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The main purpose of a business headshot is to show potential clients, associates, or employers that you are professional, in addition to being trustworthy, reliable and approachable. A key to ensuring that all these qualities are well communicated through your headshot is through your clothes. If you wear clothes that are not appropriate it detracts from your professional image. Or if you are not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it will show on your expression, and that will detract from your image.

I’m giving some alternatives to choose from. Many of my clients try more than one look and make the final choice when they review the proofs to make their selections.

For Women

  • Wearing a jacket or blazer

A suit or a blazer will lend your portrait a more formal look. Wear a well fitted jacket in a solid color such as blue and dark grey. Add a pop of color with a colored shirt, blouse or crew neck t-shirt.

  • Wearing only a shirt or blouse

If you wish, you can forego the jacket and simply wear a blouse or shirt. Avoid t-shirts, even designer versions for your shot. You can use shirts and blouses to add some color to the photo. Solids work much better than prints. Older people can benefit from bright colors. Younger people might want a more understated look.

  • Dresses work well too

Even though the entire dress will not be visible in the headshot, the fabric and color will translate well. Exposed shoulders in a sleeveless dress will make your photo more vibrant. Be careful about the neckline.

  • Wearing your jewelry as an accent

Your jewelry can help brighten up the photo. Keep the jewelry simple, classic and minimal. Remember that anything that falls below your sternum will be cropped out.

For Men

  • Wearing a necktie

Deciding to wear or not wear a necktie depends on the kind of audience that you have. For instance, someone who works with East Coast clients may want one while someone in the entertainment industry might not. We suggest doing your shots both ways.

  • Wearing a jacket or blazer without necktie

You can pull off the professional look without a necktie as well. Play around with textures and colors of your jackets, t-shirts or shirts to make the photo look interesting. However, remember to not go overboard.

  • Wearing a shirt without jacket

Wear a colored button up in a solid color. Avoid black or white. Dress shirts are a better option than polos.

Common Tips

  • Coordinate with your background.

Before your pick your clothes, it is best to find out what the background will be. Wear dark colors for light background and vice versa for contrast.

  • Avoid prints and patterns.

Patterns and clothes that are heavily textured tend to distract from the main focus of the headshot, which is you, and that defeats the purpose. It also makes it harder to remove wrinkles in retouching.

  • Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in.

Consider your body and wear clothes that are flattering and comfortable so that it translates on your expression.

A business headshot is one of the most valuable assets to your personal brand. That’s why it is crucial that your clothing reflects your personality, credibility and your professional position in your industry.

Get in touch with us if you are looking for the best business headshot photography in Chicago.