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

We'll explore how to dress for success in your headshot, covering everything from colour psychology to accessorizing. Whether you're aiming for a classic, tailored look or a more casual vibe, we'll help you put your best foot forward and make a lasting impression.

A man posing for his professional headshot
A man posing for his professional headshot

In today's professional world, your headshot can be your first impression. It's more than just a photo; it's your professional brand in a snapshot. Dressing for a professional headshot is about balancing style and professionalism. For men, this means choosing the right colours, patterns, and fit to convey the right message. 

In this blog, we'll explore how to dress for success in your headshot, covering everything from colour psychology to accessorizing. Whether you're aiming for a classic, tailored look or a more casual vibe, we'll help you put your best foot forward and make a lasting impression.

Don’t miss the bonus tips section at the end of this article!

Understanding the Purpose of Your Headshot

When you take a professional headshot, your outfit does more than just make you look good. It helps show who you are and what you stand for. Your headshot is often the first thing people see when they meet you professionally, like on LinkedIn or your company's website. It's your chance to look professional, friendly, and confident.

One important thing your headshot does is reflect your personal brand. This means your clothes should match the image you want to show the world. For example, if you work in a creative job, you might choose a cool, casual outfit to show your creative side. 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 trustworthy.

Another big reason for your headshot is to connect with your audience. Your outfit should make the people you're trying to reach feel like you understand them. Think about who you're trying to reach – would they trust someone in a suit and tie more, or someone in a more laid-back, business casual outfit? Your clothes should help you connect with your audience and make them feel good about you.

Overall, your headshot is meant to show you in the best way possible. Your outfit should make you feel good and confident because that confidence will show in your headshot. A great headshot begins with great clothing, so when choosing what to wear, consider how your clothes can help you express your unique style. Try to establish a connection with your audience, and feel confident.

Building an Outfit

Every detail matters when you are choosing your outfit for a professional headshot. Your clothing isn't just fabric; it's a statement about who you are and what you represent. Various colours, patterns and prints, fit, and accessories play an important role in creating a polished and professional look for your headshot.


A man in glasses near an urban area posing for a headshot

While choosing colours for your professional headshots, it's important to consider not only what looks good but also the messages that different colours can convey. Consider the following aspects while choosing colours for your professional headshot outfit. 

Skin Tone Harmony

  • Fair Skin: Soft pastels and light shades like light blue, soft pink, lavender, and light grey can complement fair skin tones without overpowering them.

  • Medium Skin: Earthy tones such as olive green, mustard yellow, and warm shades of brown can complement medium skin tones. They can help in adding depth without blending in too much.

  • Dark Skin: Rich, deep colours like deep blues, purples, and emerald greens can create a striking contrast against dark skin tones. They can add vibrancy and depth to your look.

Contrast with Background

  • Light Backgrounds: Darker colours like navy blue, charcoal grey, and black can create a strong contrast against a light background. This will help you stand out against the background.

  • Dark Backgrounds: Lighter colours such as light blue, lavender, or light grey can create a gentle contrast against a dark background. This will make sure you don't blend into the background.

Colour Psychology

  • Blue: Conveys 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. This makes it a classic choice for a powerful impression.

  • White: Signifies cleanliness, simplicity, and purity. This adds a fresh and crisp look to your headshot.

Personal Branding

  • Consider your personal brand and the message you want to convey. Choose colours that align with your brand values and image.

Patterns and Prints

A man in pale blue and white posing for a headshot near a window

The patterns and prints that you choose for your professional headshots should enhance your appearance without overshadowing your face. 

  • Solid Colors: Solid colours are a timeless choice for headshots. They convey simplicity and elegance while keeping the focus on your face. Opt for colours that complement your skin tone and contrast well with the background.

  • Subtle Patterns: If you prefer patterns, choose ones that are subtle and not too busy. Fine stripes, small checks, or micro-patterns can add interest without being distracting. Make sure the pattern is not too bold or colourful.

  • Suitability to Brand and Industry: Consider your personal brand and industry norms. Creative industries may allow for more expressive patterns. Whereas, traditional fields may require more conservative choices.

  • Skin Tone Considerations: Choose patterns and prints that complement your skin tone. Darker skin tones can carry off bold patterns and bright colours. Lighter skin tones may look better in softer, more muted tones.

  • Contrast with Background: Consider the background of your headshot. If the background is 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 a clash.

  • Testing the Look: Before your headshot session, try on different patterns and take test photos to see how they appear on camera. This will help you choose the most flattering option.


Selecting the ideal attire for your professional headshots is crucial, and getting the fit just right is key.

Tailored Options

Tailored clothing is custom-made to fit your body shape and size precisely. This ensures a flawless fit and a sophisticated appearance. Tailored options offer a personalised touch. This makes sure that every aspect of the garment complements your physique.

Off-the-Rack Options

Off-the-rack clothing provides ready-to-wear options that are available in standard sizes. While they may not offer the same level of customization as tailored options, off-the-rack garments can still provide a stylish and professional look. It's important to choose the right size and silhouette to ensure a flattering fit.

How Should Your Clothes Fit?

  • Shoulders: The shoulder seams of your jacket and shirt should align with your natural shoulder line.

