fashion friday: families – what to wear 101
Hi everyone!! I’m back again with a few (okay…a lot) more ideas to have you looking super stylish for your upcoming photo session! *Warning: This post is a bit long winded!*
I know most clients become completely overwhelmed trying to coordinate outfits…so just relax….take a deep breath….I am always available to help you out, so don’t be afraid to ask! In fact, I LOVE helping clients. I’ve decided to make a series of blog posts to help you all in your “what to wear” woes. This first post will be advice for families, then I’m thinking boy/girl siblings and families with 3+ kids. Leave me a comment if you have any other suggestions!
So…where to start for families? Worry about the kids first! Yes, that’s right, if you are having a family portrait done, coordinate the kids’ outfits first. I tell all my clients, it’s all about the kids anyway! ;) Yes, parents are most definitely included, but most of the time are not front and center. I suggest choosing at least one outfit with a little bit of color or a pattern, that way you can pull from those colors to coordinate other outfits. When coordinating looks for an entire family, think as if you are creating one mega outfit, everything should go together, but not “match”.
Now, if I could just follow my own advice! :) I too am in the process of putting together outfits for our very own family photo session with the fabulous Mindy Harris, who is coming to photograph my family in October! I am SO very excited!! You can see my outfit progress so far at the end of this post!
I thought I would share a couple family “what to wear” ideas, and my thoughts during the process. Some people aren’t as huge into color as I am, and that’s okay! The black/grey color combo is a great option for those who think less is more, but there are a few things to keep in mind when sticking to a 2-toned color palette. First…do keep the good ‘ole basics of color, texture, and layers in mind. Please, no everyone showing up in black shirts!! In this case, color means using different shades to pull the entire look together. Using different shades and textures, along with layers, adds visual interest and dimension to an image.
For this family I considered a 2 year old boy and 6 year old girl. I started out with the toddler boy outfit first. Sometimes stylish toddler options (especially for boys) are hard to come by. I loved the grey & black graphic t-shirt, and picked a cute jacket for an extra layer of style. I chose the graphic tee also keeping in mind if little one decides to shed the jacket (likely!), the under shirt is still stylish alone (versus say, a solid polo). Next I looked at outfits for big sis. I loved this gradient dress and chose striped leggings to add some visual interest…polka dots were also an option, even argyle print would work. Add boots and possibly some simple bracelets from Claire’s and big sis is all set. Next up was dad (because I already had an idea of what I wanted). I always tell my clients to keep dads simple. A solid dress shirt or sweater in a coordinating color will almost always work. I chose a black button down dress shirt with subtle white pin stripes along with jeans and some casual shoes, and dad is done. Moving on, finally….mom! I often tell my clients, if dad is wearing a solid colored top, it’s okay for mom to wear a solid colored top as well, but NOT the same color. My initial thought was to find something more in the charcoal tones for mom, and accent with some touches of black, however, I came across this sweater/shirt combo and thought it would be perfect. The sweater adds texture, the stripes add just enough interest, and even though the sweater is solid black, the under shirt breaks up the color just enough. Add a necklace and some bracelets and viola!
What if you want to add just a splash of color? Well, stylish red shoes would look awesome for little brother. Maybe red bracelets or some patterned socks/leggings with red in peeking out of the boots for big sis. Mom could add red touches to her jewelry as well, or a shirt with a bit of red under the sweater, perhaps a funky red graphic tee?
Now…I know what you’re thinking….“but what about all the stripes? I’m not so sure about that!” In this case, the stripes don’t bother me at all. Here’s why, #1. They are all pretty subtle (wide, bold stripes would be another story) and #2. They won’t be photographed right next to each other (if sis’s dress were also striped, that might be a little much). Dad’s pin stripes will hardly be noticed in the images but add just enough so the shirt doesn’t photograph solid black. Even if dad is photographed right next to mom, she has the sweater to break up the stripes. And sister’s legs won’t be photographed near mom’s shirt, so we’re all good!!
So who will buy this combo so I can prove it will look amazing in photographs?!? :)
Big Sister Dress from GAP | Leggings from Old Navy | Boots from Justice
Little Brother | Entire outfit from GAP
Mom | Shirt & sweater from JCrew | Jeans & boots from The Buckle
Dad | Entire outfit from The Buckle
Okay….family #2….MY OWN!! Another thing to keep in mind is the location of your session and also the style of your photographer. You might look silly as “Rocker Family” out in a field of long prairie grass or a bit out of place wearing your “Sunday’s Best” in an urban setting. In regards to photographic style, *my* style is colorful & fun; mixed patterns, lots of layers. In thinking about outfits for our family session, Mindy’s work is definitely colorful & fun, but in a different sense…her style is more natural and organic (in my opinion); understated, in a good way. So when choosing our outfits, I tried to remain true to my style (I don’t want us to look different than we normally do, because that’s not who we really are), while also respecting hers. I want color, but I don’t want so many patterns and colors that they become the focus of the images. I chose a color palette of plums, deep purples, charcoal grey, and navy.
In searching for ideas, I found the plaid dress for my middle daughter at The GAP. It’s even less plaid in real life. :) This was my patterned piece I mentioned above, from which everything will coordinate. It has plum, purple, navy, and some grey in the plaid. I toned it down with some navy leggings and navy boots. I’m still considering grey tights, not sure yet, and have a plum colored crocheted had for fun. Since I was already at the GAP, I thought I would look for something coordinating for my oldest daughter. I found this plum tunic sweater that I LOVED, and she is a skinny minnie, so it was perfect. I paired the sweater with some “jeggings” and grey boots from Justice. For my youngest, I had originally found a plum sweater, grey shirt, and skinny jeans, but felt like we were becoming too matchy-matchy so when I came across the (slightly less navy) dress and sweater vest from 77Kids (American Eagle’s kids division), I ordered it up. Then I emailed Mindy to see which she preferred. :) Okay, the dress it is! For myself, I already had this shirt that coordinated and was a bit more my style than some other options I considered. I’m 85% sure this is what I pick for myself, but don’t be surprised if I change my mind 42 times before then. LOL I’m in the process of looking for something stylish and navy for my husband…that’s hard, everything is black! I will keep you posted on that. So, while our outfits are a bit more solid than I normally choose, I still love the rich colors and textures and I know Mindy will photograph us perfectly!! Can’t wait to share the final images with you.
OKAY…just a tad more…(world’s longest blog post)…
Moving on from family, a few more outfit ideas! These first few are for the 6 month crowd…all from The GAP…
A few for school age girls, also from The GAP:
This next set would be perfect for two brothers, but also great as individual outfit options. The one on the left is for school aged boys and the right for toddler sizes. Both outfits can be found at The GAP and the little red Vans can be found at Zappos online.
After re-reading all that I’m convinced I must be neurotic and WAY over think things!! HAHA! Seeeee….I truly do understand what you all go through when deciding on outfits.
Whew! Happy Shopping!!
OMG!! These are amazing!!
Great writeup! It’s never easy to explain all this to clients; you did a fantastic job. And I love the outfits you put together as examples.
Love this! What an awesome post!