How To Avoid The White Shirt And Khakis Dilemma

Recently my brother and I were planning a family photo shoot as a gift for my parents 30th anniversary. Unfortunately, due to scheduling conflicts it was unable to come to fruition. However, I still wanted to give you some insight into how we planned our outfits for…count them…NINE people. Yes, the idea of coordinating eight adults and one child sounded a little intimidating without resorting to the 90’s go to look of all white shirts and matching pants. You know you have one of those in your house somewhere, don’t be ashamed…we all did it. Anyway, I have some ultra stylish family members so I wanted to make sure that each personality was able to shine through their clothing choices. So, here is how it all went down in case some of you out there are planning a photo shoot this fall…or really at anytime.

First things first. I needed a color palette. The proposed date was in mid-September so I knew it was right in between late Summer and early Fall. I wanted to have a wide variety of colors for everyone to choose from. To come up with this palette I selected an outfit for Eden first.

Old Navy Floralprint Poplin Swing Dresses For Baby

Old Navy Floralprint Poplin Swing Dresses For Baby 

I found this dress (sadly, no longer available) from Old Navy that had such the perfect mix of Summer and Fall and so many colors to choose from. It was perfect. So, with that dress as inspiration, I then plucked out each color from the dress so I had an actual palette to look at. From there, I set out to find outfits for Josh and I. Thankfully Target pulled through for both of us. I found a navy dress for me and some gorgeously inexpensive boots to go with it (similar to photo below). For Josh, I found an olive shirt that was neither dressy nor completely casual to pair with dark jeans (the shirt pictured below was the closest match to the shirt I found at Target). Once I had our three looks pulled together, I created a mood board in Polyvore to send to all of the family members to help inspire them when selecting their outfits.

Phillips Family Photo Shoot

Flutter sleeve dress
$20 –

Faith leather boots
£90 –

Old Navy Floralprint Poplin Swing Dresses For Baby
$16 –

As you can see, picking out outfits for a family photo shoot does not need to be intimidating. It is as simple as thinking about the season, choosing an inspiration piece that coordinates with that season, picking out every color you can find in that piece, creating a simple mood board (you do not need to do this, but it sure helps those who are visual), and then choosing items that work within your designated palette. As for the worry of becoming too “clashy” with clothing that has a lot of prints, I would say stick to classic pieces that are not “loud.” This simply means it is okay to choose an item that has a print (prints are a good thing, it gives some dimension to the photos!), but to keep in mind that the print should be muted. So, for instance, you would not necessarily want the large floral pattern, with a plaid shirt, a polka dotted shirt, and a striped shirt. The prints would compete with one another. However, if you were to take the one bold pattern and pair it with a soft print it would easily complement the other.

Honestly, don’t let the idea of coordinating outfits scare you away from a fun photo shoot. Trust me, I am by no means fashionable whatsoever, but if I can steer VERY clear of having matchy-matchy outfits then you can too. I mean it. And by all means, please take the time to spoil yourself and the ones you love with a photo shoot. They are so very worth the money and time. Besides, its a great excuse to look great and an even better excuse to laugh at yourself twenty years from now when you look at all of the clothing choices and say, “what were we thinking?!”


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