professional headshot of Mike Minard

Mike Minard

What do I wear for my professional headshot?

That’s one of the first questions our clients ask! This guide to corporate portrait attire should help.


If you wear glasses most of the time, I recommend wearing them for your session. Glasses that darken in bright light are not recommended.


For a formal business image, choose your outfit as if you were hosting a presentation or event for important clients or associates. A more casual business outfit would be something you might wear to a networking event.

Please keep in mind that your clothing is secondary to a great expression. Although a favorite outfit may be your first choice, the purpose of a business image is to convey your personality. You don’t want to be overshadowed by your clothes.

Feel free to ask us for advice, and it’s a great idea to send me photos of the outfits you’re considering. We can go over the choices on the phone or in email. Be sure to try on all clothing prior to your session.

professional headshot of Annette P. Johnson, Certified Professional Leadership Coach

Annette P. Johnson, Certified Professional Leadership Coach

Style And Color – Yes!

  • Structured/fitted jackets with lapels – see all the images on this page
  • Dark suits for men generally look more formal and professional
  • Solid colors or very subtle pinstripes work best.
  • Lighter shirts with medium dark jackets
  • Red is a good accent color (tie or pocket square), or for women, a red blouse under a jacket. Earth tones (dark blue and brown) are good choices
  • A blazer or a fitted sweater over a button-down shirt or blouse looks good


  • Loose sweaters, baggy, low cut blouses or turtlenecks
  • Do not wear sleeveless/short sleeves for any business image!
  • Avoid loud/busy patterns
  • Capes, shawls, or anything shapeless
  • Nothing reflective or sparkly
  • Trendy clothes will date your image; stick to classic styles
  • No scoop neck or boat neck jackets
professional headshot of Blond haired business woman wearing blue jacket business attire

Debbie Downie

Jewelry & Accessories – Yes!

  • Simple and elegant – accessorize sparingly and tastefully for business portraits/executive headshots
  • Stud earrings and very thin necklaces work well
  • Large “statement” pieces are great for personal branding images


3 Chicks That Click highly recommends our professional makeup artist and hair stylist, who will meet you at our studio.

If doing your own makeup, apply it as you would for a business event. The camera slightly reduces the effects of makeup, so you might want to use just a little more than usual, especially on your lips. A slightly richer color lipstick works well.

Anyone with shiny skin (including men) will have powder applied, or we’ll use blotting paper. Not to worry, we have both.

Avoid 5 o´clock shadow. If you have a heavy beard and your session is in the afternoon, you might consider bringing your shaving kit with you. Five o´clock shadows are difficult to retouch effectively.

Hair Styles

professional headshot of woman wearing a red jacket and pearl necklaceFor men and women, styles should be neat and hair should be kept out of the face/eyes. Please touch up your roots if you color your hair. Avoid large hair ornaments/fasteners; we have bobby pins if necessary.

That’s it! If you have any questions, please give us a call. Being prepared for your session will make it fun and relaxed and help you look your best!