I think “what to wear” is the most asked question I receive from couples planning their engagement photography in the Washington, D.C. area. It’s such a hard question because what you wear in your engagement photography will be something you look at for years to come. Most my couples want how they look in their photos to be: chic, refined, elegant, and maybe a little studly.
I put a little general “what to wear” post (see here), but for many, it didn’t go far enough. They knew colors and styles they loved, but went to their closet or the closest J. Crew… and were lost and overwhelmed. Do you feel the same way? Don’t worry, I asked Antonio with Citizen Frederick to help me out.
First, business matters. I’m a photographer, not a stylist. I was not compensated for this post in any way. I asked Antonio of Citizen Frederick and a women’s boutique (info coming soon on the store– Silk and Burlap!) if we could partner because I want someone to send my couples to– someone who has listened to what I need to give couples awesome photos (see that general what to wear post here) and is willing to listen to my clients about what they like, what fits, and what makes them feel like the Beckhams.
I thought about going to someplace like Maxwell or Neimans in Tysons…. but here’s the deal, those people change. Antonio owns the freakin’ store. I can text him and let him know you’re coming and give some background on where we are shooting. I know that my clients will be taken care of, and I don’t have that same assurance elsewhere.
So, as you are planning your session, here are some of the outfits Antonio of Citizen Frederick put together for the guys. I love them! Let me tell you, from the photographer’s perspective, what works and why.
If you’re a little preppy or a little nerdy, embrace it. Justin is wearing slim-fit khakis, canvas sneakers, a bow tie with pops of color matching his socks, a chambray button down, and a cardigan. The cardigan isn’t something that I would have picked, but it plays down the bow tie so it is not such a BOW TIE. Also, its an awesome way to casual up an outfit. It’s dressy, but not as dressy as a jacket.
Also, don’t forget about the details. The socks are a perfect match to the bow tie. The belt and watch take the outfit to “done.”
Jason is wearing tailored khakis with a houndstooth sweater, white button-down shirt, and rugged boots. As a professional, you may look at your closet and see suits… or gym clothes. Jason’s look is a great “medium ground” outfit.
Word of caution, however, if you want to wear a white button-down shirt, layer it under something– a sport coat, sweater or vest. Layers create dimension and and texture. A plain white shirt “sucks” all the light in the image and draws your eye away from your face.
The Lumber Sexual
Justin pulled off the perfect lumber sexy look. If you know me, I love a red, white and blue color pallet. It’s classic, clean, stylish, and heck, even patriotic. Jason layered some classic jeans, brown boots, grey shirt, denim shirt, and quilted plaid jacket.
This is a perfect look for a guy’s guy. Word of caution: every outfit doesn’t work on every body. This is perfect for Jason because he’s so thin. It gives him great bulk. If you are a bigger guy, too many layers will make you feel and look like the hulk.
The Sporty Look
For the guy who hates to be “styled,” Adam’s sporty look is perfect. Tailored khakis, white kicks, his favorite hoody, and a navy jacket. He’s dressed up but still comfortable. The key to this look and the next look is a slim fit trouser. The style is unabashedly casual. This is your engagement session, however. Not tailgating.
Word of caution: Adam is in solid colors. Solid colors or wild patterns are awesome. Plaids with tight weaves or thin, close-together stripes don’t present well on screen or in print. The color gets all wavy and starts to look like a topographic map.
The T-Shirt Guy
Some guys are just t-shirt guys. You put them in something else, and you almost feel itchy for them. Again, with a great pair of fitted jeans, a crisp t-shirt, and some killer boots… you can get by for one of your engagement session looks. You should still have a more formal look, but this one can pass for your casual look. Pop it with a killer jacket to get that lumber-sexy look.
The Monochrome Man
If you are stuck on wearing a white shirt, it should be because you love the monochrome look, not because you can’t find something else. You can’t find something else? Ask Antonio to help you. If you like the monochrome look, think about photographing against a simple wall– white, gray, no patterns, no leaves or trees. Also, a white shirt will make a big guy look bigger. Something to consider.
Thoughts? You’ve seen looks for the the preppy, the professional, the lumber sexual, the sporty guy, the t-shirt guy, and the monochrome man…. I’ve love to have leave a comment with you favorite style and the female styles you’d like to see next week!