Not sure what to wear for your Men’s Business Portrait? Our 5 expert tips will help you
(This guide is specifically for Men. To view our Women’s guide, click here.)
Perhaps the most common questions we receive from our male Business clients is ‘What should I wear for my Business Portrait?”. And we’re so happy you ask, because your wardrobe plays a large part in the first impression your business portrait gives to your potential employers.
We’ve compiled a list of quick tips to help you prepare, and make sure you leave your photo session with new business portraits that you’ll love. And if you’re still stuck for ideas, we’ve included some style inspiration.
Tip 1: Dress like the person you want to become.
This may sound a little deep, but your new portraits are a major step towards becoming the person you want to be.
Let me explain: imagine you feel stuck in your job, and you’ve decided that you want to attract bigger and better work opportunities. You’ve realised that improving your professional online profiles with stylish portraits will give your dream employers confidence that you’re the perfect person for the job. We suggest dressing like the kind of person who gets the work opportunities that you dream of. If you want to be promoted to a Senior Manager, then dress like a Senior Manager.
Another way of putting it, is to dress how you would if you were going to a job interview with your dream employers.
Dress how you would if you were going to a job interview with your dream employers.
Tip 2: Don’t let your clothes take all the attention.
Of course, while your choice of wardrobe is very important in setting a first impression, research has shown that other factors, namely body language, eye contact and your smile, are more important.
If you’re getting your new business portrait taken by a specialist portrait photographer, they will know exactly how to guide and direct you through the session to ensure your body language, eye contact and smile give off a confident, friendly and approachable vibe.
Your clothes are like a supporting actor, which should strengthen, but not take the attention away from the star of the show – you!
Tip 3: Bring these essentials to achieve a variety of looks.
In general, we find that a business casual style works best for most of our clients who choose our corporate portrait packages. Of course, if your dream job requires you to dress more casually or formally, dress suitably for the role.
- Essentials: For a business casual look, we recommend bringing a suit jacket, some shirts (in different colours), a tie, smart trousers and shoes. A smart sweatshirt can also work nicely. With these essentials we can create a number of looks, ranging from casual (shirt-with-rolled-up-sleeves and no tie) to formal (shirt, tie and suit jacket).
- Colours: In general, we recommend keeping the colours darker than your skin tone as this helps the attention stay on your face. We suggest bringing a variety of colours that suit you best. (Guys, I know – sometimes it’s hard to know what colours suit you best – ask a friend for their advice or check our Colour Matching cheat sheets here!) It’s best to avoid pure black and pure white shirts when going for a ‘no jacket casual look’. However, for a more formal look (complete with tie and jacket) white shirts are ok.
- Patterns: In general, plain solid colour clothes work best, as patterns are usually a distraction (remember that we want the focus of the portrait to be on your face, not the clothes). The same applies to logos; avoid anything with a large, distracting logo.
- Fit: Here is a hard truth: If the clothes don’t look good on you because they don’t fit well, they won’t look good in your photo. This is especially important with the fit of the shirt. A shirt which is too small and causes your neck to bulge out of the top won’t be flattering.
- Glasses: A lot of glasses wearers ask if they should wear them or not. We recommend looking how you would while you work. So if you wear glasses all the time, then wear them in the photo. If you only wear glasses some of the time, we recommend taking some business portraits with them, and some without. Make sure you take off your glasses 15 minutes before you start taking photos so that the red mark on your nose has time to disappear.
- Accessories: We believe in keeping things simple. Often our executive clients wear a watch (something classy will work, but a colourful Fitbit is best avoided). Excessive jewellery is usually distracting and we recommend taking it off for your photoshoot. (extra expert tip: make sure you remove everything from your pockets during your photoshoot – a phone bulging out of your trouser pocket is a big no no).
We recommend bringing multiple options (especially shirts), as your photographer can help you decide which works best with the rest of your outfit, and the background.
Whatever you bring, make sure you feel good wearing it. If you feel uncomfortable wearing it, you’ll most probably look uncomfortable in the photo too.
If you need more inspiration, check out out Style Inspiration Pinterest board here!
Whatever you bring, make sure you feel good wearing it.
Tip 4: Don’t forget to iron.
Please make sure that your clothes are neatly ironed and pressed before the shoot. If your shirt is wrinkled in real life, it will appear wrinkled in the photo.
We recommend our clients get changed once they arrive at our studio to avoid any unnecessary creasing that can happen in transit.
Tip 5: A little grooming goes a long way
While not exactly a wardrobe tip, being well groomed is essential preparation for your photo.
- Drink plenty of water in the days leading to your business portrait session.
- Get lots of sleep the night before your shoot to avoid dark bags under your eyes.
- Moisturise like your life depends on it – ideally twice a day for the past 10 years. But if that never happened, twice a day in the days leading up to your shoot will help.
- A fresh haircut always looks good. And this doesn’t just apply to the hair on the top of your head. Check those eyebrows and nose hairs to make sure everything is in check!
- If you’re clean shaven, we recommend shaving the day before the session. Often shaving on the day of the shoot can leave skin irritation that you want to avoid.
If you truly want to look your best, we always recommend working with our Professional Hair and Makeup Artist: you can find out more here.
What should I wear for my Business Portrait? – that’s a wrap
We hope this guide has helped prepare you for your business portrait session. The most important thing to bring to your session is a positive attitude, as that looks great on everyone!