Coordinated Christmas Outfit Ideas for the Family Photoshoot

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.




CHRISTMAS FAMILY OUTFIT COLOR IDEAS

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.

CLASSIC RED

  • Red and green. Does it get more iconic than this combo? (No, it doesn’t!) Keep things feeling sophisticated by sticking to darker shades of the two colors, such as deep wine red and forest green.
  • Red and black. For a bit of drama — or for more formal photos — red and black is a fail safe combination. Bonus points for incorporating the two colors in plush textures like velvet.
  • Red and silver. This is another color palette that works great for more formal photos. Just be sure to keep silver as an accent color to keep things from looking space-agey.
  • Red and white. As another classic palette, there are plenty of ways you can twist red and white to fit your aesthetic. Think crisp ruby red and bright white for a candy-cane effect, or go more muted with cranberry and cream for a softer look.
  • Red and denim blue. Jeans are absolutely welcome in the family Christmas photo! When paired with a festive red, shades of denim are a casual way to capture your family’s holiday spirit.
  • Maroon and khaki. If you’re loving the more trendy neutral look when it comes to photos, this is a great way to still incorporate a bit of color. Maroon and khaki work well with muted tones, but will bring a bit of cheer to an otherwise subdued palette.
Merry for the Holidays

Merry for the Holidays by Chris Griffith

EVERGREEN

  • Green and black. Like with red and black, this dramatic palette works best for more formal family photos and when you can incorporate luxe velvet or wool pieces.
  • Green and khaki. For an earthy, forest-inspired take on the colors of Christmas, pair deep green with shades of brown and khaki.
  • Green and cream. Paring deep forest green with mostly cream outfits is a great way to add some holiday-inspired richness to a neutral palette. Or, you can keep things soft and ethereal by opting for a trendy sage and cream color palette.
  • Green and burgundy. Another twist on a classic holiday pairing — look for pieces in patterns like plaid that weave the two colors together for a more modern take.
Encircled

Encircled by Paper Raven Co.

BLUE CHRISTMAS (BUT NOT AT HEART!)

  • Navy blue and yellow gold. Liven up deep dark blue by incorporating accents of gold and rich yellow. This color palette is especially perfect if you plan to take your photos in the late fall, as it will help the vibrant colors of the foliage feel cohesive.
  • Powder blue and white. Dreaming of a snow-dusted Christmas morning? Then this powder blue and white palette is perfect for you. On the flip side, this combo also works well if you plan to shoot your family Christmas photos at the beach.
  • Dusty blue and gray. For a casual, urban-inspired take on holiday photos, go for a palette of dusty blue (ideally in the form of lighter-wash denim jeans) and gray. To keep things interesting, look for gray pieces with textures like knit, suede, or velvet.
  • Navy blue and warm brown. For an unexpected, but still classic, take on a holiday color palette, go for a combination of deep blue and warm, nutty browns. This palette should be easy for everyone to pull off using their existing wardrobe, and works for just about any shoot location.
  • Blue on blue. With so many shades of blue, why choose just one? If you plan to take your photos with a busier backdrop, direct your family to pair jeans with another shade of blue for an easy, cohesive look.
Merry Memories

Merry Memories by Paula Pecevich



TIPS FOR CHOOSING COLORS

1

USE COLORS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE

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

Clear Simplicity by Petra Kern

2

YOU CAN’T GO WRONG WITH NEUTRAL COLORS

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

Tartan by Wildfield Paper Co

3

STAY WITHIN THE SAME COLOR PALETTE

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:

  • For a more traditional Christmas look with an elevated modern take, turn to earthy palettes. Colors like forest green, rust, and tan group beautifully together.
  • For a softer aesthetic, look to muted colors for inspiration. Dusty blue, blush, and sage are trending with brides in 2022. Accompanied by white and light gray, against a snowy backdrop, these stylish family picture outfits will transport your family into a winter wonderland.
  • For an elegant ambiance, jewel tones are your best bet for Christmas photo outfits that flatter any complexion. Rich colors like burgundy, golden yellow, and emerald will add great depth to everyone’s outfits.
Holiday Arch

Holiday Arch by Angela Thompson

The Minimalist

Holiday Photo Cards

Nicole Walsh

by Nicole Walsh

Saskatoon,CA

It's A Wonderful Life

Christmas Photo Cards

Jackie Crawford

by Jackie Crawford

Durham,NC

Winter Foliage

Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards

Joanna Griffin

by Joanna Griffin

Lund,

Merry Season

Christmas Photo Cards

Michelle Taylor

by Michelle Taylor

Saint Paul,MN


PATTERN IDEAS FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS PHOTO OUTFITS

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.

Gingham

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.

Plaid/Checkered

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!

Small paisley

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.

Polka Dots

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.



TIPS FOR CHOOSING PATTERNS

To successfully incorporate patterns into your holiday photo wardrobe, follow these dos and don’ts.

  • Do: Look for patterns that subtly incorporate accent colors within your broader color palette.
  • Don’t: Put everyone in clothing that features the exact same pattern. (Unless you are opting for a photo in matching Christmas PJs, which is the one time you can break this rule!)
  • Do: Let men wear patterns! It can be tempting to reserve patterns for female family members, but don’t forget to highlight the boys in your life by putting them in patterns like plaid or herringbone.
  • Don’t: Incorporate too many patterns in your wardrobe. If you’re new to patterns, stick to just one — for the advanced pattern mixers, we suggest sticking to two to keep things from becoming visually cluttered.

A Very Merry Season

Christmas Photo Cards

Annie Mertlich

by Annie Mertlich

Salt Lake City,UT

Ornament Trio

Holiday Photo Cards

Stacey Meacham

by Stacey Meacham

Greenville,SC

simplified

Holiday Photo Cards

Owl and Toad

by Owl and Toad

Long Beach,CA

Glowing Type

Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards

Angela Thompson

by Angela Thompson

Acacia Hills,


INDOOR OUTFITS

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:

  • Show off those holiday-print PJs. Whether they’re matching onesies or mismatched pieces, take the efficient route and wake up in your outfits. This is a great idea if you have little kids, or are a family where weekly movie nights are non-negotiable. Getting the family pet in cute Christmas PJs is always a winning idea, too.
  • Go glamorous. There’s no reason why you can’t dress up for indoor photos too. Since you’re able to better control the temperature inside, go for that luxe dress you were hoping to wear all holiday season. Channel your inner front cover magazine dreams (or favorite Kardashian-Jenner holiday photo) and model by your fireplace in extravagant Christmas photo outfits.
  • Be comfortable, casual, and timeless. Cream and white sweaters paired with jeans are great closet staples to take advantage of. Don’t own any sweaters? A white t-shirt will do the trick just as well.
Snow Tracks

Snow Tracks by Carrie ONeal

GREAT LAST-MINUTE CHRISTMAS OUTFIT IDEAS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY CARD

Additional considerations for planning your indoor photoshoot outfits:

  • Don’t forget the shoes! Even if your family usually kicks off their shoes the second they come into the house, it’s a nice idea to skip the bare feet for your holiday photo. If you’re going the PJ route, opt for cute matching slippers or fuzzy socks. For any other outfit, think about what shoes will look natural with what you’re wearing.
  • Keep cozy accessories to a minimum. Bundling up in beanies and scarves is an iconic look for outdoor Christmas photos, but can look a bit forced when indoors.

Family Holiday

Holiday Photo Cards

Chris Griffith

by Chris Griffith

Greensboro,GA