The Best Shirts to Wear for Pictures

Coordinated outfits can make even a self-photo look professional.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

There's nothing like a candid camera shot to capture everything from the happiest to the most hilariously awkward moments. But taking planned pictures has its own benefits. Whether it's an indoor session with a colorful backdrop or an outdoor shoot on a grassy field, the opportunity to plan your outfit means you can really look your best. Obviously, avoid tops or bottoms you can't stand because you'll be staring at them framed on your wall, but also plan on colors that suit your skin tone and look good on camera.

Stick with Solids

Even a fashion diva who has sworn off boring, plain T-shirts for life should follow this simple piece of advice: stick with solid shirts for pictures. Plain, solid shirts are best in pictures because they allow the focus to remain on your face. Busy patterns and designs draw the eyes away from your face and to the shirt, making it hard to focus on the people in the picture and causing a sensation overload. Anything striped, with graphics or other busy designs, is out; a shirt with a small design or subtle decoration is fine.

Simple Neckline

The same rule that applies to shirt design applies to the neckline: the simpler, the better. Very high turtlenecks or very low V-necks can look exaggerated in pictures and take the focus away from your face. Turtlenecks tend to blend in with the background, giving your face an odd, floating-in-mid-air appearance, while V-necks can make it seem like your neck goes on forever. Choose a style that flatters your body shape, such as a square neck for large-busted women or a slight V-neck for smaller women.

Coordinating Colors

If you're taking a group portrait or a picture with two people or more, it's best to coordinate the outfits. This isn't necessary if you're nervous about starting World War III between high-strung family members, but if your fellow picture-takers are pretty amiable, it can really add a lot to the picture. Coordinated colors, no matter the color, ensures that no one stands out more than the rest and that your group actually looks like a group instead of a random gathering of strangers. If the shirts go together, the bottoms don't matter as much, but it's best to choose a color theme for both (i.e. blue shirts and khaki bottoms).


White is a somewhat risky color because those with the wrong skin tone can end up looking washed out, bland or unflattering. If you feel confident with the way you look in white, then remember that white against a white background can be a gorgeous way to make your face and hair really stand out. White against a black background silhouettes your whole body, so this works best for someone comfortable in her own skin who loves her body shape and wants to really stand out.

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