Coordinating Family Photo Outfits

Following up with my post earlier this week on how to survive family photo day, today I'm sharing with you all the hardest part about planning family photos (for me anyway) … coordinating outfits! There are several ways to approach family outfits and there are a lot of things to consider.

Instead of listing out all the coordinating color schemes & clothing combination options (that would literally require writing a novel), I'm going to go over the 4 main the points that I think about when I’m trying to put outfits together for all of us. Hopefully this helps you with choosing colors schemes and who wears what for your next photo session!

  • Avoid trendy colors or clothing pieces: It’s so hard not to fall into what’s trending at the moment, especially if you go shopping for new outfits. One way to avoid this trap is to try to choose a color pallet that goes with the decor in your home. In the past, I've gone with colors that were trendy and that everyone liked, but when it came to printing & hanging them I realized that the colors in the photo don’t go with the rest of the house. Also, wearing the clothing items that are “in” at the moment instantly dates your photo. Try to stick with clothing pieces that are seasonal but timeless, so in a few years you’re not looking back at the photo and get embarrassed by what you’re wearing.

I kept my look really simple with a navy cable-knit sweater, skinny jeans, and boots. This way when I look back on these photos in a few years, I won't be laughing at how silly I looked by trying to be super trendy!

  • Mix it up: Choose a mix of 3-5 colors that go well together (navy, burgundy, & gray for example). To avoid being too matchy-matchy, I recommend to not have everyone wear the same combination of colors. You want things to coordinate, not match exactly. Pinterest is my best friend when it comes to finding coordinating color pallets. The options can quickly get overwhelming, so try to stick with colors you already wear a lot of so you can avoid last-minute shopping.

I also highly recommend mixing patterns and textures. You can have one person in a plaid button-up and another in a thick cable-knit sweater, while another person is in a solid knit cardigan over a blouse. You can even mix two different plaids, especially if they are different in scale & color (an example of this would be a large-print plaid and a small-print plaid in different color patterns).

Choose outfits you’re comfortable in: The worst thing you can do is dress everyone in clothes they don’t feel comfortable in. It’s already going to be a long day full of struggles, so don’t add fuel to the fire by putting your kids or husband in something that is too tight or something that they don’t feel like they look good wearing. My husband is pretty good about going with the flow and wearing what I suggest, but choose your battles and don't make it a fight if it’s something he’s really not into.

Even though I would've loved to put William in a cute plaid button-up like I was originally planning, I knew he would't be comfortable in it because it isn't very stretchy. It was also extremely cold the day of our shoot, so I knew putting him in something warm and soft would be the best option to keep him happy.

For my husband, I also kept it simple. He likes wearing clothes that don't require a whole lot of fuss to put together, so this comfy sweater and pair of jeans was perfect- no complaints from him at all!

  • Be prepared: Prep outfits in their entirety the night before. Have everything from the shirt to the socks & shoes laid out so there’s no scrambling the morning of to try and find one missing sock to the only pair that goes with an outfit. Bring an extra top in coordinating colors for the kids, because life happens and the odds of the original getting dirty either before or during the photo session is high.

Choosing outfits for the whole family doesn't have to be stressful. Use the tips above to guide you, and go with what you like instead of trying to be trendy. Don't worry about trying to capture the perfect Instagram photo while looking like the perfect Pinterest family, that's not real life! Keep the outfits simple, and just have fun creating memories as a family.

Despite the cold, happy smiles all around!

Photos by the amazing Tiffany Marie. Highly recommend her for your next family/senior/wedding session!


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