What to Wear for the Christmas Family Portrait

Family Christmas portrait

Deciding what to wear in your holiday family portrait is a key step in creating frame-worthy holiday pictures. What you wear helps set the tone for your portraits, so it's important that you choose wisely.

Selecting a Sitting Style

The type of sitting can definitely impact what to wear for the portrait, so understanding what type of sitting your photographer has planned will go a long way to help you select the right outfits. Formal portrait sittings have a more traditional feel, while casual sittings utilize non-traditional poses, and settings and may offer more leeway in your wardrobe choices.

Formal family portrait

When choosing your outfit for formal holiday portraits, consider the backdrops you'll be posed in front of. Many studios have pre-printed backdrops available, as well as plain muslin or canvas choices. Choose plain clothes for busy backgrounds and save the busier prints for solid backgrounds.

What to Wear

The best option for a formal Christmas portrait may be to wear your Sunday best. In many cases, this is the easiest and most appropriate attire for a formal holiday photo. However, there are other wardrobe options available, if you are looking to give your holiday portraits a more individual touch. Four popular choices follow.

1. Coordinating Outfits

coordinated family

Coordinating outfits are an easy way to create a unified look in your Christmas portraits. However, matching doesn't have to translate to identical. You can choose a favorite color or style and select clothing from there. Some examples of matching formal outfits include white, red, or green shirts and dark slacks or skirts. You could also wear matching sweaters or jackets or choose varied outfits in a single shade of red or green.

2. Casual

casual family portrait with dog

When you are posing for casual shots, you need to consider freedom of movement when selecting outfit choices. Don't underestimate the versatility of blue jeans for your Christmas family portrait. You can pair them with sweaters, sweatshirts or even outdoor clothes for a relaxed look. Jeans also provide an excellent base for a variety of tops. Try coupling them with plain white shirts, red sweaters, or green coats.

3. Outerwear

outdoor family portrait

One way to add some spice to your holiday photo is to coordinate your family in matching scarves and mittens and take the picture in the great outdoors. Bundle up in winter coats and boots for portraits posed on sleds or shots taken in front of a snowman. These ideas work well for outdoor shoots. However, if you're going dress in outwear for an indoor shoot, remember that removing layers can cause static to build up in hair and clothes.

4. Pajamas

Family portrait in PJs

Try a new twist on a traditional portrait by posing in your pajamas. Dress the family in matching holiday PJs and pose in front of the tree or a decorated fireplace. You can even have everyone hold cups of hot cocoa for a "Night Before Christmas" scene.

Tips to Consider

When deciding what to wear for the Christmas family portrait, the first step is to talk to your photographer. He or she can give you a better idea of how your portrait sitting will be set-up and what style of clothing is most appropriate. If you'll be changing outfits during your sitting, save more restrictive clothing for the end of the shoot. Tight-fitting clothes can leave marks that may show up in the finished photo. Finally, make sure your clothing is neat, clean, and in good condition before heading to the photo studio.

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What to Wear for the Christmas Family Portrait