Should I Wear A Cardigan In A Headshot Photo?

When deciding whether to wear a cardigan in a headshot photo, it’s important to consider the overall look and feel you want to convey. Here are some tips from various sources:Dos:

  1. Layering: Layering can add depth and visual interest to your headshot. You can consider wearing a cardigan as one of the layers5.
  2. Seasonality: Take into account the season and location when choosing your outfit. Wearing a heavy sweater might be appropriate for a headshot taken in winter in a colder climate1.
  3. Necklines: Opt for modest V necks, boat, or crew necklines, as they tend to work well in photos2.


  1. White outer clothing: White can reflect light and pick up colors from the environment, so it’s generally advised to avoid wearing white unless you plan to wear a jacket or sweater on top4.
  2. Anything that detracts from your face: Avoid wearing anything that will draw attention away from your face, as the focus of a headshot should be on you2.

Factors to Consider for the Perfect Headshot

Purpose of the Headshot

When deciding what to wear for your headshot, it’s important to consider the purpose of the photo. Are you using it for professional purposes like a job application or a LinkedIn profile? Or is it for personal use, such as a social media profile picture? The purpose of the headshot will influence the level of professionalism and formality you should aim for in your attire.

Target Audience

Another factor to consider is your target audience. Who will be viewing your headshot? Are you trying to appeal to potential employers in a specific industry, or are you aiming to portray a certain image to friends and peers? Understanding your audience will help you determine the appropriate clothing and overall look that will resonate with them.

Setting and Context

The setting and context in which the headshot will be used should also be taken into account. Will the photo be displayed on a website with a specific color scheme or background? Knowing the background and setting can help you choose clothing that will complement the overall aesthetic and create a cohesive look.

Impact of Clothing Choice on Headshots

Importance of Clothing in Headshots

Clothing choice plays a significant role in the overall impact of a headshot. It can convey professionalism, personality, and style. The right clothing can help you make a positive first impression and communicate your desired message effectively.

Professionalism and Branding

In professional settings, such as job applications or business profiles, it’s essential to dress in a way that reflects your professionalism and aligns with your personal brand. The right clothing can help you establish credibility and trustworthiness, making you more appealing to potential employers or clients.

Connotations and Associations

The clothing you wear in your headshot can evoke certain connotations and associations. For example, wearing a tailored suit can convey a sense of authority and confidence, while a more casual outfit might suggest a laid-back and approachable personality. Consider the message you want to send and choose your clothing accordingly.

Should I Wear A Cardigan In A Headshot Photo?

This image is property of

Advantages of Wearing a Cardigan in Headshot Photos

Versatility and Layering

One of the advantages of wearing a cardigan in headshot photos is its versatility and layering capabilities. Cardigans come in various styles, lengths, and materials, allowing you to create different looks by layering them over different tops or dresses. This versatility gives you the option to adjust your outfit for different purposes or target audiences.

Enhancing Body Proportions

Cardigans can also enhance your body proportions in a headshot. Depending on the style and fit, a cardigan can cinch at the waist, creating an hourglass shape and emphasizing your curves. This can be particularly flattering for individuals who want to highlight their waistline or create a more balanced silhouette.

Adding Depth and Texture

Another advantage of wearing a cardigan in headshot photos is the ability to add depth and texture to your outfit. Cardigans often have unique textures, patterns, or knit designs that can add visual interest and dimension to your overall look. This can help your headshot stand out and capture attention in a sea of more basic outfits.

Disadvantages of Wearing a Cardigan in Headshot Photos

Concealing Body Shape

While cardigans can enhance body proportions, they can also conceal them if not worn carefully. Some cardigans may be too loose or oversized, making it difficult to showcase your body shape. It’s important to choose a cardigan that fits well and flatters your figure, or else it may hide your natural curves and potentially make you appear shapeless.

