How To: Coordinate Looks for Family Photos
1. Colors and Prints:
We are just going to dive right into the meat of the issue here. Everyone wearing the same color or print always looks staged. The is not what you want. I prefer to think in terms of complimentary colors and prints. For example, if my husband wears blue I like to put my son in a complimentary color. (think: mustard, red, brown, etc) Then I might put my girl in a print that compliments. See photo below for an idea on how that looks. A good rule of thumb for choosing coordinating colors is: Look at each pieces individually and if each piece "goes" with the next its all coordinating! For instance, my husband's pants look good with my daughters dress and her dress looks good with my son's romper and his romper looks good with my husband's pants. Its all connected! Make sense?
PS: the photos in this post are not "family photos" they are just snapshots but these are a good example of how I like to style my fam.
See how all the looks compliment but do not look the same! That brings me to prints. A tried and true rule for mixing prints is: Pair an oversized print with a smaller scale print to keep things from looking too crazy. In the example photo above My husband's shirt is a print and my daughter's dress is a print but they are vastly different scales so it works. Heres the deal, I love mixing prints. I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about it. I love it. Like in the pic below, there are two prints happening but they coordinate. Another tip for mixing prints is to mix opposite things. Such as stripes and florals or abstract and grid these prints are opposites and, if done right, won't compete with each other. In both of the example photos these two rules are at work. Opposite patterns in different scales. So while we are talking about prints, I want to share another thing I do when coordinating our outfits. And that brings us to number two...
2. Pick one thing:
You might think by that title that this is a rule about minimalism, yeah its not. I like to pick one thing as the "inspiration piece" and build the looks from there. So like in the example below, my daughters pinafore is the jumping off point. This was Christmas time last year, so I wanted us to look festive and fun. I think the Holidays are a great time to go for something a little more over the top than what you would normally do. As long as you can control yourself and not get carried away! Anyway, so my look and my son's look are based around what my daughter is wearing. Her pinafore has every color we are wearing in it. This is a good way to coordinate if you don't have an eye for color! You can't get it wrong if you work from a piece that already has complimentary colors.
In the photo below, my daughter dress is the "one thing" the rest of the pieces are based on. Unlike the other pic where all the colors were matching my daughters pinafore, this look is about coordinating with my daughters dress. The oatmeal henley my son is wearing is a good match for the floral print and the denim suspender shorts coordinate perfectly.
3. Neutrals Never Fail:
So, if you are not good at picking out colors that coordinate or patterns that work, stick with neutrals. If your family typically wears neutrals, stick with neutrals. You will feel more comfortable and your family photo with feel like y'all instead of a weird, more colorful version of y'all. Neutrals do not have to be boring or predictable. In the example shot below, (Easter '17) we are very neutral. Blue and white/cream are classics and feel so timeless. This is as simple as picking a neutral color combo, in this case blue and white, and going from there.
This next example is a little more modern, brings in more prints and is a little less matchy. Again, it all works because its all neutral colors. The loudest piece is my daughter's leopard top and that goes so well with the other colors we are wearing it doesn't stand out in an awkward way.
One other idea for wearing neutrals is to pick an accent color and then keep everything else neutral. In the example pic below, mustard is our accent color and the rest of our neutrals are dark. That is a key when adding an accent color, the neutrals you choose to pair it with should all be in the same family. Does that make sense? You don't want to choose and accent color then have all these different color neutrals competing with the accent. Keep it simple. Another great tip for dressing in neutrals is to play with textures to keep things interesting. My son's fur hat, my husband's leather shoes and my daughter's wool headband are all interesting textures that keep us from looking bland.
4. Consider Textures:
Like I said in the pic above, the textures are the things that add interest to these looks. The colors are very basic and there is only one print happening. Adding textures is a really good tip if you will be keeping the rest of the colors very minimal. In order to create interest, when you don't use a lot of colors or prints, add textures. In the example pic below, this is a pretty soft pairing with not much going in terms of prints. The textures are the star of the show here. The white dress shines because of that crinkly gauze! And the denims are a a strong contrast which adds interested without adding another color. Then the leather... leather is an all time fav for me. The leather is adding such a good texture and color with looking out of place or too much! The textures help keep the looks simple and classic.
5. Toss All the Rules:
Lol jk jk. But for real, there are exceptions to all these rules. Wear the things that make you feel most like yourself. Take a family photo that you will look back on and say thats exactly what we looked like. For me, coordinating and styling are so fun and thats the thing, have fun with it. Do something unexpected, add something interesting that is unique to your family!