wish there were a few more specific recommendations for different body types.” I immediately agreed to share my knowledge. I have spent 12 years dressing women of all ages and body types for the still image, and I concur that the most asked question from women is what to wear for their body type.

Whether you’re posing for a brand shoot or a headshot, below are my top 10 fashion recommendations for what to wear for a photoshoot with an emphasis on body type. You can download my clickable headshot specific style guide with professional-oriented examples for each recommendation HERE. To download Meg Marie’s Style Guide CLICK HERE.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot – All Body Types

The universal flattering and versatile garment is a ¾ length sleeve top or dress with a scoop neck in a rich color like blue, purple, or red.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot If You Have A Large Bust or Short Neck

Skip high necklines, like a crew or turtle neck for a photoshoot. Instead, go for a scoop neck or soft v-neck. If you really want more coverage, a boatneck or ballet neckline is far more forgiving. I gained about 15 pounds over a few years, and it has started to show in my upper body, so I am on a strict open-neck wardrobe diet when I get photographed — that keeps me looking 10 pounds lighter.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot If You Have Wide Shoulders

Skip square necklines, like a tank top or tank dress, as they will widen and square up your shoulders even more. Instead, interrupt the firm horizontal line of your shoulders by creating diagonal lines with a halter top, raglan sleeves, high cut cap sleeves, or chevron stripes.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot If You Have Large Arms

Even slightly bigger arms can photograph large. To assist with this style-wise, any kind of fitted longer sleeve is flattering, as is a high cut cap sleeve or angled short sleeve. If you are going sleeveless, a strap that sits at an angle slims the arm. If you follow me regularly, you will notice that I rarely wear sleeves, which involves a lot of good dressing and excellent posing to get my arms to look thinner. I am carrying a lot of weight in my upper arms and armpits, so it was a joy to not have to worry about that on this shoot.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot If You Have Wide Hips

A pencil skirt or a slim straight leg pant is very flattering for wider hips. Pair it with a tucked-in blouse to balance out the volume below. If you also have a larger bust, a fit and flare dress can be very flattering.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot If You Have An Apple Body

If you hold your weight in your stomach, a tucked-in blouse camouflages the belly. An a-line skirt or dress is also friendly, as is a flared skirt or dress. For reference, I am an apple body. I know the trench dress I am wearing looks straight, but it actually has a slight a-line silhouette to it that smooths out my belly. Feel free to study all the Vanessa’s Style posts to see how I consistently slim my delightful belly in all my photoshoots.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot If You Are Short Waisted

If you have a short waist, a dress will create a longer line for your torso versus a pant or skirt. If you want to do separates, skip belts, and go for a medium-rise skirt or pant. Low rise can be flattering for a short waist, but tends to create a muffin top for most ladies.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot If You Have Narrow/Straight Hips

Narrow hips need fabric to fill in the missing curves. Ruching on the side seams of a pencil skirt, a sheath dress, or a bodycon dress can do this. A flared skirt may also be a good option for you. A printed skirt or dress is also a great way to camouflage the lack of curve. If you want to skip a skirt or dress, slacks and skinny jeans/pants look amazing on narrow hips.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot To Make You Look Taller

Heels will always make you look taller and thinner. Also, shorter skirts and garments that have vertical lines will create length. Notice how tall I look in the images that Meg took of me, even though I am only 5′ 3″. It’s because of the short skirt, straight lines of the dress, and style of shoes: my shoes have a heel and a pointed toe. Pointed toes always create more length than a round toe. A round toe will always shorten you.

What Jewelry Should You Wear For A Photoshoot

Cohesiveness is everything. Make sure all the jewelry you’re wearing is in the same metal tone or material. I generally encourage timeless jewelry looks like hoops, drops, a slim bracelet, and simple rings. I love bold jewelry in an image, but keep in mind trendy jewelry will date the picture faster.
Extra Tip: When wearing bold earrings, skip a necklace. Even the most complementary necklace will crowd a bold earring. Plus, a bare décolletage is slimming.

What To Wear For A Photoshoot When Your Hair Is Up

Hair down tends to be the most celebrated look, but if you are an up-do kinda gal, like myself (pictured here), and you are being photographed with your hair up, wear bold drops or statement earrings. Amazing earrings will take the place of flowing locks.
Photography by Meg Marie Photography
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