Portrait photography is all about capturing your unique personality and beauty. Let’s face it, selecting the perfect outfit for your glamorous photoshoot can be incredibly overwhelming! 

This challenging decision can drive anyone, including photographers, up the wall. To make sure you look and feel your best in your portrait pictures, it’s essential to choose the right outfit that flatters your body type, shape, and height.

In this article, we’ll guide you through some styling tips and tricks to help you shine in front of the camera, no matter your body type. Let’s dive in!

Dressing for Your Body Type: Accentuating Your Assets

The Hourglass Figure: Balance and Proportion

If you have a well-defined waist with balanced bust and hip measurements, you have the coveted hourglass figure. To flaunt your curves in portrait photography, choose clothing that accentuates your waist, such as a wrap dress or a fitted top with a high-waisted skirt. V-necklines and open collars will also complement your bust and create a balanced silhouette.

The Pear Shape: Highlighting Your Upper Body

With a smaller bust and waist and fuller hips, the pear shape can benefit from drawing attention to the upper body. Opt for portrait pictures with tops that have interesting necklines or details, such as ruffles or embellishments. Pair them with dark, slimming bottoms, and consider adding a statement necklace to create visual interest at the top.

The Apple Shape: Creating a Slimming Effect

Apple-shaped bodies have a fuller midsection, so the goal is to create an elongated, slimming effect. Choose flowing tops that skim over your midsection without clinging, and pair them with structured, straight-leg pants. In portrait photography, avoid busy patterns and opt for solid colors. A long necklace can also help draw the eye vertically, creating a more streamlined appearance.

The Rectangle Shape: Defining Your Waist

If your bust, waist, and hips are relatively equal in size, you have a rectangle shape. To create curves in your portrait pictures, choose outfits that cinch at the waist, such as a belted dress or a peplum top. You can also play with patterns and textures to add dimension and interest to your look.

Dressing for Your Height: Creating the Illusion of Length

Petite Frames: Lengthening Your Silhouette

For those under 5’4″, the goal is to create the illusion of height in portrait photography. Choose clothing with vertical lines or patterns, such as pinstripes or vertical pleats. 

Opt for monochromatic outfits, as they create an unbroken line and make you appear taller. High-waisted bottoms and V-neck tops can also elongate your torso, while heels will add height and improve posture.

Tall Frames: Embracing Your Height

If you’re 5’9″ or taller, embrace your height and long legs in your portrait pictures! You can play with bold patterns and textures, as well as layering pieces like jackets and scarves. 

Wide-leg pants and maxi dresses are also great options for tall frames. However, avoid wearing head-to-toe monochromatic outfits, as they can make you appear even taller.

Extra Tips for Portrait Photography Outfits

Choose Colors That Complement Your Skin Tone

To look your best in portrait pictures, choose clothing colors that complement your skin tone. Warm skin tones look great in earthy shades like browns, oranges, and yellows, while cool skin tones shine in jewel tones like blues, greens, and purples. If you’re unsure of your skin tone, opt for colors that look good on everyone, such as navy, gray, or burgundy.

Avoid Distracting Patterns and Logos

Keep the focus on you in portrait photography by avoiding clothing with distracting patterns, logos, or text. Instead, opt for solid colors or subtle patterns that enhance your appearance without stealing the spotlight. This will ensure that your face and expression are the main focus of the portrait rather than your clothing.

Consider the Background

When choosing your clothing for portrait photography, consider the background of the photo as well. You want to choose colors that will contrast nicely with the background so you don’t blend in or get lost in the image. If you’re unsure of the background, choose neutral colors like white, beige, or black, as they tend to work well with most backgrounds.

Layer and Accessorize

Adding layers and accessories to your outfit can add depth and interest to your portrait without being too distracting. A blazer, cardigan, or scarf can provide a pop of color or texture, while jewelry, belts, or ties can add a touch of personal style. Just be careful not to over-accessorize, as too many items can become distracting and take away from the focus on your face.


It is crucial to pick the appropriate attire for portrait photography to guarantee that your pictures are appealing and highlight your finest qualities. Prioritize colors that suit your complexion, steer clear of eye-catching designs and logos, take the backdrop into account, utilize layers and accessories, select well-tailored garments, and prepare in advance to produce a remarkable portrait you’ll be delighted to exhibit.

Discover more portrait photoshoots through ELLIEPHOTO’s photography sessions. Our talented portrait photographers in Ashburn, VA, expertly capture your distinct allure, producing breathtaking photos that showcase your self-assurance and sensuality. Schedule a session today to unveil your inner divinity.