I don’t know!!! Honestly I hate this question because I’m not a big fashionista. When I see something that looks good, I know it looks good. But many times an engaged couple or family will send me photos of their wardrobe and ask me to pick something out. Ummm, I wouldn’t trust me with that.
HOWEVER, having said that there is some general advice that I can give you that would help with your decision making (beyond this though, you might want to consult the best fashionista in your life).
Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful
Just like picking out your wedding dress, you should be choosing clothes that make you feel beautiful, good, fun, confident or whatever emotion it is that you enjoy in your clothing. Hopefully you find clothes that make you feel all of this. The worst thing you could do is pick clothes that you feel insecure or uncomfortable in because this will translate into the photos.
You don’t have to match
Compliment your clothes, but don’t get all matchy matchy. Perfectly matched outfits look really outdated and corny. They harken back to the awkward 90’s and you really don’t want to do that to your photos. Take a look at any color wheel and you’ll see that opposite colors are complimentary. Brown or orange with blue, purple and yellow. Or take a look at any color swatch (available by the hundreds on pinterest) and look at their beautiful color schemes. Match your clothes to these color schemes and you’re sure to do well.
Choose the right colors
I suggest pastels, cool colors and neutral tones. Anything neon is an absolute no no. Orange tends to not look all that great (unless it’s your color) while coral/salmon pink goes with everyone. But don’t pick super bright colors because you really don’t want the clothes to be the focus of the photo. Red for instance draws attention which is why stop signs are that color. Having said that, there are times to break the rules.
Accessories are always a good thing.
A well put together outfit always has at least one accessory. A chunky necklace, dangly earings, a beautiful bracelet or a stylish scarf. Flowers always spice up a shoot. It’s also helpful for the men to wear multiple layers such as a jacket or vest. This really adds to the visual interest and all of these accessories give the opportunity of multiple looks by taking something off.
Classic rather than trendy
When people look back at their photos, they often cringe not because they didn’t look good, but because they only looked good for that period of time. Think the 80’s banana clip or shoulder pads. Pick something that is classic rather than current to only our time period. Try to look at the clothes and determine if 50 years from now will it be obvious what decade the photo was taken in. Or even think back to the previous decades, could you go back in time, have worn it and gotten away with it?
No more than two outfits
It’s not a fashion shoot. It’s a moment to capture the excitement and energy of early love. Engagement shoots don’t last very long (an hour or two typically) and you want to spend most of the time getting photos, not changing in and out of outfits. Two outfits is easily enough to capture the essence of who you are and I generally think you don’t even need two.
Think beyond clothes
I know this article is about what you should wear to your engagement shoot, but I think it’s important to think past what you should wear. Bring props! What is it that reflects who you guys are as a couple. Do you like reading? Movies? Your pets? A certain saying? One of my favorite couples brought a Harry Potter wand and a light saber to the shoot and had me capture them fighting. It was super fun to add fire balls and the death star haha!
Have someone do your hair, makeup and nails!
Ok again, not about the clothes, but so important. We all know that for the wedding, you should go to the time and expense of having someone do your hair, makeup and nails and to do it well. You should do this for your engagement shoot as well. You are important! This is a representation of your love! Trust me, you’ll be so much happier if you doll yourself up (and it will be easier for me to edit the photos too and you’ll get them back much faster). And don’t forget that men need a little dolling up as well. Have them get their nails done too (buffed) so they aren’t grimy or raggedy.
If you follow all of these suggestions than I can pretty much guarantee that you’re going to be happy with how your photos turn out. Remember, you are important and this is a special occasion. You deserve to take care of yourself and splurge a little. Remember, an engagement shoot isn’t just for nice photos. It’s to show the world, your children and your grand children how absolutely passionately in love the two of you are.