Struggling to Decide what to Wear?

I got you.

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!

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 basically 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. 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.

Patterns are TOTALLY okay. Just don’t let them take away from you or the beautiful surroundings. I also suggest that if one person from the couple is wearing a pattern, that the other person should be wearing a solid print. This helps things not to get too crazy.

5. 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!

6. Layers are good when seasonally appropriate. A jacket or cardigan specifically can be slimming and will help if you dislike your arms in photos.

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!!


  1. Make sure you steam or iron your outfits ahead of time if necessary.
  2. Make sure your roots aren’t showing if you dye your hair.
  3. 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!