Six Factors to Consider When Selecting What to Wear for Senior Photos

            High school senior girl in a Hagerty High School cheerleader outfit posing for Khim Higgins Photography in Oviedo, Florida.              senior girl wearing a Alabama college t-shirt working with Orlando Photographer, Khim Higgins.

Six Factors to Consider When Selecting What to Wear for Senior Photos


You’re getting closer to graduation every day, and you may even have developed a case of senioritis. Senior portraits are the perfect way to commemorate this exciting time in your life, but choosing what to wear for your senior photos can be a challenge. How do you express your personality while avoiding outfits that will look dated in the years to come?

To help you pick the perfect outfits to mark your high school graduation, we put together a few tips so you’re not staring at your closet helplessly on the day of your session!

Selecting Clothes for Senior Photos

Avoid bright colors

We love color as much as anyone, but bright colors can distract from the subject of your photos: YOU. Some bright colors will even wash out your skin tone and clash with your surroundings depending on the location you choose. Instead, go with neutral colors or jewel tones (think gray, blue, and dark green) that flatter any skin tone and pair perfectly with both garden or park backgrounds and a more urban settings. When in doubt go with neutral colors, these colors are always safe with any background.  Plus, neutrals are such classics and easy on the eye when looking at photos.

Choose from the clothes you own

The best way to express your personality is through clothing you already own and love. While we definitely won’t stop you from buying something new, doing so means you run the risk of something not fitting or not looking right on the day of your session, and then you have to come up with a last-minute plan B. The perfect outfit for you looks like you. If you have a favorite dress or shirt, wear it! However, clothes shopping is also a fun part of the session! With that being said, buy clothes you know that are flattering to your body. This is not a time to try something new or experiment with a new look that’s out of character for you. Always keep in mind to wear clothes you are most comfortable in and that are flattering to your figure.

Stay away from graphic tees

You may love a certain band or movie right now, but who knows what your taste will be even five to ten years in the future. While a solid t-shirt is a great casual look, a graphic tee or shirt with words on it can really date your photos or even create cringe-worthy images where only part of a word or phrase is shown. The only exception to this rule is a school t-shirt that shows off your mascot or an organization you participate in and love. School or sports uniform is also the exception. Feel free to show off your school pride or talent by including a sports jersey or a cheerleading outfit in your shoot.

Show off your culture

Even if you don’t wear traditional clothes from your culture to school, they can be a beautiful choice for your senior portraits. Whatever your heritage, clothing is a great way to express it and a timeless choice for your images. After all, your session is all about you, and what better way to show your personality than to celebrate your heritage. So don’t be shy, wear your favorite culture or traditional outfit or dress to show off your proud heritage!

Pick versatile-and-comfortable outfits

When taking your senior portraits, your photographerwill likely have you in a variety of poses, so make sure you chose outfits that are comfortable and look good whether you’re standing, sitting, or even lying down. Constantly having to readjust can be annoying and time consuming. And an overly tight or restrictive outfit really limits the amount of poses available to you. Never choose looking good over comfort – you can definitely have both if you shop smart. Give yourself a few weeks to find the right outfits. Try not to wait until the last minute. Also, it’s a good idea to have one to two backup outfits just in case you change your mind or just in case the weather changes.

Think about your underwear

What you wear under your clothes is just as important as the clothes themselves. If you’re planning on wearing white, you don’t want brightly colored underwear that shows through your clothes or a bra that clearly shows through your blouse. As for guys, you don’t want your boxers peeking out from your pants or bunching up under your shorts. When you’re choosing your outfits for your session try them on with underwear to make sure everything looks good and fits right as well as being comfortable when you move around.

Add a variety of Outfits for Senior Photos

Chances are you have more than one style, and your outfit choices should reflect that. Your best bet for selecting what to wear for senior photos is to choose both a casual outfit (think jeans and a fun tee) and a more formal outfit, like a dress or suit jacket. You don’t want all your portraits to look exactly the same, and having different styles gives your images more variety and will give you even more photos to love. Another variety that’s popular with seniors is adding a sports jersey or band uniform. Sprinkle a touch of your high school activities into your senior shoot to make it memorable. Think about including a football jersey, baseball or soccer uniform, cheer outfits or lacrosse uniform are all fantastic to bring out your personality!

In conclusion, when it comes to selecting the perfect outfits for your senior photo session, it’s important to consider how colors can impact the overall look of your photos. Other things to consider are how the clothes fit your frame, are they comfortable to move around, do you feel like it represents your personality, and do you feel like yourself? If you feel good about what you are wearing then you’re on the right path to an awesome photo shoot! Preparation is key to a success photo shoot!

A high school senior boy wearing a football jersey is leaning over a rail..    A beautiful high school senior girl holding a 'senior' banner sign behind her back and looking back at the camera smiling..

A high school senior girl wearing a red dress is posing for Khim Higgins Photography in Winter Park, Florida..    A senior girl wearing a white top and blue jean shorts is squatting down in a pose for Khim Higgins Photography.