Log In
Log In

What to Wear for Professional Headshots? - Females [Updated 2024]

Whether you're aiming for a powerful corporate image or a creative professional vibe, these tips will help you dress with purpose and make a strong impact.

A woman in a library posing for a professional headshot
A woman in a library posing for a professional headshot

Are you ready to make a lasting impression with your professional headshots? 

Your attire is the key to conveying confidence, professionalism, and style. In this guide, tailored specifically for women, we'll explore the art of dressing for success in professional headshots. From understanding the purpose of your headshot to choosing the perfect outfit, colours, patterns, fit, accessories, hair, and makeup, we'll cover everything you need to know to look your best. Whether you're aiming for a powerful corporate image or a creative professional vibe, these tips will help you dress with purpose and make a strong impact. 

Don't overlook the exclusive bonus tips awaiting you at the end of this article!

Understanding the Purpose of Your Headshot

A blonde woman wearing black in front of a neutral background posing for a headshot

When you're getting your professional headshot taken, what you wear isn't just about looking nice. It's about showing who you are! Your headshot is often the first impression you make in professional settings, like on LinkedIn or your company's website. It's your chance to look professional, friendly, and confident.

Think of your headshot as your personal brand in a picture. Your outfit should match the image you want to portray. For example, if you work in a creative job, a cool, casual outfit might be a good choice to show your creativity. But if you work in a more traditional field like finance or law, a sharp, well-fitted suit might be better to show you're professional and reliable.

Another important thing to consider for your headshot is how it connects with the people who will see it. Your outfit should make them feel like you understand them and their needs. Think about who these people are. Would they feel more comfortable with someone in a formal suit or someone in a more relaxed, business casual outfit? Your clothes should help you connect with them and make them feel good about you.

Your outfit should not only look good but also make you feel confident. This confidence will show in your headshot and leave a positive impression. So, when you're choosing what to wear, think about how your clothes can help you express your unique style. They will help you in connecting with the people who will see your headshot.

Building an Outfit

Selecting the perfect outfit for your professional headshot is more than just picking clothes. It's about conveying your identity and values. Every aspect, from colours and patterns to fit and accessories, contributes to crafting a polished and professional appearance for your photo.


Medium skin tones complement yellows: A woman posing for a headshot

While deciding on colours for your professional headshot, it's essential to think about more than just what looks nice. Different colours can convey different messages. So, consider the following factors when choosing your outfit:

Skin Tone Harmony

  • Fair Skin: Light blue, light pink, lavender, and light grey are examples of soft pastels and light tints. They go well with pale skin tones without being overpowering.

  • Medium Skin: Warm shades of brown, mustard yellow and olive green are examples of earthy tones. They go well with medium skin tones and add depth without blending in too much.

  • Dark Skin: Dark skin tones can benefit from the vivid contrast and depth that rich, deep colours like emerald green, purple, and deep blue can provide.

Contrast with Background

  • Light Backgrounds: To stand out against a light background, choose deeper hues such as black, charcoal grey, and navy blue. They help in producing a great contrast.

  • Dark Backgrounds: Choose lighter colours such as light blue, lavender, or light grey to create a gentle contrast against a dark background. This ensures you don't blend in.

Colour Psychology

  • Blue: Often associated with trust, professionalism, and calmness. This makes it a popular choice for professional settings.

  • Grey: Represents sophistication, neutrality, and professionalism. This adds a timeless quality to your look.

  • Black: Symbolizes authority, elegance, and strength. It is a classic choice for a powerful impression.

  • White: Signifies cleanliness, simplicity, and purity. It helps in adding a fresh and crisp look to your headshot.

Personal Branding

  • Consider your personal brand and the message you wish to convey when choosing colours for your professional headshot. Select hues that align with your brand's values and image. They can greatly influence how you are perceived.

Patterns and Prints

A woman wearing a simple lined cardigan for a professional headshot

When it comes to patterns and prints for your professional headshots, the goal is to find a balance that enhances your look without taking the focus away from your face.

  • Solid Colors: Solid colours are a safe bet as they offer a classic and timeless look. They keep the attention on your face and can be easily paired with different outfits. Choose colours that complement your skin tone and contrast well with the background to make a strong impression.

  • Subtle Patterns: If you prefer patterns, go for subtle designs that add a touch of interest without being too distracting. Fine stripes, small checks, or delicate prints can work well. Avoid bold or large patterns that might overwhelm your face or clash with the background.

  • Consider Your Brand and Industry: Your choice of pattern should also align with your personal brand and the industry you're in. Creative fields might allow for more expressive patterns, while more traditional industries may call for more conservative choices.

  • Skin Tone Considerations: Patterns should complement your skin tone. Darker skin tones can pull off bolder patterns and brighter colours. Lighter skin tones may look better in softer and more muted tones.

  • Contrasting with the Background: Keep in mind the background of your headshot. If it's plain or neutral, you can choose patterns that stand out a bit more. However, if the background is busy, opt for simpler patterns to avoid looking too busy.

  • Test Different Looks: Before your session, experiment with different patterns and take test photos to gauge how they appear on camera. This will help you choose the most flattering option.


A woman wearing a comfortable fit outfit for a professional heashot

The right fit is essential for producing a polished and professional impression when choosing clothing for professional headshots. Whether you go for off-the-rack or tailored choices, the fit must be flawless to bring together the style.

  • Tailored Options: Tailored clothing is custom-made to fit your body. This ensures a perfect and flattering silhouette. Tailored suits, blouses, and skirts can give you a sophisticated and elegant look. The jacket should fit snugly around the shoulders and chest without any pulling or tightness. Sleeves should end at your wrist bone, allowing a bit of your blouse cuff to peek out.

