What are the best colors for headshots?

Choosing the best colors for your headshot is important, but there is no need to overthink it. There are just a few simple things to keep in mind about what colors are best for headshots.

If you have a favorite color that you feel looks great on you, then, by all means, bring it along, even if it doesn’t meet all the guidelines here. It could be an example that proves the rule.

Avoid Bright Colors and Patterns

The main things to avoid are bright colors and loud patterns. These attention-grabbing outfits distract the viewer from you, so it’s best to avoid them.

White Looks Great

best colors to wear for headshots

One exception to the bright color rule is white. Not everyone wears it, but white is an excellent choice for many complexions and is particularly dramatic on a white background.

Ivory and off-white also work well with darker backgrounds.

Solid and Darker Colors are Best

Solid colors with layers look great

Solid and darker colors won’t draw attention from you, but they also don’t need to be boring either. Simpler patterns and textures are ok.

Charcoal jacked, white shirt, and tie with simple pattern.

A dark blue or charcoal jacket with a white or light blue shirt is a classic look in headshots. It’s great to mix that up with some different shirts and ties (if you wear them).

Dark jacket over top.

It’s good to introduce some contrast. It could be a dark jacket and a light shirt, or a black sweater and grey jacket.

Quality Counts

Finally, make sure the clothes fit, and they are still in like-new condition. Tired, worn-out shirts or old, pilled up sweaters don’t look good on camera. I have another post on how to prepare for a headshot session with more details on getting ready.

Best Colors Don’t Distract

The critical thing to remember here is that you are the main subject of your headshot, not your outfit. After all, you’re not trying to sell clothes with your headshots. You want an outfit that makes you look and feel great, but also one that doesn’t stand out and draw attention away from you.

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