  • Sleeves: Jacket and shirt sleeves should end at the base of your thumb. A small portion of the shirt cuff should be visible.

  • Length: Jackets should cover your seat, and pants should break slightly at the front and rest on the top of your shoes.


If your off-the-rack clothing doesn't fit perfectly, consider getting alterations. Common alterations include shortening sleeves, taking in the waist, or adjusting the length of pants. Alterations can help you achieve a more tailored look. This way, your outfit fits you perfectly for your professional headshots.


A man wearing a white shirt and a tie posing for a professional headshot

Accessories play a crucial role in enhancing your professional headshot. They give a personality and style to your overall look. 

  • Ties: Select a tie that complements your shirt and jacket. Solid colours or subtle patterns work best, avoiding bold or distracting designs. Choose a knot that suits your face shape and collar style for a polished look.

  • Pocket Squares: If you opt for a pocket square, choose a simple, folded style that adds elegance without being overpowering. Coordinate the colour or pattern with your tie for a cohesive appearance.

  • Watches: A classic watch can add sophistication to your outfit. Choose a watch that reflects your style and complements your attire. Avoid oversized or flashy watches that may detract from your professional image.

  • Jewellery: Keep jewellery minimal and understated. A wedding band or cufflinks can add a touch of personality. Avoid wearing multiple rings, bracelets, or necklaces, as they can be distracting.

  • Glasses: Select glasses that complement your face shape and enhance your look. Avoid frames that are too bold or distracting. Choose a style that complements your features and adds to your professional appearance.

  • Belts: Choose a belt that matches your shoes and complements your outfit. Opt for a classic leather belt in a neutral colour. Avoid large or flashy belt buckles that may draw attention away from your face.

  • Shoes: Select polished, professional shoes that match your outfit. Classic styles like oxfords or loafers work well. Ensure your shoes are clean and well-maintained for a polished appearance.

6 Tips on What to Wear for Professional Headshots for Males

Tip 1: Dress Like Your Boss

Dressing appropriately for your headshot means more than just wearing your favourite suit. It's about understanding the culture of your workplace and dressing to reflect that. Consider the industry you're in and the image you want to portray. For a traditional corporate setting, a well-fitted suit and tie are ideal. However, if you're in a more creative field, you might opt for a smart casual look that still exudes professionalism.

Tip 2: Use Color Psychology

The colours you wear can have a significant impact on how you're perceived. Blue is often associated with trustworthiness and reliability. It is a safe choice for professional headshots. Grey conveys professionalism and sophistication, while black signifies authority and power. Avoid overly bright or distracting colours, as they can take the focus away from your face.

Tip 3: Wear Anti-Glare Glasses

A man posing for a headshot in a printed shirt and anti-glare glasses

If you wear glasses, choosing frames with an anti-glare coating can help ensure that your eyes are clearly visible in your headshot. This can make you appear more approachable and engaged. This will help you in creating a positive first impression.

Tip 4: Opt for Tailored Clothes

Ill-fitting clothing can ruin an otherwise perfect headshot. Invest in tailored clothes that fit you well and flatter your body shape. Avoid baggy or oversized garments. They can make you appear sloppy and unprofessional. Pay attention to the fit of your jacket, shirt, and pants to ensure a polished look.

Tip 5: Consider Grooming and Resting Well

Your headshot is a reflection of your professional image, so it's essential to look your best.  Make sure that you're well-groomed on the day of your shoot. Be ready with neatly styled hair, a clean shave or well-maintained beard, and trimmed nails. Additionally, getting enough rest the night before can help you look refreshed and alert in your headshot.

Tip 6: Practice Good Posture

Your body language speaks volumes. Stand or sit up straight with your shoulders back to show confidence and professionalism. Avoid slouching or leaning, as this can make you appear less engaged. Good posture enhances your physical appearance. It also helps you feel more confident, which can translate into a more impactful headshot.

Bonus Tip: What Should You Avoid?

When preparing for your professional headshot, it's just as important to know what to avoid as it is to know what to wear. 

  • Loud or Distracting Patterns: While patterns can add personality to your outfit, loud or overly busy patterns can be distracting and take the focus away from your face. Go for subtle patterns or solid colours instead.

  • Wrinkled Clothing: Wrinkles can make you appear unkempt and unprofessional. Make sure your clothes are neatly pressed and free of wrinkles before your headshot session.

  • Ill-Fitting Clothes: Ill-fitting clothes can detract from your overall look. Avoid clothes that are too tight or too loose, as they can make you appear sloppy. Choose clothes that fit well and flatter your body shape.

  • Bold Accessories: While accessories can enhance your outfit, it's best to keep them understated for a professional headshot. Avoid large, flashy jewellery or accessories that might be distracting.

  • Overly Casual Attire: Even if your workplace has a casual dress code, it's important to dress professionally for your headshot. Avoid wearing t-shirts, hoodies, or overly casual attire that may not convey the right image.

  • Bright and Neon Colors: While a pop of colour can be fun, bright neon colours can be harsh and unflattering in photos. Opt for more muted tones that complement your skin tone and convey a professional image.

  • Visible Undergarments: Avoid wearing undergarments that are visible through your clothing. This includes underwear lines, undershirts that peek out from your collar, or socks that are too short and expose your ankles.