One of the hardest parts of planning any kind of photoshoot is tackling the age old question: “what do I wear?”. Which looks more like scrolling hopefully through Pinterest gathering ideas. Then thumbing through your closet that suddenly starts to feel strangely inadequate [and empty]. So you begin perusing online and before long you’ve got countless browser tabs open with online shopping carts filled with clothes you don’t even know will work. Then you down yet another mug filled with coffee for the day before finally throwing your arms up in frustration and declaring – “I’m SO OVER this!”
Planning a wardrobe for your brand shoot can [and should] be just as intentional and purposeful as the process it takes to plan the shoot itself! Though it may seem daunting at first, I can promise you that having plan of action to aid you in this process makes all the difference (for both you and your bank account!) That’s why I’ve pulled together this 4 step process that I use when I’m curating my own shoot wardrobe to will help you gather a rack full of killer outfit options for your next shoot that make you look just as confident as you’ll feel on shoot day!
Here’s the lowdown:
- Glean inspiration
- Start with the basics – think capsule wardrobe
- Personality Pieces
- Pair it all together
Let’s break that down!
Take to Pinterest and curate a board that not only reflects your personal style, but also coordinates with your brand’s style. (I also look to a few trusted stylists on IG as well) And through this process, do yourself a favor and focus on more than just the clothes themselves. Typically I tell my clients that the wardrobe they pack for their brand shoot should be a more refined spin on their everyday look. Think of the things you wear on a normal basis: to work in the office, for client meetings, grabbing coffee, a night on the town, etc. – Now, what would a more polished, brand-resonant look of each of those outfits look like?
You’ll likely be selecting a certain number of outfits for specific concepts, scenes or locations that your photographer has dreamed up for your shoot. Keep those in mind as well as you are pulling inspiration – consider, how could this outfit aid in telling a deeper story about my brand?
Last thing to consider – are you happy with the overall look and feel of your current brand? If yes, then you can glance over this last tip. If not, could your brand shoot wardrobe be a way to elevate the look of your final brand photos and thus elevating the look of your brand as a whole? How should you go about that? – Curate inspiration for your wardrobe selections with your ideal brand in mind. How do you want it to look, feel and if you met it on the street what might it be wearing?
If you’d like ideas or a start on what a board like this might look like, check out mine from my last shoot HERE.
Start with The Basics
We’ve got the inspiration, now it’s time to bring it to life. Starting with – basics. Basics are considered to be the staples of your wardrobe, the things you go to over and over again because like they’ll never go out of style. Basing the core of your wardrobe selections on these things will help you to avoid settling for trendy clothes that you’ll regret wearing six months down the road (been there, done that! And have the photos to prove it.) Some of my favorite basics to include are a good pair of medium-wash or black jeans (without holes), neutral tops (whites, creams, grays, etc.) and then I pull in a jacket or two of a neutral tone that will layer well – a well-cut blazer is always a solid option. Once you’ve got your stack of basics ready to go, you can now move on to the next step!
Need to level-up your basic game? Here’s a few of my favorite places I find quality pieces to add to my own collection:
- Madewell – their t-shirts are a staple in my closet
- Banana Republic + the Factory Outlet
- Nordstrom Rack – basically all my shoes come from here
Personality pieces infuse your wardrobe with the extra flair it needs to stand out, but in a way that won’t leave you in need of a new shoot every other month because the wardrobe you selected was a bit too recognizable on your IG feed. Contrary to popular belief (mainly my friend group) I do actually have a few fun pieces to compliment my predominantly neutral, capsule wardrobe! One that you’ll see littering my photo library regularly is a solid, neutral felt hat! Specifically, GigiPip. (I’m a tad obsessed) I use pieces like these to bring a bit extra to the base outfit without a lot of effort – they’re easily added and swapped out to promote variety.
A personality piece could be as simple as a colorful jumpsuit or patterned blazer. Or range anywhere from a tasteful graphic or patterned tee, a pair of overalls or even a well-loved pair of snakeskin boots. For you, it could be a classic dress with flowing fabric that channels the elegance that is Parisian culture? Or it might include some brightly colored options to match your vibrant personality? Or maybe a piece that resembles the New York Street fashion you just can’t get enough of! Sift through your closet, brand inspiration and locate anything for you that might fit in this category. And before adding it into the pile of “yeses” for your shoot, consider. Will I hate that that I included this item six months from now? OR Will this stick out like a sore thumb in the midst of everything else I’ve chosen? If the answer is no to both those, then it’s safe to go ahead and throw it in!
Pair it All Together
Now, let’s pull it all together! Warning – my process for this is not the prettiest. It tends to get a little messy. But trust me – the best way to tackle a wardrobe curation sesh is beginning with a bit of organized chaos.
I start by throwing all my “yeses” options onto my bed. From there, I make two piles. A “for sure” pile and an “ehh” pile. That way I begin to weed out the things I actually want to use, and what I’m less excited about.
Now to curate. I keep my the number of outfits I need in mind and begin with those basics to give my outfits shape. From there then I infuse the personality pieces to add character where it makes sense. Once I’ve settled on first draft of selections, I then start laying things on the floor and pairing the final outfit options together. When the bed is empty and the outfits are all laid out in piles on the ground, I add the jewelry, shoes and general accessories that pair with each and snap a photo of them so that I remember what goes with what.
I then try on all the outfits one more time, with all the accessories – and take a sec to snap a quality (full length) mirror photo in each one! Lastly, take all those pictures and plug them into an album in your phone and then send that to your photographer! And that’s it!
And it’s as simple as that! Brand sessions can seem pretty daunting at times and choosing outfits for them is just the icing on an already overwhelmingly large cake! But, this step by step process of gleaning inspiration, building with basics, adding some flair with personality pieces and then pairing it together, should empower you with confidence because you know where to start!
And hopefully not feel like you need to completely overhaul your current wardrobe before getting photos taken!
If you ever have any questions or need additional tips and tricks as you plan for your own outfits for your photoshoot, don’t hesitate to reach out! Follow along on Instagram and shoot me a DM.