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Say goodbye to family Christmas photos overshadowed by Mom’s “wear this so we can match” knitted sweaters. (Sorry Mom, you had a good run!) It’s finally your time to shine in cute Christmas outfits that won’t make you cringe. But how do you even wrap your head around what works for your family?
When it comes to family Christmas photo outfit ideas, we’re your go-to source for what to wear in virtually any setting. Whether you have a family of two that suddenly grew or a large group of seven, follow these tips and ideas to coordinate your best Christmas photo outfits yet.
When it comes to planning coordinating outfits for you and your family to wear, start by picking a color palette. Below, we’ll dive into a few of our favorite color combinations for the festive season and a few tips for how to use color to your advantage. But an overarching tip? Keep the location of your shoot in mind! Choose a palette that is sure to match with whatever colors will be naturally present in the background of your photos.
Merry for the Holidays by Chris Griffith
Encircled by Paper Raven Co.
Merry Memories by Paula Pecevich
No matter what type of family picture outfit you choose (theme-based, festive, or casual), colors play a crucial role in keeping your photo harmonious. You can choose to showcase a color (such as red) and have that color pop throughout your family’s outfits, or opt for a nice varied color palette.
If you do choose to all incorporate one color in your individual attire, make sure the color is a complementary shade on each family member. If opting for a color palette, make sure each color syncs with the other. For example, if mom chooses beige or tan, dad could choose forest green and the kids could be in rust or maroon. Just like makeup, you want color to enhance your overall look, not overwhelm it.
If looking to highlight members in your family photo, such as a newborn, dress them in a bright color or a slightly more decorative pattern. For even greater emphasis, swaddle them up in festive colors to showcase their dainty size. Choosing what to wear for your little one is especially fun since the sky’s the limit (and they don’t know how to negotiate yet!). Read through these articles for more tips on photographing children and newborns!
Clear Simplicity by Petra Kern
While color is a great way to create cohesiveness in a group image, neutrals help ground your photo. Too many varying colors can distract your Christmas card’s recipients from focusing on you and your family. If you prefer to take your family photo against a busier background, neutral Christmas outfits are a great way to contrast it. A red lip with a black top paired beautifully with a spouse’s black sweater and blue jeans. Finish the look with a cozy outfit and some red sneakers for your little one. Adding subtle peeks of a softer color can also help break up a more monotone look, whether you’re doing matching outfits or not.
Tartan by Wildfield Paper Co
Adding color to your photo is a delicate balance. Too many different colors can create visual chaos. However, the perfect color mix weaved throughout your photo will add instant polish to your overall look. We’ve outlined a few easy Christmas photo outfit ideas that incorporate some of our favorite palettes:
Holiday Arch by Angela Thompson
Though many tend to shy away from incorporating patterns into their Christmas family photo outfits, it doesn’t have to be scary! Just keep your color palette in mind, and choose a few family members to wear patterns to keep things from becoming visually overwhelming.
You can’t go wrong with gingham — especially when it is incorporated on sweet holiday dresses for little girls. If you’re opting for a neutral black and white (or black and cream) palette for your wardrobe, this is a great way to keep things feeling too plain.
Does it get more classic than plaid for Christmas? This is one of the few patterns that you can get away with mixing and incorporating more broadly. Think subtle small-scaled plaid or houndstooth blazers for men, paired with bigger checks for women. Just be sure to keep the color palette restrained to make this work!
Paisley is an unexpected choice for Christmas photos, but is a complete classic. If you’re going the formal route, you could incorporate paisley in the ties or pocket squares of the people who will be wearing suits in your photos. This pattern also looks sweet on brocade or velvet dresses for women.
When it comes to polka dots, we suggest keeping things subtle. Look for sweet black tights that feature polka dot detailing, headbands for babies with small polka dots, or even dresses that feature a tone-on-tone dot pattern.
To successfully incorporate patterns into your holiday photo wardrobe, follow these dos and don’ts.
Indoor Christmas outfits tend to have more wiggle room and flexibility when it comes to your family’s choices, because you don’t need to pay so much attention to the weather outside while you’re shooting. One thing to keep in mind? Indoor shoot locations tend to have more colors, patterns, and textures going on in the background — so be sure to think about the colors of the furniture and decor you’ll be shooting in front of when choosing a palette for your family photos.
Here are some Christmas outfit ideas for an indoor photoshoot:
Snow Tracks by Carrie ONeal
Additional considerations for planning your indoor photoshoot outfits: