Best Colors to Wear for Professional Headshots (2024)

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By Wildr Editor

Collage of diverse professional headshots highlighting the best colors to wear for a professional appearance

Choosing the right colors to wear for your professional headshot can be surprisingly puzzling. You want to make a great first impression, whether it's for LinkedIn, a company website, or your personal branding efforts.

The colors you select for your attire play an important role in how confident and approachable you appear on camera.

Did you know? Blue is not only the color of trust and dependability but also enhances the appeal of your headshot across various professions. Our blog post will guide you through selecting the most flattering shades that echo professionalism while complementing your skin tone and features.

Get ready to discover color choices and the perfect palette that will make you stand out for all the right reasons!

Key Takeaways

  • Blue is the color of trust and looks good in headshots for many jobs.
  • Avoid pure white or black, and busy patterns that can distract from your face.
  • Your skin tone and hair color should guide what colors you wear.
  • Solid, mid-tone, and neutral colors keep attention on you, not your clothes.
  • Make a statement by supporting eco-friendly brands for your professional clothes.
Headshot of a woman dressed in a blue blazer and white shirt in an office

Importance of Color Choices for Professional Headshots

Colors can make a big difference in professional headshots. Like makeup, selecting the right colors can affect how others see you.

Ironically, the best colors that complement your features can allow people to focus on your face and what makes you unique, not just your clothes.

Dark shades like black or navy add a classic touch and could even make you look slimmer depending on the camera angle and lighting.

On the other hand, we would avoid wearing too many contrasting bright colors for a headshot, as it could be distracting to the eyes.

You want to pick shades that stand out against the background but also match your skin tone and hair color well.

For example, blue is a great color for most skin tones and it has the added benefit of being correlated with trust and honesty—qualities everyone wants to put forward in their professional life.

Keep away from pure white as it could blend into light backgrounds too much. Solid colors are usually best because they keep things simple without distracting patterns or textures.

Your outfit should boost confidence in front of the camera because when you feel good, you take better pictures!

When selecting colors for your professional headshot, choose hues that make your natural features stand out, while conveying a sense of trust and confidence.

Opting for the right color palette can transform an ordinary photo into a standout image that captures attention in the competitive worlds of business and social media.

Mid-Tone Range Colors

Mid-tone range colors are your best friends for professional headshots. They're not too light or too dark, making you stand out against most backgrounds.

Think about colors like a navy blue shirt or a grey jacket; they give off a vibe that's just right for the camera and goes well with many different outfits.

Other mid-tone range colors include:

  • teal
  • burgundy
  • forest green
  • charcoal grey
  • plum or purple
  • burnt orange
  • olive green

These shades work great with different skin tones and hair colors, meaning almost anyone can rock them. Going for mid-tones also helps avoid the problem of bright clothing overshadowing your face.

Wearing these balanced colors means you'll look good both on-screen and in print. They help keep the focus on you, which is where it should be during a headshot session.

Solid Colors

Choose solid colors for your headshot to look sharp and professional. These simple shades help keep the focus on you, not your clothes. Think about wearing a solid shirt or dress in navy, black, or dark grey.

These darker colors are slimming and classic. They work well for almost any job, whether you're a lawyer or an artist.

If you pick the right color, it can say a lot about you before you even speak. A dark jacket over a lighter-colored shirt also creates nice contrast without being too flashy.

Neutral Tones

Neutral tones are your friend for professional headshots. Think whites, beiges, and grays. They're easy on the eyes and don't pull attention away from your face. These colors also mix well with most background colors in photos.

If you wear a white shirt, though, make sure it's not too bright. You want to stand out against both white and dark backgrounds without blending in or shining too much.

Neutral doesn't mean boring; it means classy and safe for all types of jobs. Whether you work at a bank or in a creative field, neutral tones will help put your best face forward without screaming for attention.

Keep it simple but significant with these colors!

Impact of Skin Complexion, Color, and Undertone on Color Selection

A man in a tailored grey suit, striking a confident pose for his professional headshots

Your skin tone is key when picking colors for headshots. Light or dark, your complexion impacts what looks best on you. If your skin is light, try mid-tone or darker colors like navy to stand out.

For darker complexions, lighter and vibrant colors can shine without overpowering.

Undertones matter too — they are the subtle hues in your skin. Warm undertones look great with earthy colors, while cool undertones pair well with blues and purples.

Pro Tip: check if gold or silver jewelry looks better on you; this trick helps find your undertone.

Wearing the right colors makes sure that in photos, it's all about you looking sharp and professional.

