What to Wear For Your Engagement Session
Here are some guidelines I encourage my couples to typically follow that make your photos more cohesive, less distracting, more emotional, and more you. Any kind of style can photograph well as long as you look like you. So here are some tips covering what to wear for your engagement session!
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1. Wear something that’s comfortable and that you don’t have to adjust often. Not too clingy or tight. Your bra straps are securely hidden. You’re wearing a belt to keep your pants where you want them if necessary. If you’re uncomfortable with what you’re wearing, or if your clothes don’t fit, you will be able to tell in the photos.
2. Make sure it makes sense. The look should be cohesive with who you are and where you are taking photos. Think about the conditions and locations we will be shooting and plan accordingly. If we’re hiking, wear boots or hiking shoes with good grip. If we’re on the river sandbars, go barefoot. If it’s snowing, wear layers. If it’s 100 degrees outside, wear breathable clothes and be comfortable. Don’t freeze or overheat, wear outfits that make sense.
3. Bring options. Specifically focus on 2 different categories: Chill Clothes and Goals Clothes. Chill clothes would be things that make you feel like yourself. What you would wear to your favorite concert or what you would wear at home. Things you’re extremely comfortable in and love. Usually these are pieces you already own and live in. Depending on your location, this could be distressed jeans, denim shorts, a sweatshirt, a swimming suit, a chunky cardigan, cute hiking clothes, flannel, adidas, etc.Goals clothes are things that make you feel like a million bucks. This is like your “all out” outfit. I often encourage my brides to purchase a full-length flowy dress for this. They show movement which make the photos come alive. They’re slimming and so pretty. This is one of my favorite places to get them! However, if you are not a dress person, DON’T WEAR ONE! Wear something you’ve always wanted to wear. Step slightly outside of your comfort zone, but still do you, if that makes sense!
4. Wear coordinating outfits, not “matching” outfits. So don’t wear exactly the same thing, or the exact same color. Wear colors, textures, and styles that compliment each other.
5. Layers are good when seasonally appropriate. A jacket or cardigan specifically can be slimming and will help if you dislike your arms in photos.
6. As you plan what options to bring, focus on neutrals (creams, browns, black, grays, jewel tones), denim, different textures, patterns (typically small or subtle are better and less distracting), and then some pops of color (maybe a camel-colored cardigan, a mustard sweater, a flannel with some red in it, a dark green beanie, things like that). This is a good rule-of-thumb, but a bright gown can be STUNNING, so take these rules and break them if you want!
7. Accessories. A couple different jackets (again, unless it’s blazing outside), necklaces, earrings, rings, all kinds of hats, amazing shoes. Whatever you normally accessorize with — even if that’s just a baseball cap that never leaves your head, bring it!!
- Make sure you steam or iron your outfits ahead of time if necessary.
- Make sure your roots aren’t showing if you dye your hair.
- Consider fake eyelashes to make your eyes pop in the photos, however this is totally a personal preference. I have had several of my brides wipe off makeup on the way to their session because they had it done professionally and they just didn’t feel like themselves. Wear as much or as little makeup as you want. Again, you looking and feeling comfortable and like yourself is the goal!
Here are some specific outfit ideas. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Classic and Romantic Engagement Session Outfit Idea
This look is classic and romantic. It would look great in an urban setting, on a rooftop, or in a speak easy. The dress would limit your ability to move (no piggyback rides probably), but it would be beautiful for a lift and kiss moment. Style it with this pearl necklace.
Daring Goals Engagement Session Outfit Idea
This look is for a couple ready to make a statement, and would look gorgeous either in an urban setting or in nature. The dress offers lots of movement which would bring the photos to life, especially in the wind. This outfit would be perfect for both intimate and playful moments.
Playful and Romantic Engagement Session Outfit Idea
You could dress this one up or down. Add a black jacket for the groom if you want to dress it up, or have him wear jeans to dress it down. Or do jeans and a leather jacket if you want an edgy look. You could wear the dress in white instead of black for a more bridal look.
Casual and Comfy Engagement Session Outfit Idea
One of the best things you can do for your engagement session is wear a casual outfit that resembles what you actually wear on the daily. Whether that’s adidas or flannel, just wear something that you can move in and be yourself in.
See more outfit ideas on Amazon, including accessories and props:
Or read our other blog that has outfit ideas organized by season and style.