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What to wear during your holiday family photo​ shoot

Woman wearing metallic shoes, black trim dress

When it comes to taking a family photo, there is no better time than during the holidays. Everyone is together, happy and feeling festive. In addition, you could even use the photo as your yearly holiday card. Yet taking a family photo isn’t always easy.

Some people tend to stress about what to wear for the picture. They want to look flattering and fashionable, but also timeless. You’ve probably heard quite a few do’s and don’ts. Here is what you need to know about dressing for your family’s holiday photo shoot.

Black is always in

You can never go wrong with black. Solid-colored clothing is always a good idea for taking photos because they draw attention to the faces of the subjects, not the clothing. Outlandish prints and colors take away from the people in the photo and make it hard to focus.

Also, black is slimming and classic. Your photographer will be able to contrast the background with a light color to make the photograph pop. If your photo is not being taken by a professional, be sure that your background or any other color in the picture isn’t black.

Holiday Trim Dress

Stray away from trendy

Sure, the latest high-end looks from the runway are fun to wear. But if you’re going to be taking a photo that will be hung in your family’s home, you will want something timeless. A black or white blouse is always a safe bet for tops. If the photo is a full-body shot, black or gray dress pants are always a good idea. Both of these items should be staples in your wardrobe. That way, you can throw them on for any important event and look great.

Essential Stretch Shirt

Choose simplistic patterns

If you don’t want to opt for a solid color, patterns can work. However, they must be the right kinds of patterns. Overwhelming color combinations and intricate prints can look gaudy in a photograph. Instead, spring for a classic pattern like polka dots, stripes or paisley. Try to keep the colors subdued with earth tones like dark greens or browns.

Make sure your clothes fit

Everyone wants to look flattering in a picture, and it’s all about how your clothes fit. You definitely don’t want something that is too big or too small because the flash from the camera is going to catch that. When ordering items online, be sure to check the size chart for measurements. If you’re still unsure, it’s always a good rule of thumb to look to see if the clothing has any customer reviews. Sometimes previous buyers will add their two cents such as, “true to size” or “runs big” to help guide you in the size department.

If you have found the perfect outfit, but it still doesn’t fit just right, take it to you local tailor. They can make it fit to flatter your body perfectly.

Button and Lace Trim Sweater Coat

Color coordinate

Sure, you may have your perfect outfit, but what about the rest of the family? Depending on what kind of look you’re going for, color coordination is always a great idea. That doesn’t mean you and your loved ones have to completely match. However, finding colors that mesh well together will make your photographs even better. If you all have clothes that are starkly different in color, it will make the photo look messy.

Take practice photos

The last thing you want is getting your pictures developed and realizing that your blouse was too sheer or too low cut. Eliminate this issue by taking full body shots in the clothes you plan on wearing. That way, you won’t have to worry about any “oops!”


Comments (107)


i like some of your things but your shipping is too high. will you be having a free ship offer soon?


Lovely choices which are classic and good taste.

Richard Brandt

Ah, nothing says the holidays like black.

tammy shelton

Great thoughts on how to get the best holiday family photos! Thanks.

Tammy Shelton

Great ideas for ways to get the best family holiday photos. Thanks!

rochelle haynes

Thanks for the ideas love to try them out


I love family portraits that are color coordinated. Looks do nice

Lisa Weidknecht

Great tips! Now if I could only get my kids to all smile at the same time, we might have some great holiday photos!

Charles-Linda Bradshaw

I do not like having my picture taken. I did not know about going solid though and making sure clothes fit. Mine are always bigger than what I need.

Courtney S.

Wonderful advice! I love black with gold accessories for holiday photos.

Dana Rodriguez

Great advice! I know color coordination helps.

natasha lamoreux

Great tips! Im not sure if we are doing pictures this year but if so ill use these tips Thanks!

Teressa Morris

I always try to wear high contrast colors like black and white, for picture taking.

soha molina

The clothing this retailer carries are very stylish. I like the tips you provided.

Andrea Troutman

I think the tip about not trying to wear the latest runway trendy styles is a good idea for pictures. Something classic is better for photos.

Ronda Walton

I agree with the choice of black. Our family did the black tops on all the females and white tops on all the guys. The black was slimming,plus a good contrast on all of us blondes. The next picture is suppose to be with all denim shirts, because it’s going to be outside and more casual.