Potential Distractions

The unique textures and patterns on cardigans can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. While they can add visual interest, they can also be distracting if they overpower the rest of the image. It’s important to strike a balance and ensure that the cardigan doesn’t steal the focus away from your face and overall appearance.

Casual or Unprofessional Appearance

In some professional settings, wearing a cardigan may give off a more casual or informal vibe than desired. This can be problematic if you’re aiming to convey a sense of professionalism and authority through your headshot. It’s crucial to consider the context and audience to determine whether a cardigan is the appropriate choice for your specific situation.

Should I Wear A Cardigan In A Headshot Photo?

This image is property of

Considerations for choosing a Cardigan in Headshot Photos

Fit and Tailoring

When choosing a cardigan for your headshot, pay close attention to its fit and tailoring. Opt for a cardigan that is well-fitted and matches your body shape. Avoid baggy or ill-fitting options, as they can detract from your overall appearance and make you look less put-together.

Color and Solid Backgrounds

Consider the color of the cardigan and how it will complement your skin tone and hair color in the headshot. Additionally, choose a cardigan that contrasts well with the background to ensure that you don’t blend into it or get lost in the image. Solid backgrounds, such as white or neutral tones, can provide a clean and professional backdrop for your headshot.

Fabric and Texture

Select a cardigan made from high-quality fabric with a texture that suits the aesthetic you want to achieve. Avoid fabrics that wrinkle easily, as they can make you appear unkempt in the headshot. Opt for materials that have a smooth and polished look, such as cotton or wool blends.

Alternative Clothing Options for Headshot Photos

Blazers and Jackets

Blazers and jackets are classic wardrobe staples that exude professionalism and polish. They can instantly elevate your headshot and give you a refined and put-together look. Choose a blazer or jacket that fits well and complements your body shape. Look for structured options that enhance your silhouette and convey authority.

Button-Up Shirts or Blouses

Button-up shirts or blouses are another excellent choice for headshot photos, especially in professional settings. They offer a crisp and clean look, and you have the freedom to accessorize them with ties, necklaces, or statement earrings to add a touch of personality. Opt for colors that flatter your skin tone and consider the collar style that suits your face shape.

Sweaters or Pullovers

Sweaters or pullovers can be a casual-yet-cozy option for headshots, particularly in more relaxed environments or for personal use. Pair a well-fitted sweater with a complementary color or pattern to add visual interest without overwhelming the whole image. This option works well for someone looking for a warm and approachable aesthetic.

Should I Wear A Cardigan In A Headshot Photo?

This image is property of

Tips for a Great Headshot Experience

Consult with a Professional Photographer

To ensure that you make the best clothing choices for your headshot, consider consulting with a professional photographer. They have the experience and expertise to guide you on what will work best for your specific needs and target audience. They can also provide valuable input on lighting, angles, and poses to help you achieve your desired result.

Experiment with Different Outfits

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different outfits and styles before settling on your final choice for the headshot. Take test shots in different clothing options and see how they translate on camera. You may be surprised by how different outfits can alter the overall image and the message it conveys.

Practice Natural and Relaxed Poses

Posing for a headshot can feel awkward and unnatural, but it’s essential to project confidence and authenticity. Practice natural and relaxed poses in front of a mirror or with the help of a friend. Experiment with different facial expressions and body angles to find your most flattering and comfortable poses. Remember, a genuine smile goes a long way in creating a warm and inviting headshot.


Choosing the perfect clothing for a headshot is crucial in creating a positive and impactful first impression. Factors such as the purpose, target audience, and setting should guide your clothing choices. While a cardigan can offer versatility, layering options, and added depth to your headshot, there are also potential disadvantages to consider. Ensure a well-fitted and tailored cardigan that complements your body shape, skin tone, and background. Alternatively, blazers, button-up shirts, and sweaters offer different aesthetics and levels of professionalism. Consulting with a professional photographer and experimenting with different outfits and poses will help you achieve a great headshot that represents you accurately and effectively.

Should I Wear A Cardigan In A Headshot Photo?

This image is property of