Wardrobe Wednesday {High School Senior Guys}

Here in New York, we’re smack in the middle of our high school senior portrait season (my favorite!). While we’ve featured wardrobe advice for the ladies before, it’s been some time since we’ve focused solely on senior guys. Why leave them out?

Whenever I meet with clients to discuss their senior shoot, we spend some time talking about what they plan to wear. What I often find with guys is that their wardrobe is still stuck in a more youthful stage: oversized t-shirts, well-worn and faded jeans, sports or college hoodies, etc. I want them to see themselves as young adults, just a year away from heading to college. The coming year will likely bring formal events, college or work interviews, campus tours, etc.

You know what they say about first impressions…

No one needs to go out and buy an entirely new wardrobe. Not for a second. I never want anyone to buy something for a shoot that they won’t wear again. This is about looking good and making sure that your outfits say something about who you are. Think about what you’re wearing right now – do you love it? Are you happy when you put it on? Do you feel good when wearing it?

Let’s be honest. Your senior photo shoot will probably be the last time you’re really photographed until you get married someday. That’s just how it usually is. Be sure to wear something that you’ll look at 1, 5, 10, 20 years down the road and feel good about.

  • You can’t go wrong with one relatively formal look. Pick out a pair of dress or dark pants that you’ll get a lot of use out of – something that would look good with either a dress shirt, polo or graphic t-shirt. Try to find a shirt color that is complimentary to your eyes and skin tone. You can start with it buttoned up and with the sleeves down, then roll the cuffs and loosen a button for a more casual look. An undershirt usually isn’t necessary, but if you’ll feel more comfortable wearing one, just be sure the color is appropriate (black with dark shirts – white with white or lighter shirts). A v-neck is a nice option since you probably won’t even see it.
  • I’ll say it all day long – a dark pair of jeans is a MUST. You can wear ANYTHING with them.
  • If you want a more preppy look, polos with khaki pants or shorts totally works. Boat shoes or sandals can work, too.
  • Layers help you get more longevity out of your session outfits. In the second look, you can take some pics with the red plaid top, then throw on the sweater for a totally different look.
  • Are you more sporty and athletic? Go ahead and bring your favorite team hoodie or shirt. Often times you can find unique or more vintage inspired team apparel. If it isn’t something you see every day (standard jersey with a giant mascot or number on the back), it will have a more subtle and timeless look.
  • No matter what you wear, please be sure it fits you well. A lot of guys tend to buy larger sizes – maybe thinking it makes them look bigger? – but the opposite happens — you always look smaller and younger. If you can belt a pant or short and have extra fabric folding up, you definitely need to go down a size. If you need to, look for “athletic” or “slim/fitted” shirts.
  • As always, accessorize. Chunky watches, hats, cufflinks, sunglasses, etc – they all work and can add something to your look.
  • Don’t be afraid of some color. An all black/brown/grey wardrobe can get pretty boring.

what to wear for a senior photo shoot guys
Shopping Guide:

Everything was purchased from two stores – Express and Abercrombie & Fitch. While you can find examples of these types of pieces in so many places, I wanted to show that a trip to the mall doesn’t have to mean being dragged to every store in the place. You can get plenty of looks by just picking one or two places!


Look #1:

A&F Bushnell Falls Polo – $42 (comes in 10 colors)

A&F Classic Preppy Belt – $28

A&F Woodsfall Trail Shorts – $22

A&F Rugged Vintage Treads – $48


Look #2:

A&F Seymour Mountain Plaid Shirt – $88

A&F Adams Mountain Sweater – $68

A&F Slim Straight Chino – $39

Express Double Zip Boots– $158.00


Look #3:

Express 1MX Modern Fit Stretch Cotton Shirt – $59.00 (buy 1, get 1 50% off – comes in 23 colors)

Express Stretch Cotton Producer Pant – $69.00 (buy 1, get 1 for $39.90 – comes in 7 colors and machine washable)

Express 2-in-1 Reversible Leather Belt – $39.00

Express Dress Loafers – $108.00


Look #4:

Express Colorblock Hoodie – $59.90

Express Slim Fit Boot Cut Stretch Rocco Jean – $79.00 (buy 1, get 1 for $29.00)

Express Casual Suede Sneaker – $88.00