5 Tips for Wearing a Suit for your Headshot Session
There’s more to getting your business headshot than just throwing on a suit and stepping in front of the camera. As your photographer it is not only my job to capture the best of you, but to educate you in how to prepare for your session as well. Most of us gentlemen prefer a well fitted suit, but sometimes they are not as well fitted as we think, so I wish to deliver a few tips I have discovered along the way in my own professional career.
1. First, let’s start with the centerpiece of any suit, the tie!
- The tie should be center aligned and rested snug up against the top button. The width of the knot is subjective to the width of the collars. Arrows 1 and 2 are a perfect example of what not to do.
- To dimple or not to dimple? Although this can be considered subjective, high end suit retailers will say that a dimple is evidence of a perfectly tied knot, most stylists and suit afficianados will agree.
- Windsor or Eldridge knot? Windsor every time for the win with business or corporate headshots. But we can alway have fun with other looks and vibes later on in the session. Some people rock a fine Eldridge knot after hours and is a calling card of their personal style.
Bonus Tip – Can’t tie a decent knot? Then no fret, I can personally tie a darn good looking double Windsor knot.
2. The notorious jacket collar gap, let’s take care of this friends!
- This actually starts with the shirt, as the collar should fit neatly yet relaxed around your neck. Generally you’ll want 1 to 2 fingers breathing room.
- Next, your jacket should rest snug up against your shirt collar, there should not be any space in between. This is evidence of an ill fitted suit and can be distracting when seen in your headshot. Let’s ditch those poor fitted jackets and treat ourselves to something fresh and new.
- Bonus Tip – Your collar tips should be center aligned and tucked beneath your jacket lapels. If your collars are not wide enough to tuck under the the lapels, then they should be laying as flat as possible with the lapel edges and collar tips as close together as possible.
3. Excessive sleeves, this is more for business portraits.
- A lot of times, we like to cross our arms, it’s a sign of confidence and sophistication, but nothing can tarnish that image more than a bunch of wrinkles on your arm, in fact it can come off as downright sloppy. Yes, there will be some wrinkles in the sleeves naturally from crossing your arms, but too big of sleeves will be obvious. Your arms should fill out the sleeves, not get swallowed by them.
- Also be conscious of the sleeve length as well
4. Please have your suit pressed!
- We would not show up to an interview with a suit that has not been freshly pressed would we? How about a business meeting where you are looking to secure a lucrative deal with a client that you have been nurturing for several months? No we wouldn’t. So, we should be treating our headshot session the same, this is your one chance to make a visual impact whether it’s on social media or a billboard along side the highway. You have one chance at making a first impression, so let’s do it right!
5. Complimenting colors and patterns work best.
- If you are not familiar with color theory, then a quick google search will put you up to speed. If your suit has pattern or texture then I recommend going with a solid neutral colored shirt. Remember nothing too loud or vibrant for your business headshots, we don’t want the viewer to get distracted from our subject, which is you. However we can have a bit of fun and this is where the tie comes back in! We can add a pop of color, or a hint of personality with patterns and textures. A combination I feel that has been timeless through the years is black on gray, not an ideal fit for all professionals, but for those who can, should with the utmost swagger. Here are few examples of properly worn suits, you can see more on my Headshots home page.