dondolo floral dress

Family Portrait Outfit Ideas.

*Image above via Dondolo. I have all the heart eyes for the dress the mother is wearing in the portrait above!

I can’t tell you how many inquiries I’ve received asking for advice on what to wear for family portraits, each with their own nuance. I shared some tartan/plaid family looks here, but am adding a couple of other options below that might suit your circumstances! My biggest piece of advice is to start with one piece you love, whether it’s a dress you’ve been eyeing forever or a special occasion piece your daughter owns and then build out from there, and know that not everyone has to be matching! Some of you can just have a little pop of the principal color/texture/vibe, i.e., just a pair of velvet smoking shoes if the children are in velvet outfits, etc.

If You Want a Fall Palette.

If you’re, say, shooting amidst fall foliage and don’t want straight up “HOLIDAY TARTAN” for the photo, I would go with this Sea dress* (I’ll be wearing this on Thanksgiving!) with children wearing pieces from Luca and Luca (also what my children will be wearing on Thanksgiving — ha!) They have such great fall colors in muted browns, burgundies, etc, that will all work beautifully together without looking matchy-matchy. For example, mini is wearing this (with knee socks or ribbed tights and Mary Janes like these or these) and micro is wearing this shirt and these dungarees with knee socks and saddle shoes. If that feels like too much competition with your dress, put yourself in a chic textured dress like this suede style (SO OBSESSED) or this sweater dress with some great suede boots.

For your husband, a shawl collar sweater in a warm camel color with his favorite corduroys and a white button-down, or have him test out wearing a fair isle in a pattern that compliments the family’s color palette. (And if that feels too busy, try one of these fantastic Pendleton sweaters in an olive green/brown/tan color.)

*Other similar boho/fall options for you: more or less anything from Doen, this $28 paisley maroon confection (j’adore), or this breezy Zimmermann (50% off).

If You’re Shooting in Warm Weather.

I’m nearly always drawn to blue and white, so that was my first thought. And right now, I love the pretty floral dresses for women from Dondolo, so might anchor the look around one of them, like this one (seen above). Splurgey, but this beyond precious Pukatuka dress or bubble for little girls (alternately, Luli & Me never disappoints), and this romper or these shorts for boys (or this from Luli). Husband can wear either seersucker pants or linen trousers and a white button-down.

*Dondolo has a lot of other great options in different palettes and lightweight fabrics from their recent collaboration with Pencil & Paper Co worth considering, too! Or build the entire vibe around this stunning dress, which would work well with nearly any floral pattern on little ones.

If You Want Shades of Ivory/White.

I love a winter white moment, and am currently drooling over this tweed coat mini dress for myself. This brocade is also exceptional, and I think Charlotte York would approve of this versatile, classy, and flattering dress.

For your little one, I’m smitten with this ivory lace dress, this bubble, this herringbone dress, this sweater-coat, this cashmere coverall, La Coqueta knit set, and this dramatic lace collar onesie (swoon!)

If You Want Velvet.

I’m so into velvet at the moment and have specifically been eyeing the green velvet from Luli & Me (this for girls) and the red velvet from Sal e Pimenta (this for boys). I might wear an ivory dress (options above) and finish with velvet/suede pumps or a velvet headband to tie in or go all out in this droolworthy GOAT dress, and have husband in a velvet bow tie or velvet smoking shoes paired with his favorite suit in gray.

*There are also some seriously cute velvet pieces in this Janie & Jack collection.

If all of these seem too complex to coordinate/you want something more casual, have everyone in jeans and a camel sweater/blouse/top, or make camel the unifying color. So easy to find pieces in that colorway this season! For example, you could layer this over any solid-colored piece your little lass already owns (or pair with jeans), your boy could wear these “brandy”-colored cords with an ivory cableknit sweater, and you can invest in that cashmere turtleneck you *need.* (Haha).

P.S. I actually want every single thing on this gift list for myself.

P.P.S. So enjoyed the insightful and provocative comments on this post about whether we gender our strengths.

P.P.P.S. The nightgown dress, but make it fall.

2 Comments

  1. Jen, you are absolutely killing it with your timely posts! We are about to have family pictures taken as well, and I have a feeling we are going the casual route as my husband skews VERY casual and my toddler has been extremely picky with any fabric that is not cotton pajama-level of softness (she’s mastered pandemic/lockdown wardrobe, that’s for sure). I’m the only one in my family who enjoys getting dressed up! I think that sweater dress you recommended would be a “happy medium”, and long enough that I can bend over, sit on the grass, etc.

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