The Best Style Guide For Families (What To Wear)

When we take your portraits we envision you displaying them in your home to be seen every day by you, your family and your friends. Ideally you want to look your best in your portraits but knowing what to wear can be tricky. This guide is to help you start thinking about what you’d like to wear for your session and how you can all look wonderful together as a family.

Before we go on, though - a note. At Orange & Poppyseed we don’t believe in dictating what you should wear to your session. Our main priority is your comfort and having your portraits represent you. Ultimately what you wear is your decision. These are only recommendations to help you make that decision.

We recommend smart casual.

Think of something you would put on for a lovely dinner, or an event. It doesn’t need to be a suit or a dress if that’s not your style, but we believe you look best in something a little fancier than every day wear.

Step 1: Pick A Palette

It’s common to think that everyone should be in a matching white tee and denim jeans. But honey, I hate to break it to ya, that’s so two thousand and late. What we want instead is coordination. What this means is that we pick a colour palette that everyone sticks to. This way, everyone gets to dress how they like and you still look like a cohesive family.

Soft colours and neutral tones work the best.

Soft colours and neutral tones work the best.

What you want to do is pick a palette and then have everyone wear those colours. Mix them up, have fun with it! As long as you all stick to one palette, you’ll look amazing!

Step 2: Pick A Style

Once you have your palette picked, the next step is styling. We have three styles that we recommend.

Option 1

Pattern & Plain

This one is really fun with family sessions. But there’s a very important factor: pick one pattern and use it as an accent. When done correctly, this works out to be amazing. An example would be if Mummy is wearing a floral dress and daughter is wearing a similar shirt with the same floral pattern. Or if Daddy is wearing stripes and son is wearing similar stripes. You can really have a lot of fun with this style. Just make sure to not overdo the pattern.

Pattern as an accent, don’t overdo it

Pattern as an accent, don’t overdo it

Option 2

Light & Bright

This style is timeless and classic. Everyone wears light colours for a more traditional look. It makes for very bright and airy portraits that suits every family. This style is good for families with older children (less likely to accidentally stain their clothes beforehand) but younger families look very sweet too.

Think whites, greys & pastels

Think whites, greys & pastels

Option 3

Light & Dark

This style is simple and beautiful. If you use your light and darks well, the contrast can really make you pop! This style suits bolder colour choices and families looking for a little more vibrancy in their portraits. Darks add a lovely layer of depth that can really make you shine.

This style favours bolder colour choices, but can also be neutral.

This style favours bolder colour choices, but can also be neutral.

Step 3: Pick Layers & Textures

The last step is easy. Textured fabrics give a real depth to portraits, so don’t be afraid to wear textured clothing. Also, don’t be afraid to layer! A nice jacket or scarf can really elevate your outfit. As long as it’s within your palette, go for it.


A few things to avoid:

  • Clothing with visible brands or characters

  • All white or all black clothing (remember, coordinate not match)

  • Excessive patterns

  • Bold colours (keep it neutral and soft)

  • Everyone in a different colour (mix and match so everyone’s wearing colours from your palette)

    We’re here to take portraits that are representative of you. This guide is simply that - a guide. We are passionate about saying true to who you are and what you value. Your portraits will be cherished for years to come, so we want to make them the best they can be.

    To Recap:

  • Pick a Palette

  • Pick a Style

  • Pick Layers & Textures

    If you need a little help…

    Don’t hesitate to contact us. We can help you choose what to wear from the options that you have. Send us an email or a message on Facebook, and we’ll make sure that you look your best.