You've just settled on a date for your engagement photo session and the next step is figuring out to what to wear, but to complicate matters you have to come up with an outfit that goes with your fiancé's without being too matchy matchy! Admittedly these are first world problems, but it is helpful to have an idea of how to pick out your outfits so that you feel great in them and have pictures that reflect that. I've wanted to give a few words of advice on this topic for awhile and joined efforts with my talented wedding planner and designer friend Molly McKinley to write this post to help couples plan and pick out outfits that make you feel your best!
Be yourself, just up a notch.
When thinking about what clothing to wear, think about what you might wear on a date night, or the outfit that you put on and know it just perfectly fits (not just in size but also your personality and style). Most ladies know what it’s like to have someone else put on your makeup and think, “Ahhh! I would never wear that color lipstick!” or someone style their hair and make it a lot bigger than it usually looks. Your engagement pictures should look like you on a REALLY great day. So find something you love to wear and can coordinate well with your fiancé’s outfit. Don’t feel the pressure to wear Toms or Converse (or make your fiance where them!) if that isn’t you. My husband makes this really funny face when he has to wear a bowtie, and I imagine that if I asked him to wear one for pictures he would have a hard time being himself. Find an outfit that you love and feel great in because it will help you feel more comfortable and you in front of the camera. The better you feel, the more fabulous your pictures will turn out.
Typical planner here. I have my moments where I'm out of sorts, it's true, but it makes life so much easier when you plan ahead and you're prepared. My advice is to pick EVERYTHING out and try it all on - including your accessories. A great statement necklace completely changes your outfit, and a fun watch or bracelet is necessary for those shots of just your hands. ;) Get your ring cleaned so it's shiny and perfect! Practice your make up, and wear a little more make up than you usually do (if you know what you're doing - otherwise, have a friend help you out). It helps your features stand out so much more in photographs. My favorite products that have proven themselves in pictures are Aveeno Bb creme, Benetint (lip and cheek stain), Lancome Hynose Mascara, and my eyebrow pencil from Mac. Oh, and please make sure that you wear under eye concealer - it's a life saver in photos! Making sure you're well prepped and prepared makes for a happier you on the day of your photos. You will enjoy the day more if you're not fixing your make up in the car or panicking over which earrings to wear.
Look for style help from your favorite store. A helpful tip a good friend of mine told me was to think about what clothing store windows you see at the mall and like. For instance, when I walk by the GAP store front and see the black and white mixed with a pop of color I am in love. Take note of how they coordinate the men and women's clothing in the display- typically one of the models is wearing a pattern and the other a solid, and accessories are added like a scarf or sunglasses or jacket, etc. Other stores with awesome storefront inspiration are J. Crew, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, or even Target with their ads or displays that are genius! It's also helpful to think about a store that captures your style as a couple best. I say as a couple, but we all know that sometimes one person in the relationship has a different style than the other (or just doesn't care). The point is that you think about what your style is, not what the hottest style on Pinterest is. For photos that you can enjoy years down the road, go with what you love and know that it never goes out of style (well, sort of:). Once you've picked a store, go check out their displays and see how they pair outfits together.
Check out your favorite blogs, too!
Lots of times, I get color inspiration for weddings from blogs about home and lifestyle! You can do the same with your engagement outfits. Remember the color wheel? These artists and bloggers take the color wheel and show you how it's done.
Here are my favorite spots, so you can get inspired:
The Perfect Palette - http://www.theperfectpalette.com/
House of Turquoise - http://www.houseofturquoise.com/
Design Seeds - http://design-seeds.com/
Plenty of Colour - http://plentyofcolour.com/
A few more helpful tips:
In terms of what looks great in pictures, I think color can add a lot of life to a picture. Accessories always add visual interest to an image, too. I would stay away from clothes that can be clingy or that don't lay flat because as you move around your clothing can become not so flattering (I found this from personal experience!). Also, have someone take a picture of you in an outfit (say on your phone or something) and look at it. Sometimes we miss that that an empire waistline looks more like a maternity dress in pictures even though it felt great. Horizontal stripes tend to make someone look wider, which if you are a skinny mini then no worries but if you're trying to minimize your top than I'd stay away from the beloved stripe. Jackets or sweaters are great to bring along because you can put it on over a dress to mix it up or cover up your arms if you don't like them. Also, know your body type and dress accordingly. So many dresses today are made to show off a tiny waist and bigger hips, but that isn't my shape so any dresses that come together at the waist are not flattering on me. I know to look for shift dresses and to wear great necklaces to draw attention away from my waist! Last word of advice, when in doubt about what to wear, bring a few outfits to your engagement session and show them to your photographer. Chances are you like the style of your photographer so you can trust their judgement in the process.
In the end, if you love your outfit and rock it like it's the first day of school, your pictures will show your joy and confidence. And if your fiancé doesn't feel like a clown or forced to be someone he isn't, he will smile and be a lot more comfortable in front of the camera. So be yourselves on a really good (shower) day and work it like a model- or maybe just laugh a lot and have fun... your pictures will be great.