Sandra L Hying McFadden

Thank you for sharing. I do too love black as it is becoming on anyone. One year for our Family photos we all dressed in solid jewel tones and it turned out great!

william gossage

I love the style of the black dress

April Crisafulli

I like the idea of wearing black in photos. It’s neutral and looks great on everyone!

April Crisafulli

Color coordinating is alot of fun for large families


Taking preshots is a great idea!

Cheryl L

Thanks for the great photo tips, wish I would have read them yesterday as I took family pictures on thanksgiving and this would have been great to share with others.


Taking practice shots is a must for our family. We can never get everyone smiling at the same time!
I had always thought to shy away from black, but after reading this I see that it can be truly classic.

Laura G

I find classic colors and cuts to be the best bet for holiday pictures.


The best tip is to have someone take a few practice photos of you at home using the poses you think you might like to do – something that doesn’t appear to be too low when you are looking in the mirror straight on may have an entirely different look to it if you are sitting and the photographer is standing!


taking the time to do a practice shot is a great idea!


I totally agree with the solid colors advice of very subtle prints!


Love to try

Scott Poston

Practice shots are great- I also think of something funny when my picture is taken, it makes my smile look very genuine instead of posed!


Coordinating colors on everyone in the picture helps keep it from being “messy”.

savannah hadden

I am actually going to be getting family pictures taken soon and I was thinking of wearing a black dress with a soft taupe and white floral print!

Addie F.

I definitely agree with solid colors; too many prints can be confusing! And black is always a classic and traditional choice.


Thanks for the advice, my Family always takes a Family Picture at Christmas.


I have been starting to think about what we will wear for our family pictures this year! Great Advice!


Great ideas – I love family photo shoots where the outfits blend, but don’t match too much. My sister just took some pictures with her family and everyone had some orange in their outfits. It looked great.

Mary Gardner

Great tips. I love the ideas of practice photos and coordinating colors.

Carmela Capano

Great tips for taking family pictures! Loved the article


Great tips! I am really loving that sweater.

Alison Gibb

These are all great suggestions! I am happy I read this because I always thought wearing black for a photo was not a good thing. Black covers all kinds of issues!


Loved the article, great tips.


Thanks for the Great tips

Seyma Shabbir

Great hints! I love the stay away from trendy and color coordinate with the rest of the family!!

Charles-Linda Bradshaw

I learned that black is great to do. I have actually been watching a lot of videos and looking at pictures and notice that now. I never realized it before.

Tammy S Catterton

I love black use colorful accessories with it last photos that were taken were at my wedding in October 2014


I really love the Midnight Velvet boots! I love all boots, I have tons! 🙂


My family loves wearing red for our holiday shoot. Ho ho ho!


I love wearing the idea of wearing black for photo shoots. Everyone should already have something in that color, no need to go purchase something new!



Wendy Forbes

Taking practice photos is a great idea.

Seyma Shabbir

Love the tip about not wearing trendy. In a few years it may be tacky!


We color coordinated on a Family Cruise last summer and used it for our Christmas Cards!

Lisa Aliperti

Can’t go wrong with classic black and then add the sparkle.

Dorothy Boucher

I love this dress Essentials Colorblock Tunic Sweater

Tammy S Catterton

I use alot of black & red combo for the holidays yet classic & elegant i think thanks

K Davis

I always wear black or a dark color. For Christmas photos, I would wear a dark green.

deborah penney

I really like the idea of not wearing what is trending at the time. So, that the picture would be timeless!

Miranda Sherman

Being I am plus sized I tend to steer clear of patterned prints and love darker colors with tighter fits.

Sandra L Hying McFadden

I love dark colors to make my body look slimmer, I don’t like tight fight tops around my stomach area, I love a fitted botice with a empire type waist just to skim my body.


I agree that black is always a good choice.

Matz Smith

I’d go with the Red Hot Mama. Black is so boring even though the bit of sparkle on the Holiday Trim is great and Simply Sensational is party worthy. I like the Spliced too but don’t have the figure for it. I find it somewhat ironic you’re including ‘plus size’, your models are not. Tsk Tsk

Jennifer Rote

Great tips. Like the wearing black idea, since that is my go to color.

Stephanie Mago-Eagle

Can never go wrong with a black outfit or a little black dress.


