Aside from your wedding day, your engagement photo session is one of the most exciting and meaningful photoshoots you and your partner will ever experience.
If you’ve decided to take it outside, you’ll be factoring in the seasons, weather, and your chosen setting into your outfit choice.
Aren’t sure what to wear? Have no fear! Our list of tips, tricks, and how-tos will help you dress to impress!
The Best Attire For Outdoor Engagement Photos
Before we get into it, there are three possible outdoor locations that often automatically require outdoor attire: nature landscapes, small and large urban scenes, and outdoor events (state fairs, sports activities, etc.)
Wear Feel-Good Fits
If you aren’t sure what to wear, a good starting point is to think about what reflects your style and feels good! And when we say “feels-good,” we don’t just mean the comfy pajamas bundled up on your bedroom floor!
What we mean is put on an outfit, whether professional or casual, that not only physically feels good to wear, but also makes you feel comfortable and confident.
If you and your partner feel most like yourselves in a t-shirt and jeans, don’t center your entire engagement session wearing a gown and a suit.
However, this works both ways. If you do want to go out of your comfort zone and dress it up a little bit, absolutely do so! Just remember to choose attire that still makes you feel comfortable both physically and mentally; how you feel whilst being photographed is crucial to the outcome of your photos.
Dress for Your Setting
Bustling downtown scenes, a field of wildflowers, or your very own home–every environment calls for different levels of attire. The best way to know what to wear is to know your setting.
For example, if you’re taking your engagement photos in Yosemite National Park, you can dress it up with a flowy, bold-colored gown or suit to get some stunning glamor shots in front of breathtaking scenic views.
Or, on the contrary, lace up your hiking boots and turn your Yosemite engagement session into a more sportsman/adventurer kind of vibe.
Choose Your Color Scheme
When choosing your color scheme, be sure to factor in the backdrop! Neutral tones work well with almost everything, but a pop of color is always welcomed – if the background won’t clash that is.
Coordinate Colors Instead of Matching
Instead of completely matching outfits with your partner, alternate a few different colors between the both of you to create more interesting apparel.
Whether you stick to a nice neutral palette or opt for vibrant colors, make sure you create an even balance between colors to complement one another.
Classic colors that never go out of style are neutral shades like creams, tans, browns, as well as bolder colors like white, black, and red.
Choosing the colors of your outfits can allow you some room for creativity–just make sure one of you doesn’t opt for the beige sweater and black jeans while the other selects a neon pink dress.
Pro-Tip: Stay away from overly-distracting patterns. Patterns can be fun, but they can often be too overwhelming for the eye when overused in photographs.
Whether it’s a scarf, a piece of jewelry, hats, shoes, etc., adding one piece of your attire that pops will help you stand out, and add some dimension to your photos.
For men, a sleek yet simple watch, or even a nice tie is a nice touch.
Note that one stand-out accessory should be enough. If you want to add several larger attention-grabbing accessories, make sure to coordinate them well so that your classy outfit doesn’t slip into tacky-ville!
Stick To Timeless Looks Instead Of Trends
Ever looked at engagement photos taken in the 2000s? The low-rise bedazzled jeans, crimped hair, and thinly-plucked eyebrows may have been stylish at the time, but some trends just don’t age well.
So, make sure that the feel of your photos lasts decades past the moment you capture them!
Even though styles change rapidly, there are several classic items that you can implement into your session to make a statement that’ll last for a long time.
Some ideas for timeless styles:
-dark wash jeans
-little black dress
Don’t Under or Overpack
When it comes to balancing your clothing, we suggest bringing two outfit options to your session.
Not many people know that taking pictures for an hour+ can be EXHAUSTING, even with just one outfit. So, make sure to not overpack–because chances are, two, maximum THREE outfits will wear you (and your engagement photographer) out in no time.
On the other hand, if you only bring one option, not only will you have a lack of variety in your prints, but you may become uncomfortable using the same outfits in the same poses.
If you’re wearing a dress or a suit, for example, sitting in more casual/relaxed positions may be challenging, so a pair of jeans or shorts would offer more flexibility.
Similarly, your pick of shoes is paramount; packing the option of a pair of comfortable shoes to change into won’t be a choice you regret!
Examples of Outdoor Outfits:
Need some visual inspiration? These real scenes from outdoor engagement photos will inspire your eye for style!
Whether you’re getting ready to hit the town or the mountain slopes, these casual outdoor clothes are great for the relaxed and laid-back couple.
The best thing about casual attire? You likely already have all the items and accessories you need in your closet.
Great for a variety of different scenes, relaxed fits can include colors and hues that range from cool to warm roots to add an every day yet intimate tone to your photos.
Pro-tip: adding touches of denim will help make your casual clothes look more put-together–regardless of how simplistic your other clothing items are.
Bold and Bright
Stand out and make a statement with bold colors! Bold color reflects vibrant personalities, so if this is you and your partner then go for it!
Not only do these colors make for eye-catching images, but they also add an extra layer of individualism to your session.
For your color inspiration, check out these shots of couples that struck some poses in their favorite shades.
Classic and Elegant
Timeless, enchanting, and charming, opt to kick your outdoor attire up a notch with some regal looks that will turn heads.
The best thing about higher-end attire is that you’ll have the opportunity to not only create intimate and personable photos, but timeless images to cherish for decades to come. After all, how often can you dress to the nines and have it professionally documented?
Our favorite locations for this kind of attire? Downtown city scenes or vast magnificent landscape settings.
Modern and Clean-Cut
Keep things neutral toned and light and airy with these symmetrical, even-toned, contemporary looks.
The great thing about modern outfits for an outdoor engagement shoot is that they blend well with current fashion trends, and they also have the potential to age well over time due to their effortless simplicity.
For the best modern looks, we suggest using lighter and neutral toned hues and adding in the occasional pop of darker tones or warm/cool colors.
Fun/Sporty Attire for Outgoing Couples
Need some out-of-the-box ideas to help make your engagement attire unlike any other? Pick your favorite outdoor activity and use some of these outdoor fits for inspiration!
Sporty, outgoing, and off-the-wall engagement attire can make your pictures as personalized as you want them to be.
Whatever activity you and your boo enjoy doing together, make sure you’re dressed appropriately to make your photos more lively and dynamic!