Trying to select the most appropriate outfit for a corporate headshot photo session could be a difficult process. Nonetheless, choosing correctly will make the difference between a professional corporate headshot and an unpolished portrait.

Are you finding it hard to choose?

Don’t worry, we have tips to help you understand exactly what to wear for a corporate portrait photo session.


A corporate outfit is one you’d wear in a formal setting especially, especially in an office environment. It is either a regular part of the company’s dress code, such as a suit, dress shirt, and complementary accessories. Or, it could be a customized uniform adopted by the company to make the workers unique and easily identified during work.

You want to represent your company well for your corporate photo, as it will be displayed online and on your name tag. Therefore, you need to wear an outfit that reflects well on the company as a whole. 


Generally, for both men and women, it is important to consider some factors before choosing an outfit for a photo session, including:

  1. Color combination of the clothing: Clothing with dark color tones tend to make you look slender. You can choose colors like white under a black or navy-blue jacket. Dark colors also help you blend with the background, thereby making the most important feature for the portrait — your face — appear more prominent. It is recommended to tone down on bright or light colors
  2. Design on the clothing: For a portrait photo session, do as much as you can to avoid patterned clothing or clothing with prints. The bigger the pattern on your outfit, the less formal it becomes.  A corporate portrait aims to avoid distractions as much as possible.
  3. Accessories:  Appearing laden with accessories can be a major source of distraction. Wearing big earrings, bracelets, anklets and other forms of accessories is not advised. Be simple and maintain minimal use of accessories. More so, body piercings should be avoided.
  4. Makeup: Both men and women can wear makeup to a corporate portrait photo session to soften the affect of bright lights, but it’s best to appear natural and subtle with a corporate photo. Again, limit distractions. 
  5. Hair and nails: Keep it simple. Avoid a hair-do that covers your face, especially your eyes. Your eyes are the most important part of your face, especially for a successful corporate portrait photo session.


As a general rule, men should go with a classic suit, that is a jacket or blazer and pants.

Note that there is a difference between a suit jacket and a blazer, although the difference is becoming less glaring. A suit jacket comes with a matching pair of pants and is more structured at the shoulders, while a blazer is looser, less formal and can be worn over a separate color of trousers (pants, chinos or jeans).  

 It is safest to go with black, grey or dark blue suits or blazers.


Wear a formal dress shirt. A clean and solid white shirt is the most formal color, but you can try out other colors like light blue, pastel hues, or pale pink. 

Sample Colors to Wear for Men

Navy blue suit + white crisp shirt + red striped or polka-dotted tie

Navy blue suit + light blue shirt + navy blue polka-dotted tie

Gray suit + pale pink shirt + navy blue striped/polka-dotted or plain black solid tie.

Black suit + white shirt + navy blue/red/oxblood plain, striped or polka-dotted tie

Black suit + light blue shirt + navy blue/red striped tie.


Brown dress shoes are perfect for most suits. Tan or light brown shoes, burgundy shoes, and black shoes are also professional and complement any of the combinations above. 

Considering shoe types, go for brogues, double monk strap, derbies, and oxford shoes. If you’re only going in for a headshot, you don’t need to worry as much about your shoes, but a complete look can make you look and feel more confident regardless.

Note the following:

  • Pocket squares can take either the color of your shirt or tie
  • Wristwatches could take the color of your shoes
  • Your socks should always match the color of the suit trousers.  It is a rule of thumb to appear classic.


Finely tailored black, gray or blue pant suits that fit your body are perfect choices to make for a corporate photo session.

Shiny or silky blouses add a touch of class without being too distracting. Or, wear a dress in a solid color and with a modest neck line.

Colors that are good for all skin types include Eggplant, True Red, Mellow Rose, and Indian Teal.

Wear shoes that not only look nice and are a complementary color, but that also feel good so that you can relax during your photo shoot.