Wardrobe tips for women’s professional headshots

When it comes to women’s professional headshots, it feels important to wear the right outfit. Obviously you want to look your best for your portraits. But it’s also important to be appropriate for the type of business you are engaged with. And to project the right message

What should you wear for women’s professional headshots?

As a professional corporate headshot photographer with 25 years’ experience, I have a number of suggestions for how to look your best for women’s professional headshots. Starting with what you decide to wear on the day.

So, in no particular order:


  • V-necks and scoop necks are universally flattering. You do want to be careful that they aren’t too low of course or you may be giving the wrong impression. And practically speaking, low V-necks might be cropped out of your photo, which just looks odd.. And finally, V-necks visually elongate the next and that’s nearly always a good thing.
  • Avoid polo necks which can add bulk and detract from your face. For the same reason, it’s better to avoid a scarf which winds around the neck. And big ruffles which can obscure the face.


  • Jewel tones are ideal. This is because they photograph well and are universally flattering. Stick with these and you will be fine.
  • By contrast, flesh tones, whether creamy, peachy, cafe au lait or mocha can wash out the wearer. This happens when there isn’t enough contrast between the skin colour and the top.
  • Pastel colours can also wash out the wearer and do not provide a good contrast. Mid-tones are better!
  • Black is sometimes a bit severe and dull in pictures though it does suit some professions. Navy is a better option for most people.
  • Bright colours are polarising. If they really suit you and it’s appropriate to your industry, then knock yourself out, But they do not suit everyone and can really compete with your face, which is not the point of a portrait. Neon is just generally a no-go.


  • In general I say avoid patterns.
  • Stripes really should be avoided as they can widen the wearer and look messy in pictures.
  • But if you do decide to wear a pattern, avoid small houndstooth checks or herringbone which can often blur and look a bit strange in photos.
  • Also patterns are better under a solid colour, for example a jacket with a floral blouse under it can work well.

Other guidelines

  • Layering works really well. A jacket over a top is a great look. It’s pulled together and adds neckline interest
  • Sleeves are usually a better idea than sleeveless tops. Unless your arms are amazing and you wish to show them (and it is appropriate to do so), it’s best to avoid sleeveless tops. You might also show your armpit, which is never a great look.
  • Ensure that bra straps are not visible! You’d be amazed…..
  • It sounds obvious, but make sure that clothes fit well. Nothing too tight or clingy. Or oversized which simply adds volume to the sitter. Something which is usually best avoided.
  • Strapless or spaghetti straps are generally just not very professional and can look awkward

With a little forethought, your headshot outfit can really make your portraits look professional and correct.

For more information or to make a booking for Personal Branding Photography London, or for other professional photography services in London, please contact us at our West London Studio on info@serenabolton.com or on +44 (0)7415 792499. Or click here to fill out a contact form.

And if you are feeling a bit nervous, read my blog on how to prepare for your photoshoot.


“Photography through the lens of a storyteller”



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