One of the hardest things engaged couples have to figure out after deciding where to have their engagement session at is, “What am I going to wear for my engagement photos?” The wedding day is easy. You have a beautiful wedding gown and a nice tux all planned out. But engagement photos have so many options for outfits and you might not know what’s going to look good on camera.
Coordinate outfits, don’t “match”. Coordinating outfits involves using complimentary colors, fabrics, and aesthetics. I recommend picking two outfits. One that is a little more casual, and another that is a little more dressy.
Long flowy dresses are always flattering! They look great as you are walking and as you are standing still. Long dresses give lots of movement to photos and make women look very feminine which is perfect. Dresses can also be dressed down or dressed up, so they work as a casual outfit or as a dressy one. You can also pair your dress with heels or a a cute hat. Accessories help add to the outfit and give your photos a little something extra. If dresses really aren’t your thing, I have seen women wear jeans or pants for their engagement photos and those can look great too, but the setting and style has to be just right! Stay true to yourself and wear what is comfortable and what you know you will look amazing in!
For fabrics and colors, I love seeing women in patterns or pops of color. Be mindful in balancing patterns between you and your partner though. If you are going to be wearing a dress with a big floral pattern all over it (which I’d love!), have your partner wear more solid colors to balance everything out. If you want to go with a more timeless look and don’t want to commit to a big patterned and colorful fabric, stick to neutrals, muted tones, or color blocking. Soft blues, pinks, and whites are less distracting and bring the attention to your faces rather then your clothing. You can also incorporate different textures and textiles. Cameras (especially if your photographer is shooting film) can pick up the look of the fabric and details in the clothing which is super fun. Some of my favorite fabrics to photograph are lace, chiffon, thick-weaved sweaters, and silk.
Men should always err on the dressier side for both outfits. Too casual and it might not look good (unless super casual is what you are going for like if the session were in your home). A nice suit, slacks with a patterned button-up, or a sports coat are just a few options. Since these are engagement photos and not wedding photos, most men don’t wear a tie (even in the dressier outfit). Accessories are what really make men stand out in their photos. Pair your outfit with a nice watch, belt, and leather or suede shoes to give it that extra touch.
Noisy patterns and clothing with logos as they can be distracting and pull focus. Some outfits may look good in person but don’t translate well on camera like super tiny patterns that can warp in images. Also stay away from wearing all black. You may think black hides all your bodies imperfections, but it actually makes it hard to see your figure. You may end up looking like a giant black blob and that’s not what I want for you!
First take a look at what you already own in your closet. Chances are you have something you already know you look good in and love! Then all you have to do is buy some accessories! If you want to go shopping and buy something new and exciting, do it in advance. There’s nothing more stressful then shopping a day or two before your session and not being able to find anything! I also suggest laying all your outfits out ahead of time to make sure both sets coordinate and that there isn’t anything glaringly wrong that needs to be changed.
When I get photos taken with my husband, I start putting together outfits about a month before. I order different things online, I decide what I already have and what I need to purchase so that I’m not just walking around stores aimlessly. Give yourself a color scheme and stick to it. Some of my favorite places to shop are Bohme Boutique, Piper and Scoot, J. Crew, Free People, and Anthropologie.
Below I wanted to provide you with some examples of couples that did a perfect job picking and coordinating outfits for their engagement photos! Notice what both the men and women chose to wear, how the colors and patterns compliment each other, and what shoes and accessories they decided to pair everything with.