  • Off-the-Rack Options: Ready-made clothes may not offer the same level of customization as tailored options. But, you can still achieve a stylish look with the right fit. When choosing off-the-rack outfits, pay attention to how the garment fits around the shoulders. The seams should sit right at the edge of your shoulders, neither hanging over nor digging in. Jackets should button easily without any strain on the fabric. Skirts or pants should sit comfortably at your natural waist.

  • Overall Fit: Regardless of whether you opt for tailored or off-the-rack options, the key is to choose outfits that fit your body shape well. Avoid clothes that are too loose or too tight, as they can be unflattering and affect your confidence.


A woman wearing minimalist accessories for a professional headshot picture

When choosing accessories for professional headshots, it's important to strike the right balance between adding interest to your outfit and keeping the focus on your face.

  • Jewellery: Opt for simple, elegant pieces that complement your outfit. Small stud earrings, a delicate necklace, or a classic watch can add a touch of sophistication without distracting from your face.

  • Scarves: A lightweight, patterned scarf can add a pop of colour and texture to your outfit. Choose a scarf that complements your clothing and adds interest without being too overpowering.

  • Handbags: Select a structured handbag in a neutral colour that complements your outfit. Avoid oversized or flashy bags that can detract from your professional appearance.

  • Belts: A slim, well-fitted belt can define your waist and add a polished finish to your outfit. Choose a belt that matches your shoes and complements your overall look.

  • Shoes: Opt for closed-toe pumps or flats in a neutral colour that is comfortable yet professional. Avoid shoes with overly high heels or bold colours. This may distract from your overall appearance.

  • Hair Accessories: Keep hair accessories simple and understated. A classic headband or hair clip can add a touch of elegance without being too flashy.

Consider choosing accessories that enhance your outfit and reflect your personal style. You should be able to maintain a professional appearance. Remember, less is often more when it comes to accessories for professional headshots.

Hair & Makeup

A woman wearing her hair neat and slick for her professional headshot

The goal of your hair and makeup for professional headshots is to enhance your natural features and create a perfect look. Keep it simple and avoid trends that may be dated. Consider choosing products that will help you look your best in front of the camera.


  • Keep your hairstyle simple and elegant. Avoid very complicated styles that may distract from your face.

  • Consider styles that frame your face nicely, such as soft waves or a sleek, straight look.

  • Ensure your hair is well-groomed and free of flyaways. Use a light hairspray to keep everything in place.

  • If you have long hair, consider pulling it back into a neat bun or ponytail to keep the focus on your face.


  • Aim for a natural makeup look that enhances your features without looking too heavy or dramatic.

  • Start with a clean, moisturized face. Use a primer to create a smooth base for your makeup.

  • Use foundation and concealer to even out your skin tone and cover any blemishes.

  • Choose neutral eyeshadow shades and a few coats of mascara to define your eyes. Avoid very dramatic eye makeup.

  • Use a natural blush to add a touch of colour to your cheeks and finish with nude or light-coloured lipstick or lip gloss.

Additional Tips

  • Avoid using products with SPF, as they can create a shiny or white cast in photos.

  • Consider using a setting spray to help your makeup last throughout the day.

  • If you're unsure about your makeup skills, consider hiring a professional makeup artist for your photoshoot.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your hair and makeup complement your professional attire. They should help you look your best in your headshots. Remember, the goal is to enhance your natural beauty and create a polished, professional look that reflects your professionalism and confidence.

6 Tips on What to Wear for Professional Headshots for Females

When it comes to professional headshots, your attire speaks volumes about your professionalism and attention to detail.

Five key tips to make sure you look your best and make a lasting impression:

Tip 1: Dress Like Your Boss

Dressing appropriately for your professional headshots means mirroring the attire of your workplace superiors. This demonstrates respect for your role and the organisation. Choose outfits that reflect your industry's standards and your position within it. Aim for a polished and professional look that aligns with the culture of your workplace.

Tip 2: Choose Tailor-Made Clothes

Tailored clothing is essential for a perfect fit that flatters your body shape. Opting for tailor-made suits, dresses, or blouses can elevate your appearance and boost your confidence. A well-fitted outfit not only looks better but also conveys professionalism and attention to detail.

Tip 3: Consider Color Psychology

Colours play a significant role in how you are perceived. Choose colours that complement your skin tone and convey the right message. For example, blue is often associated with trust and reliability, while red can signify power and confidence. Selecting the right colours can enhance your professional image and make a positive impact on your headshots.

Tip 4: Wear Anti-Glare Glasses

Woman wearing anti-glare glasses for a professional headshot

If you wear glasses, consider lenses with anti-glare coating to minimize reflections and ensure your eyes are clearly visible in your headshots. This small detail can significantly improve the quality of your photos and enhance your overall appearance.

Tip 5: Groom Yourself and Rest Well

Proper grooming and rest are essential for looking your best in professional headshots. Make sure your hair is well-styled, your skin is clear, and you are well-rested for a fresh and vibrant appearance. Taking care of your skin and practising good sleep habits can help you look and feel confident in front of the camera.

Tip 6: Practice Good Posture

Good posture not only improves your physical appearance but also conveys confidence and professionalism. Stand or sit up straight, with your shoulders back and head held high, to exude confidence and make a strong impression in your headshots.

Pay attention to your attire, grooming, and posture. Make sure to look professional, confident, and approachable in your professional headshots. Your appearance is a reflection of your professionalism, so dress to impress and let your confidence shine through!