Role of Hair Color in Color Selection for Headshots

Surprised? If you’re like me, you’ve probably never thought your hair color and style could make a big difference in what colors you should choose for your headshot.

If you have light hair, like blond or gray, strong colors such as navy or dark green can create a nice contrast (like skin tone!)

For those with dark hair, picking lighter or mid-tone colors will help your face to stand out. Think about wearing tops in shades such as light blue or jewel tones.

Skeptical? Don’t hesitate to get advice from a professional photographer on what colors work best with your hair during the photo shoot.

If you’re taking a DIY approach and using your iPhone or Adobe to edit, you can still go through photography and portrait blogs for some in depth information and tips.

Tips for Dressing for Professional Headshots

A woman facing the camera in a professional headshot

When selecting your ensemble for a professional headshot, every detail counts. It's about harmonizing the elements of color, style, and fit to project an image of confidence and competence that aligns with your professional (and hopefully sustainable) brand.

Too much pressure? Here are some tips to help you get started:

Choosing Sustainable Clothing

Picking out clothes for your headshot doesn't just show off your style, it can also show you care about the planet. Look for items made from natural materials like cotton or bamboo.

They last a long time and are kind to the earth. Wearing eco-friendly clothes sets a strong, positive message without saying a word. Even if the person looking at your headshot doesn’t know about your sustainable choice, you do.

By knowing you’re making an impact, no matter how small, with your clothing, you’ll feel good, empowered, and confident.

Dressing in sustainable fashion is smart for more than one reason. It looks great on camera too! There are some amazing brands creating beautiful colors and designs with breathable, organic fabrics that give that clean, classic look and help you stand out against other professional headshots.

Your choice to wear green shows real life commitment to what matters – both in style and values.

Choosing Moderately Open Necklines

Wear shirts with necklines that are not too high or too low. This helps show a bit of your neck and makes you look sharp. For men, a collared shirt works great; just make sure the top button isn't done up all the way.

Ladies, choose a neckline that doesn't cover all of your neck but also isn't very deep. It's about finding balance so you look professional.

Keep in mind, your face is the main subject of a headshot. You want people to see your smile and eyes, not get lost in what you're wearing around your neck. A good rule is to keep it simple and clean-looking—this way nothing distracts from you looking like the pro you are!

Avoiding Tight Patterns or Textures

Stick to simple clothes for your headshot. Tight patterns or busy textures can distract from your face. This is about showing the real you, and too much going on in your outfit takes away from that.

Choose outfits without large patterns or textures that are too noticeable. The camera loves simplicity, and so do viewers.

Clothes with big checks, stripes, or other tight patterns might look cool in person but can create strange effects in photos called moiré patterns. These wavy lines show up when a pattern clashes with the digital camera sensor.

Opting for Long Sleeve or Three-Quarter Length Sleeves

Long sleeve or three-quarter length sleeves are smart choices for professional headshots. They cover up your arms and keep the focus on your face. This way, no bare skin distracts from your expression.

These kinds of sleeves also give a touch of class to your overall look.

For men, a long-sleeve button-up shirt works well. It's a classic choice that looks sharp under a suit jacket if you want to add more style. Women can choose blouses or simple dresses with longer sleeves for an elegant and polished image.

Best Colors for Professional Headshots

Picking the right colors for your professional headshots can make a big difference. Remember, dark shades like navy and black give a slim, timeless look. You want to choose colors that help you stand out and show confidence.

Be true to your personal style while considering these tips for the best results. Choose sustainable clothing if possible. Wear what feels good and looks sharp; this will shine through in your photo!


1. What are the best colors to wear for a professional headshot?

For professional headshots, stick to neutral colors like blue, gray, or brown. These colors make your photo look clean and classic.

2. Are there any colors I should avoid in my headshot outfit?

Yes, stay away from very bright colors and busy patterns because they can distract from your face. Also avoid all white or all black clothing as they may not show details well in photos.

3. Can I add pops of color to my professional headshot attire?

Yes, adding a little bit of color with a tie or simple jewelry can make you pop! Just make sure it's not too much and matches your personal style.

4. Is makeup important for getting the best portrait in a headshot photo session?

Makeup helps by evening out your skin tone and making you look your best, but keep it natural looking and not too heavy.

5. Should men consider their eye color when picking out their shirt or tie colors for corporate headshots?

It's a good idea! Choosing lighter color shirts that complement your eye color can help you stand out more naturally in your business casual photos.

6. For women taking a professional headshot, what are some tips on choosing clothes?

Choose tops with simple necklines and avoid baggy clothing that doesn't fit well; always aim for clothes that give a tailored business look without being too tight.


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