“What are you going to wear?”
Putting together an outfit for a photoshoot, meeting, interview or branded event isn’t always easy. That doesn’t mean you should have to stress about it, though. With some expert guidance, your wardrobe selection process can become a lot easier for your upcoming photoshoot and other future endeavors.
We have styling tips that will boost your confidence and make you look and feel like the boss you are. We invited some fellow wardrobe styling experts to weigh in too.
With the added input from Elisabeth O’ Rourke, owner of Slaughter Nostalgia, and Katie Thompson, founder and senior designer of The Kollective Studio, you’ll be building a budget-friendly outfit–or wardrobe–with simple, yet effective steps.
Expert tips to create an eye-catching outfit
Knowing how to put together a stylist-approved outfit is something that pays off in a number of situations, especially as your business grows. Whether you are looking to dress to impress for a client meeting, seller event or a photoshoot, you can use these tips for any situation where you’ll need to look and feel your best.
1. Choose one key piece and work around it
You don’t have to choose a full outfit at once. Both of our experts had similar advice to give about building around key pieces or accessories. This can give you a clear place to start and make the rest of the process easier.
“I always start with the shoes,” says Katie. “I am a shoeaholic and love to curate an outfit around a good pair.”
Elisabeth, while not a professed shoeaholic, also pointed out how a killer pair of kicks can, well, kick things off. “Interesting shoes are always fun, heels are great for the body shape, they lengthen your legs and if you don’t wear them often, the change of pace can help you get into “character” for the photoshoot.”
If shoes aren’t your go-to choice though, that’s okay. You should find what works for you. Elisabeth explained that she will sometimes choose a “wild” piece and then create a minimal outfit around that. Katie also emphasized the importance of letting one or two key pieces do the work for your outfit. “Less is always more! If you like color, try a tonal look or incorporate pops of color through your accessories.”
2. Make sure your clothes fit
The fit of your clothes is important. This isn’t about body type, just about what looks best on you.
“Wear clothes that make you comfortable, but on top of everything make sure that your clothes FIT properly,” Elisabeth advised. “ You’ll know what cuts are good for your body based on how you feel in them. Don’t wear baggy or oversized clothes–you’ll look back at the photos and feel frumpy. Too tight of clothes and you’ll be picking out every roll and body wrinkle.”
Katie highlighted the importance of properly-fitted clothes. “Find yourself a good tailor!” she told us. “Tailoring your clothing to your specific body will make your pieces feel more luxe and custom. It also doesn’t hurt to have clothing that fits you properly.”
3. Choose colors and patterns wisely
You don’t have to be a fashionista to put together an eye-catching outfit but it doesn’t hurt to learn what should be paired with what. We are all for trying something new, but here are some basic guidelines on how to put together colors and patterns for a new outfit.
- Find colors that are complementary to each other, like purple and yellow or red and green
- For some more daring looks, go for analogous colors. Blue with teal and indigo, for example
- Choose your power color and let it do the talking by pairing it with neutrals or blacks
- When it comes to patterns, always start with basics like polka dots, stripes or small florals. You can pair one pattern with a neutral item or go bigger by layering a bolder print
When you know what some of the basics for color pairing are, it’ll give you a clear path to follow or show you which rules you want to break.
4. Look at lower cost clothing stores for affordable options
Putting together a stylist-approved outfit for a photoshoot shouldn’t be something that puts you in debt. You can often find some chic, cost-efficient options at a local thrift store–you’d be surprised at the quality of clothing that you can find, especially in places like Los Angeles and Orange County, California.
If you aren’t comfortable with a thrift store though, there are other options such as Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Ross or Marshalls. These types of “off rack” department stores have lower cost items that will help you dress the part.
If thrifting isn’t cutting it, you can also rent. This comes in handy especially for those individuals needing some of the pricer “specialty clothing for fantasy or period-themed shoots.” Check out rental options from providers like www.foxstudiolot.com/costumes or www.the-ruby.com for budget-friendly rental options.
5. Don’t lose yourself in the process
You want to stay on brand in you can (ie. don’t go with earth tones if your brand is all about dark metallics and blood reds), but you don’t want to lose yourself in the process of building your outfit either. Too many people end up feeling like they have to be something or someone they aren’t when the camera turns on them. Don’t fall into the trap. If something feels truly inauthentic to who you are and what you are doing, then reroute.
Elisabeth put it best when she said: “Personal style is just that, personal.”
Outfit examples for inspiration
Maybe you are staring at a pair of shoes in your closet and saying to yourself, “Okay…now what?” Scroll on for some inspiration! Our experts put together themed outfit ideas to help showcase how to put together a “look” for your next shoot. And, if these inspirations aren’t quite what you’re looking for, we can always help with the styling process too.
Dress the part: “The Luxe CEO” by Katie Thompson
“I love to shop—so all my pieces are affordable! I have been obsessed with Hailey Beiber’s style ever since she started working with stylist Maeve Reilly, and this look is right up her alley. I started with shoes as I typically do and then went from there. It’s the perfect fit for the young sophisticated CEO or just the CEO who wants to look chic.”
- Good quality denim will always elevate an outfit, and your accessories can change the vibe
- Stay away from bulky jewelry and cheap materials—it shows on camera and IRL
- Having quality touches can elevate an entire outfit without having to break the bank on every piece
Dress the part: “The Alternative Business Owner” by Elisabeth O’Rourke
“I obviously chose outfits that are all black or mostly black, but if you’re into color, I love a monochrome look, all red, or all blue etc. as well as complimentary colors. See what colors call out to you”
- Choose items with shape or movement
- Pieces that cinch at the waist are a great go-to
- If you’re into color, break out that color wheel!
- For mens looks, simple suit pants or jeans with an interesting top or jacket, small details are just always the way to go.
There is no one way to put together a “boss” outfit for a photoshoot. But don’t let the wealth of options available to you be overwhelming. If a certain pair of shoes or a necklace sings to you, build around it, if you know what colors you want to incorporate, see what your closet holds to fit that idea. Let your creativity, or just your on-point fashion sense, shine through.
Whether you need assistance getting a show-stopping outfit together or you are looking for an expert photographer to capture your style, you can find what you need with our team. To book your appointment, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Contact Us page.
Written by Brianna Fries, a California-based writer, editor, bookworm, and mother of two. You can discover more of her work at briwritesthings.com.