The most COMMON question I get from portrait clients AND branding clients is the age old… “WHAT DO I WEAR??” Fear and panic seeping from the email.

And to tell you the truth…I am not a fashionista over here. Sure, I can tell you after the fact if things looked good in photos, and I can give a few tips of things I’ve noticed from past sessions. BUT, to get the low-down on fashion tips that actually work for you and your body…I go to the best.


I go to my BFF fashion expert, Alexandra Nicole.

Alexandra Nicole City Chic Living

To give you a little backstory, Alex and I both lived in Memphis and met while she was styling the fashion spreads for Click magazine. At that time, she had the CUTEST clothing boutique where I bought all of my clothes from. And…cough, cough…when I went through my total makeover after my divorce, she was the lady who told me what to buy as I was entering my new single badass gal stage of life.


All of that to say, I trust this chicka’s opinion explicitly. Today, she is a blogger, influencer, and badass fempreneur at City Chic Living. I highly recommend y’all give the blog a follow for fashion tips on the reg.


So with that. Let’s get started.


The Basics.


First off: Is there a quick/easy way to spice up an outfit for a photo without looking too over the top?

Yes! My go to is always a fitted black blazer. It can be worn over a LBD (little black dress) or a cute top with jeans. It instantly takes the outfit to boss babe status!

(She’s talked about blazers before in past blogs and likes the Lysse Boyfriend Blazer.)

What makes an outfit complete? Or what should every outfit have? (I feel like I’m doing good to find pants and a top that are flattering…)

I am a huge fan of statement earrings. It really does spice up any outfit. You can add pizzazz to any outfit with a great statement earring!

Can you give me a few general tips of things to look for and things to stay away from for outfits?

Do not wear baggy clothing. The camera already adds to the waistline if you aren’t posed correctly so stay away from loose clothing. Also, stay away from matchy matchy clothing if you are going to be in a group photo. You need contrast in a group to stand out. It’s all about individuality!

What are your thoughts on patterns?? Or go simple with solids?

I am a simple solid gal. Not to say patterns are bad, but they do add to the waistline if not worn correctly.

Alex fashion wear hat
Chic Living fashion guide alexandra
City Chic Living fashion guide

Choosing something flattering.


Say I’m curvy…what do you recommend? Flowy looks good in person, but I don’t think it looks great in photo. Any recommendations for larger body types that are slimming/minimizing without looking like you’re just wearing a tent?

Never wear flowy in a photo! It seems counter productive, but wear something that is pleasingly fitting to the waistline. I am not saying spandex tight, but an outfit that sinches. I always go with some Spanx underneath and a belt around the waist to sinch it in.

Can we talk a little about colors to wear? How does skin color play a role in color choices?

Unless you are pretty tan, STAY AWAY FROM NUDE! Most people do not look flattering in nude. It is a risky choice unless you are a darker skin tone.

I always suggest neutrals for photos. You want your face to stand out so don’t wear colors that will draw more attention to your outfit than yourself.

A good rule of thumb.


What basics should clients alllllllways bring with them? As a staple or for those just in case moments…

Bring a few pairs of neutral shoes and different undergarments if you are bringing different outfit choices to shoot in. If you are wearing leggings, bring thongs to eliminate the pantyline. And if you will change into a top with thin straps, bring a strapless bra.

How do you find outfits that are unique enough to show personality but don’t take over the entire photo.

Scarves and hats always add personality. Just make sure that they are not too large. If your hat is too big, it can hide the face and if a scarf is too bulky, it can make you look like you don’t have a neck.

So I have a branding shoot coming up. How many outfits do you recommend? And do you vary styles at all? Like 2 professional, 1 casual, and 1 artsy? Or all 4 professional? Thoughts?

I recommend a variety to cover all the bases. I like to bring a professional, classic look, a casual outfit, and then something that is super fashionable to get branded photos to use for any type of publicity feature.

(For this last part, Alex brings up a great point. Fashion is her brand, so it makes sense she would bring an outfit for fashion. For you, choose an outfit that is particular to your brand and your everyday.)



Alrighty y’all! This about wraps up our what to wear from our fashion expert, Alexandra Nicole! If you have other questions, drop them below!!

AND, Alex has a FREE brand guide for you guys trying to break off and do your own thang!! Not only can you be stylish, you can also be INDEPENDENT! Check it out here!


Stay fashionable…