I received so many questions in my latest call for shopping queries about what to wear for family photos that I wanted to dedicate an entire post to it. We don’t have portraits taken yearly, so I am not an expert, but here are some of my personal opinions on approaching this challenge…
1 // Start with an outfit you love. Something that makes you feel elegant, chic, comfortable, flattered. This might be a solid shirtdress, jeans and a fabulous top, or a bold fashion-forward sundress. Whatever makes you feel most beautiful.
2 // On that note, personally, I have gotten too tied up in seeming “classic” or “timeless” in photos. I say go with what you want to wear right now, in this moment, in 2022. I find that when I try too hard to wear something that will transcend trends, I end up with something that makes me feel muted. Everyone looks dated in photos anyway in a few decades — I say lean into it. Maybe this advice is not for everyone, but that’s my approach.
3 // Related: wear the statement jewelry! Wear the statement shoe! Go bold! I recently ran across that quote that says something along the lines of: “be the main character in your life story; don’t be someone else’s supporting actress.” I think this applies to a lot in life, but on the superficial, fashion-related plane: dial it up! Be you!
4 // I’m not a huge fan of “matching” outside of sibling matching. I prefer to mix patterns or shades of a color. Two tricks to achieving pattern-mixing to great effect: gingham goes well with florals and/or stripes in the same color, and, if the patterns are in the same color and general print category, make sure the scale is different (i.e., itsy bitsy florals next to big florals, or pinstripes next to block stripes).
Below is a starting point to get the creative juices flowing. I’ve not included menswear because (sorry, Mr. Magpie), I think they can come after the outfits for the women and children are nailed down. I usually look at Todd Snyder, Ralph Lauren, Paul Stuart, and Sid Mashburn for pieces that coordinate.
In general, my favorite brands for children for more formal occasions like this are Jacadi, Sal E Pimenta, Question Everything, Busy Bees, Bellabliss (good solid colored staples for boys), Luli and Me, La Coqueta, Rachel Riley, and Luca and Luca.
BODEN SMOCKED DRESS // MINNOW SWEATER AND SHORTS // SAL E PIMENTA FLORAL DRESS // BELLABLISS SHORTALLS // SAL E PIMENTA ROMPER // LUG VON SIGA MAXI // JACADI STRIPED OVERALLS // NICOLA BATHIE HOOPS // DAPHNE WILDE TIERED SHIRTDRESS // LULI AND ME FLORAL DIAPER SET // JACADI LIBERTY FLORAL DRESS // DAMARIS BAILEY FLORAL DRESS // NICOLA BATHIE DAISY AND STRAWBERRY EARRINGS // LK BENNETT RED GINGHAM DRESS // HENRY DUVALL JON JON // PROPER PEONY PETAL COLLAR RED DRESS // NICOLA BATHIE STRAWBERRY EARRINGS // MUZUNGU SISTERS STRAWBERRY PRINT DRESS // BUSY BEES GINGHAM BUBBLE // QUESTION EVERYTHING CHERRY DRESS // BUSY BEES GEORGE KHAKI ROMPER // MILLE VICTORIA DRESS
A few more starting points for you below. If you are in a real panic, look at Cara Cara’s Blue Hill Dress. I know many Magpies have used these dresses for family portraits, Baptisms, and other special occasions — it’s a beautiful dress that flatters many body types and it comes in a bunch of seasonal patterns each year.
P.S. Great men’s clothing finds.
P.P.S. Kitchen must-haves.
P.P.P.S. Paying attention.
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