Such great advice, timeless and classic looks are always perfect.


I love seeing the photos of when people color coordinate…it is beautiful.


Always timeless clothing and ideas!


Since I wear black almost all the time I am so glad that it is always “in” and is a flattering color for photos. Thanks for the tips. Always in style.

Lorina Padgett

Thanks for the good advice. I wear black often with a pop of color. I have learned to turn to the side to look thinner and to always look to the light.

Rita Spratlen

I love black and it is something that can be elegant and simple too. Thanks for the nice ideas. It is hard to choose for things like this!!

Marnie G (Derrick Todd)

Great tips. Very true — that black is always in. I like that you can either dress black up with extra bling and accessories.

Lily Kwan

These outfits look very nice. Thanks for sharing!

Anita L

I have to agree with wearing the color black! There’s nothing better than looking slim and trim during the season when we eat the most! lol Happy Holidays!!

Karen Glatt

I like the idea of wearing a nice dress for my Holiday photos. I like wearing my nice red dress with a Holiday pin and earrings and taking a picture with my family! Thanks for the ideas!


I love to wear a black dress

shelly peterson

These are really great tips. I like family photos when every one is color coordinating.


Yes! When in doubt, choose black. It’s universally flattering.

Diana Varela

So many great tips!!!!

Amy Orvin

I love the wearing all black idea! That first dress is very simple but elegant.

Tina Renee Barker

I love that black is always in because I wear so much of it!

Deb E

The simple black dress with trim and a long necklace is just my style. I wear a ton of black and love it.

Jennifer Boehme

I learned last year not to wear a pink top also. Photographer had hard time setting camera up.

Kim Henrichs

I do love simplistic patterns myself!


Love that black dress on the first picture

Deb E

I like the family color coordination and think it’s cute if there’s a random Santa hat in the bunch! It shows the family’s sense of humor. I dislike those posed, stuffy pics!

Karen Glatt

I really like the White Shirt and jeans. It looks nice and casual and a great outfit to wear during the Holidays!

shelly peterson

love these ideas! I need to do a family photo.

Julie Wood

I love the black dress with the silver necklace. It is so pretty for the Holidays!

Karen Glatt

I think the outfits are great to wear for the Holidays, and the White top with jeans and a color of red for the Holidays would be great.

shelly peterson

taking practice shots can be very helpful.

Deb E

I do like simple accessories like a scarf or nice necklace that isn’t too distracting but adds some glitter to the picture. You can always change scarves easily if they don’t match the color coordination of the family pic.

Cami Valenzuela

I love taking family photos. I am more classin colors. We match but not to much match. Don’t want to look like a big black blob. We add color in there as well.

colleen long

Oh my gosh I never thought to take practice photos, such a great idea!

Dana Rodriguez

Great tips. I am a big fan of a bit of sparkle.

Cynthia R

I like the color coordinating piece of advice, I always notice when family pictures color coordinate and I think it is so cute!


I like to wear solid colors

Karen Glatt

I like the Black dress. It is a good one to wear over the Holidays, and i like the splash of sparkle.


I would have gotten everything wrong – I wouldn’t have thought black or practicing etc. yikes I’m glad I saw this!

Cami valenzuela

Such awsome tips. I like to see pics of the old times and see who gave into the style trends lol

shelly peterson

It can be hard deciding on what to wear for photos, thanks for these great tips.

Deb E

I just got one of those instant cameras (still waiting on the film to arrive) and think an instant pic would be great to snap before you go get an expensive portrait done, especially if it’s one on canvas that you’ll have forever. Instant feedback on what you all look like!


Great tips. Thanks for sharing

shelly peterson

I really need to get family photos done. These tips are going to help me prepare and plan for them.

Karen Glatt

Very good tips. I love the idea of practice photos and coordinating colors. The black dress is so pretty.

Deb E

I always like to know the background colors or what’s available for a background, and that affects my outfit as well.


Good guidelines, and I agree with all of them. Classic always works.

Tammy Woodall

I really like the classic Black Dress. It’s Classy and Elegant, but not over the top.

colleen long

I love the “make sure your clothes fit”. Fit is by far the most important thing to look for in an outfit!


I am a very casual dresser so love the while top.

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Published on Nov 15 2015

Last Updated on Nov 23 2015

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