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What to wear for corporate headshots

What to wear for business headshots?

In this what to wear guide, I will talk about the different options for business and causal headshot attire and what the benefits are for each.

What should a female wear for head shot photos?

It all depends on the type of job you are looking for. If you are looking for a higher-up CEO-type job, you want to dress pretty formally. What does that mean? Well, most formal attire for the working force means a business suit. A business suit for a female doesn’t always mean an actual suit, it means a dress with a jacket over it. The darker the suit, the more professional it looks. Low heels and closed-toe shoes are the most professional look.

Where does one buy a female business suit?

There are some great stores that sell business suits for women. One of the staples out there is Talbots.

Another location is Macy’s

Banana Republic is another great option to find a very well-made suit for a woman

What is the cost of a business suit for a woman?

The cost of a woman’s business suit can run anywhere from $50-to $300. One of the best places in Massachusetts to shop for a business suit is Frugal Fannies in Westwood MA.

When did women begin wearing business suits?

The woman began wearing business suits in late 1800 when an actress by the name of Sarah Bernhardt started wearing “boys’ clothing. Woman had been tied to wearing what was referred to the “hobble skirt” which was true to its name. It was so tight down to the ankles that women couldn’t take a full walking stride. They looked like they wear hobbling because they had to take quick steps to move. The skirt was restrictive and the ability to move more freely was why boys' clothes and women suits took off.

Eleanor Roosevelt helped push the change to wear more comfortable clothing when she arrived at a White House function wearing her Riding attire. While she wasn’t the first female to wear pants in public (Franny Wright was) She was probably the most famous! I mean, a First Lady, wearing a riding suit to a White House function, who would have thought.

What should you spend on a men’s suit?

This comes down to a couple of things. First, when and how often are you planning on wearing it? Second, is this the only suit you will own? If you are buying ONE suit, to hang in your closet and wear every 4 to 6 months to a wedding or high-end affair, you could spend in the ballpark of $600- 800 dollars. If you are a high-paying CEO who needs to look at the part every day, you could spend easily over $1000. The more you spend, the nicer the suit and the better they look and feel will be. Some people say to think of spending the money as a per-use amount. If you wear a thousand-dollar suit twice, you have effectively paid $500 per wear. If you wear it for $4 times, it is now a $250 suit. At that rate, you could wear it 100 times and it would cost you $10 a wear. In the end, a high-end suit will pay for itself if you wear it often. If you need to wear a suit often, it's best to have a couple of them as you don’t want to have just one suit, and have to wear it every day. That’s why you should look into a lower priced suit if you are not a CEO, but need to wear a suit to court.

Where can I find a men's suit locally?

In the Reading, Andover, Lynnfield Area you can find a Men’s Warehouse that will help you find the suit you need.

For an informal suit, you can always look at J. Crew. If you want something a little higher end you can look at Jos A. Bank. They offer everything from Suits to tuxes.

What are the different types of business suits?

Slim Fit Suit

Slim Fit Suit is a suit that lacks a lot of extra fabric and has a much more narrow cut/fit. The suit tends to be a little tighter in the legs and isn’t as loose like a traditional suit. This suit is currently all the rage and pretty trendy right now in young men.


Classic Fit Suit

Is a suit that is wider and still holds its shape with a sharp look, and tight corners. This is the suit of our parent's generation where the jacket had a looser fit and the pants were looser.

Modern Fit Suit

Is tighter in the seat of the pants, lower waist fit, and the jacket is pulled in on the sides a bit more to give a tighter fit and shows off a bit more of the

Types of Suit Jackets:

Notch Lapel

This is the lapel that people are most familiar with. It's a single lapel You can tell a notch lapel as it has a NOTCH right where the collar of the shirt meets the lapel. This is a jacket that can be used anywhere from CEO to a formal night out.

Shawl Lapel

This one is pretty easy to see out in public. It looks like there is a shawl over the guy's shoulders. It's one piece of fabric that runs up both sides of the jacket and around the back of the neck. Sometimes you will see it as black on a gray suit, sometimes you will see it as Black on a white suit. Sometimes it is the same color as the jacket. It's considered a pretty formal type of jacket!

