16 Tips for Choosing Family Picture Outfits

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tips for choosing family picture outfits

Do you have a family photo session planned for this fall or are you trying to wrangle your family together for a quick iPhone photo? Either way, family photos can be stressful–between aligning everyone’s schedule, finding the perfect location and getting everyone to cooperate. But we would love to alleviate some of the stress around your upcoming family photo by sharing our style guide for finding the perfect outfits that will have everyone looking their best. 

Family photos typically look pretty cohesive with every member in the family either wearing a similar outfit or the same color, but you can style yourself or your family however you wish for these portraits. To help you narrow in on plus size fall outfits that look great in photos or a similar colored outfit, we will consider plus size photoshoot ideas, family portrait locations and different patterns and colors that pair well together so you can easily identify outfits that look cohesive and make you feel confident. 

Let’s get started on creating the family photoshoot of your dreams! 

family walking in fall forest

Where Should I Take Family Photos?

While you may be here for style advice on how to create the perfect look for a family photo, the location where your family photos will take place is very important in determining what you and your family should wear. 

  • Forest–If you want a woodsy vibe for your family photos, there is no better place than landscape with tall trees that extend for miles and natural foliage. When planning your outfits for a shoot like this, think fall. You’ll want to incorporate warm tones like burgundy, red or copper and earth tones. Depending on the season, there may be many colors in the background, so you could always stick to wearing the same neutral color to make everything look more cohesive. 
  • Beach–Taking family photos at the beach could make for picture perfect memories. Whether you’re taking photos on an overcast day or at sunset, light and neutral colors like beige and white look best against the backdrop of the ocean. Jeans and a neutral sweater look great on everyone and will look picture perfect.
  • Park–Looking to have a lot of greenery in your photos? A local park could be a great place to take family photos because you’ll be able to choose from many different backdrops like lakes, trees, grass and rustic benches. Since your photo will be painted with the colors of nature, you will want to keep your outfit minimal and neutral. Stick to brighter and warmer neutrals over greens and reds. These colors will mesh perfectly together while ensuring that you don’t blend in or clash with the background. 
  • Inside–If your family photos are taking place in a photo studio or inside your home, it will be important for you to take the colors of the space around you into consideration. Is there a dominant color scheme throughout your house that you want to channel? Perhaps there are subtle navy or forest green accents throughout your home. If so, you should include those colors in your family’s wardrobe. If you are taking photos in a studio, you have the ability to work with the photographer to customize the backdrops for your photos, which means you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to planning family outfits. You can go minimal or bold—whichever represents your family best. 

where to take family photos graphic

What Are the Best Colors to Wear for Family Photos?

Most family photos incorporate a common color scheme just to make the image look more cohesive. If you’re pondering which colors might look the best together or represent your family in a flattering way, run these color combinations by your loved ones before you begin planning your family photo session. 

  • Navy, beige and white 
  • Red, grey and black 
  • Beige and denim
  • White and blush
  • Light blue and white 
  • Blue and beige 
  • Forest green and beige 
  • Green and denim 
  • Yellow and denim
  • Burgundy and denim

plus sized woman wearing striped sweater

Which Patterns Should I Wear for Family Photos?

If you are looking to spruce up your family photos with bold patterns rather than opting for a similar-colored sweater and jeans combo, we have some advice on how to embrace certain patterns for a flattering fit and a stunning family photo.

patterns to wear family photos 

  • Stripes–Stripes can be very bold, and they could make for a family photo that looks too busy if everyone is wearing them. However, if you love stripes and would like to incorporate them in some way, either you could wear stripes or have one or two people in the family photo wearing them. If you want to wear stripes, but also want a flattering look, try dresses that hide belly bulge, but also have stripes on them. Stick to subtle, thin stripes and have the people in the photo who are wearing striped sweaters or shirts to stand on the opposite end from each other. This will make the photo look more balanced. 
  • Polka Dots–Similar to stripes, you will want to stick to smaller dots and spots rather than large, bold ones. The subtle prints will create a subtle contrast, but won’t be too disruptive. As far as the rest of your family goes, if you are wearing polka dots, you could have other family members where polka dot accents like a bow tie, scarf or headband.

neutral plaid poncho

  • Plaid–Plaid flannels are such a hit for family photos, especially if you’re taking photos in a park or forest. However, it can be tricky to make sure everyone is on the same page. When embracing flannels, try to have everyone wearing the same color. Pair plaid flannels with a pair of jeans or beige pants. You can also apply the rules for polka dots and stripes above to plaid by only having it appear in accent pieces or only having one or two people wear it in the photo. 

