Guide to Christmas Photo Wardrobe Planning

The most wonderful time of the year is almost here, which means there is a very good chance you are planning your annual family photo shoot right now! You’ve booked the photographer and narrowed down your perfect location. With those important logistics out of the way, all that’s left is the most fun part of all: choosing your family’s wardrobe!

Choosing the perfect outfits for your clan is an exciting, albeit slightly overwhelming task for some families. Itchy sweaters, clashing patterns, pants that are suddenly too short – these are just a few of the many easily avoidable wardrobe fiascos.

Today we’ve got a list of helpful tips that will help you avoid common wardrobe mistakes and choose the perfect outfits for your entire family! We’re also sharing some stunning outfit picks that will have your kiddos looking sharp and festive this season.

How to Select Your Family Photo Wardrobe

  1. Plan Ahead

So important! Don’t wait until the week before to start choosing your family’s wardrobe. This is a photo that will be cherished for years, if not generations, so put the time in to thoughtfully select your wardrobe pieces!

In addition to giving you greater flexibility in choosing beautiful clothing (especially if you’re ordering clothing through an online boutique like Southern Scarlett), planning ahead will make the entire experience run more smoothly. This will also help you avoid mishaps like items not fitting properly or kiddos being uncomfortable, both of which are so crucial for getting that mega-watt smile you’re after!

  1. Coordinate Colors

It’s never a bad idea to lay out all your wardrobe options together to see how the colors look side by side. You’re going for complementary colors, not matching, which could make individuals get lost and possibly create a flat image.

Some families even like to take into consideration the colors of their home décor, since there is a high likelihood you’ll be hanging this photo in your home.

One quick note on color! While it seems like an easy option, try to avoid all black or all white ensembles. These are a classic ‘no go’ in photography, because of possibly being blown out or clipped in camera. What this means in non-photography terms: if colors are too dark or too bright, the camera can’t record any information. To avoid losing detail of your outfits and boost overall quality, don’t go too dark or too light!

  1. Choose the right patterns

Incorporating patterns is a fabulous way to add depth and gorgeous texture to your family photo, but you don’t want to go overboard. When choosing patterns, try to avoid small patterns, which will cause less camera distortions in the end image. Aiming to balancing large patterns with solid colors in your family photo wardrobe will help you achieve that beautiful image.

  1. Avoid characters and text

As much as your little one would love to sport that character dress or tee, we recommend trying to avoid such pieces. Similarly, shirts with text can be distracting from the overall aesthetic you are going for in your family photo. Sticking to timeless colors and patterns will create a visually appealing image that will never go out of style.

  1. Don’t forget accessories

You know we love accessories over here, and there is really no limit to the fun you can have! A pretty scarf, a sparkly bow, cozy tights, classic white knee socks (like this soft bamboo pair from Carlomango) – the accessories are the cherry on top of planning your family photo wardrobe.

Accessories are also a great place to play with texture, which is your friend when it comes to family photos! On top of being beautiful, texture adds dimension and interest to your final image.

  1. Shop clothing collections

One easy way to choose complementary, beautiful family wardrobe pieces? Shop a collection!

Fortunately for you, we happen to be in the children’s clothing business and have just a few wardrobe recommendations that will be perfect for your upcoming family photo shoot. Here are a few or our most popular and festive outfit choices!

Casual Family Photo Wardrobe Picks

If you’re going for a more casual vibe with your family photo this year, we absolutely adore the charming Alpine Santa Sweater or Alpine Reindeer Sweater. These classically styled sweaters from Mud Pie are appropriately festive while still being soft enough for even the most sensitive child.

Alpine Reindeer SweaterAlpine Reindeer Sweater

Absolutely love the details on these cotton sweaters, both which come in a beautiful muted oatmeal color with gray sleeves and gorgeous coconut wood buttons at the neckline. The Alpine Santa Sweater has popcorn knit sleeves and a soft faux fur beard on the applique, while the Alpine Reindeer Sweater features everyone’s favorite red-nosed reindeer, complete with a shiny red button nose. How cute are those buffalo check pom pom hats?

Alpine Check Tunic and Legging Set

To pair with the sweaters, do not miss the coordinating girl’s Alpine Check Tunic and Legging Set! Every little girl loves glitter, and this precious two-piece set features gold glitter printed long sleeve tunic with a reindeer applique and pom-pom nose, velvet bow, and pom-pom antlers. The matching buffalo check cotton spandex leggings are so cozy and festive, a natural choice for a casual family holiday photo!

Tartan Santa Tunic and Legging Set

An equally adorable alternative is the Tartan Santa Tunic & Legging Set, also from Mud Pie. This cotton rib long sleeve tunic features a chest ruffle, piled neckline, and sweater knit Santa applique with velvet button nose, velvet hat, complete with felt and pom-pom details. Those buffalo check spandex leggings will keep her warm while smiling for the camera!

Dressy Family Photo Wardrobe Picks

For a dressier seasonal family photo, we have no shortage of striking and enchanting options.

Top of the list is the bestselling and beautiful Noelle Dress from Nantucket Kids. The classic Royal Tartan fabric is perfect for family holiday card photos, bright and festive and truly made for Christmas!  Paired with a pair of white knee socks and a coordinating cardigan? Stick a fork in us, we’re done.

Tartan Corduroy Bubble

For your tiniest family members, the Tartan Corduroy Bubble from Mud Pie is just the ticket – especially for those in warmer climates! This darling outfit features a tartan plaid piped collar, sweet side gussets with dimensional tacked bow detail and an inner leg and back snap closure. This lovely ensemble can be easily cozied up with a pair of warm tights!

Red Corduroy Longall

In the matching Red Corduroy Longall Set, your little guy will be looking picturesque, cheerful, and ready for the holidays. Featuring coconut wood button side tabs, tartan plaid piping, and an inner leg snap closure, this 2-piece set is designed with convenience and comfort in mind, and looks cute to boot. 

So many beautiful options to choose from, and you can rest easy knowing that your little ones will be comfortable and feeling good while looking cute as a button. Shop our Christmas Collection for even more ideas!

At Southern Scarlett it is our mission to gather only the best and most comfortable in children’s wear. When choosing brands to include in our boutique, we thoughtfully choose only those that share our mission of keeping children comfortable and stylish. Each season we hand-select and curate items that will last, and that we know you and your family will love.

We hope this list of family photo wardrobe tips has you and your family well prepared for your upcoming photo shoot!

One last tip before we go: don’t forget the no-mess snacks.


Sarah Smith

Sarah is a copywriter and homeschooling mama of 3 in East Nashville, TN. When she's not writing or cleaning her walls with Magic Eraser, she can usually be found with her nose in a book, petting a stray cat, or concocting organic lotions & potions in her kitchen.

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