Peak Lapel

If you ever watched the show “SUITS” this is the Jacket that Harvey always wore. He was wearing a slim-fit, Peak Lapel Jacket. The Peak Lapel is normally seen as very formal and can be found on tuxes and and double-breasted suits. The fabric goes up the jacket and looks like a sideways mountain as it connects to the other part of the lapel that goes around the neck.

Single Breasted Suit

Is a jacket that has only one set of buttons down the front of the jacket. How do you button a single-breasted jacket? You only button the top button and let the second button remain unbuttoned. People often ask how to button this jacket. This jacket can come with 1, 2, or 3 buttons but it is most common with 2.

Double Breasted Suit

Is a jacket that has two sets of buttons side by side. This jacket typically is seen with 6 buttons and when buttoning you button the top two and leave the third unbuttoned. (Thanks King Arthur!)

Unstructured Blazer

has a very little lining to it and is thin fabric, especially in the shoulder area. This allows the jacket to be lightweight and a good option for summer weddings. A lot of linen blazers are unstructured blazers as they are breathable and lightweight and summer feeling. While they look nice, they are also cool and allow summer weddings to have a great option for formal wear that is not too hot.

Patch Pocket Blazer

is a casual blazer that has a pocket made of a separate piece of cloth. It tends to be a lower cost fabric.

Single Vent Suit

in a pinch and when you just need a jacket to go out in, this is the one. It's often referred to as a sport coat, as it’s not formal in nature, and is low cost. It looks dresser but is not super fancy. There is a slit off the back of the jacket down as the vent. This is considered the American Jacket as it's seen more often in America. The vent is giving the jacket a little bit of movement and flexibility.

Double Vent Suit

has two cuts on the back of the jacket that allows for movement. This is the most expensive type of jacket. There is more to making this jacket, so it costs more to make. It looks great when you stick your hand in your pocket and it keeps your backside covered. This doesn’t happen with the single vent. If you put your hand in your pocket for a single vent, it opens up the back of your jacket and exposed your backside. This isn’t a bad thing, but it’s absolutely not something people should aim to do.

No vent Suit is a style of jacket that doesn’t have any cuts in the back, it looks better on people who are heavier set,

Different types of pants for suits

Flat Front Pants

These are exactly how they sound. Flat! There is no pleat in the pants in the legs. They are just pants! For people who have skinny legs, these pants are a great option

Pleated Pants

These pants give more room in the legs, so someone who is more athletic should consider these. These have a crease down the middle of the pants that is sewn into the fabric and then attached to the top part of the waistband.

Cuffed Pants

These are considered higher-end pants and if you are suit shopping you should look into buying a pair of pants that have the cuff. The cuff is folded over on the pants and then a stitch is sewn on the side to hold the cuff in place.

There are so many attires that people can dress for for a headshot. You have Business Professional, Business Formal, Business Casual, and Casual. All of these are acceptable for corporate America. For business attire you want to go with an option from above from suit jacket to casual blazer, from fancy cuffed pants to flat pants. As long as you are ironed and neat, almost anything will work.

Casual Business Attire

Casual business attire is informal clothing worn not only in most business settings but also in many settings outside of work. You might wear casual clothing if you work in an informal office where others wear things like T-shirts, jeans, and open-toed shoes. You should avoid wearing a casual dress with clients and in interviews, even if the office is casual overall. Always dress for the job above the one you want, not the job you want. So If you are going to be the secretary to the manager, dress like you’re the manager.

If you are a male and are looking to find out what suit you should wear to a headshot session, I would suggest the double-vented suit jacket with an ironed shirt and a tie that offers an accent color, without drawing too much attention!

If you need help with picking out an outfit for your corporate headshot or dating profile photo, please let me know! I look forward to seeing you in the studio!

Reading Photographer Headshots-Portraits-Kids-Families, Senior Portraits 40 Marla Lane, Reading MA 01867 781-315-6030 -