What Should I Wear for Family Photos?

Since you’re the one reading this style post, we assume you’re in charge and planning the family photoshoot, which means...you’re also the star of the show. So we want to make sure you look your best and set the tone for the rest of your family. Whether you’re a seasoned pro at being in front of the camera or this is a new experience for you, you’ll need an outfit that boosts your confidence and makes you feel beautiful and radiant from the inside out. Whether you’re a jeans and T-shirt kind of girl or you prefer to wear plus size maxi dresses, we have some of the best family photo outfits planned for you than you could ever dream of.

  • Flattering Plus Size Dresses–When you think about getting dressed for family photos, does your mind go straight to thinking about cream-colored sweaters and jeans? This is a very typical and effective family photo look, but it doesn’t have to be yours! If you want to stand out during family photos in clothes that make you look and feel good, you may want to try a dress. You’ll want to pick the best style for your figure, so be sure to check out our how to dress a pear-shaped body style guide to find a dress that makes you feel your best. Depending on the location or season, you’ll want to select a dress that is appropriate. Maxi dresses that cinch at the waist are perfect for any season and setting, and they will enhance your figure. Wrap dresses are also a flattering choice and will look elegant in any photo. 

statement blouses family photo graphic

  • Statement Blouses–As we mentioned above, working printed tops into a family photo to create a point of emphasis could be a fun way to spice up a family photo. If you’re wondering which print will flatter your figure most, check our apple body shape outfits to see which looks and prints would be best for your family photo. If you’re the only one wearing a print in the family photo, then the possibilities are endless for you. If you need to match someone, stick to simple prints and patterns like stripes, polka dots or plaid. You can easily top off the look with neutral bottoms, like leggings or jeans. 
  • Cozy Sweaters–Is your family photo taking place in a pumpkin patch or in the middle of a forest with an abundance of fall foliage? If so, you will want to advocate for the whole family to wear cozy sweaters. But even if the rest of your family isn’t wearing a sweater, you can opt for a neutral-colored sweater that hugs your curves just right. You can easily pair a sweater with a flattering bottom of your choice, like jeans or leggings. 
  • Cardigans with a Pop of Color–Cardigans are a great way to add a touch of color or create emphasis in your family photo. Top off any neutral outfit with a rust, burgundy or navy cardigan. Even if the rest of your family is wearing a t-shirt or a sweater, you can totally switch things up with a cozy cardigan. 
  • Choosing the Right Denim–Jeans are probably going to be everyone’s preference when it comes to family photos, which is great! There are so many different styles of denim out there so we want to help you choose a pair that will look best on your figure and make you feel and look confident. Skinny jeans look great on every body type, and they will most likely be the pair of jeans that will look most cohesive in a family photo. When picking out a pair of skinny jeans, stick to denim that is minimal and doesn’t have a lot of distress or embellishments. You’ll want denim that looks neat and luxe. If you prefer boyfriend or mom jeans, those will look great, too. However, you will want to stick with the guidelines above to ensure your denim still looks sleek.

cozy sweaters graphic

  • Sleek and Chic Leggings–If you’d like to skip the denim for photo day, we don’t blame you—leggings are so comfortable. And while we love leggings just as much as you, we can admit that sometimes they may not be the best for more formal outfits like the one you’ll want to wear for family photos. If you want to look good and still feel comfortable, opt for a pair of sleek black leggings and pair them with some knee-high boots. You can also wear faux leather leggings if you want to make more of a statement. 
  • The Perfect Shoes–While your outfit could be the most important part of the equation, the shoes you choose to wear are also a critical part of creating a look that’s stunning. But choosing the right shoes largely depends on where you will be taking your family photos. If you’re going for a more fall or winter vibe in places like a park or forest, you should top off your look with ankle boots, knee-high boots or thigh-high boots. This will give you a flattering and stunning look. If your family photos are taking place on the beach or by the lake, your family may want to opt to go barefoot, which could definitely make for cute photos in the sand. Roll up your jeans or pants to create a flattering barefoot look. If your family plans to take photos in a studio, you could wear a cute pair of flats or low heels to elongate your figure and make your outfit look sleek and chic. 

No matter what is in store for your family photo session, now you can go forth confidently knowing that you will have a look that makes you feel beautiful and radiant. If you’re nervous about being in front of the camera, make sure you are wearing an outfit that feels comfortable, but also boosts your confidence. The outfits we wear have a big influence on how we feel! When you look good, you feel good!