There are a number of reasons I recommend that my clients select flattering maxi dresses for their photo sessions. To start, they’re a perfect way to show movement in photos, but there’s generally a style to compliment every body type. However, if this style just isn’t for you, there are some alternatives!
A lot of my petite clients feel like a full-length maxi dress swallows them up, so opting for a shorter midi dress is often a better option. Luckily, midi dresses are all the rage these days, so you’re likely to find a plethora of options for your upcoming session. You’ll still want to keep a few things in mind when selecting your dress, of course: fit, flow, pattern and color!
Midi dresses typically have a hem that ends somewhere between the knee and ankle, but if you’re petite, shoot for a length that is slightly above or below mid-calf. Avoid dresses that end exactly at mid-calf, since that’s typically the widest part of the bottom half of your leg (not as flattering!).
Simply put – choose a dress that allows for movement! One of the best things about maxi dresses is that they bring movement and flow to your session, so naturally, you’d want the same from any midi dress. You should also choose a light fabric that won’t weigh you down but would rather bring a light and airy feel to your outfit.
Choose either a solid color midi dress or one that has the same pattern from head to toe! (Avoid using your dress as a color blocking opportunity!) Smaller patterns like tiny flowers or polka dots are also more flattering than large ones, which tend to distract from the object of the photos – YOU!
Like I always recommend to my clients, be sure to stick with your family’s color palette. If you’ve chosen more earthy tones, for example, be sure your dress compliments the other colors you’ve selected.
Pictured: Free People Vintage Summer Midi Dress in Sandstone
Vici Collection Roses Galore Midi Dress
Other Midi Dress Options:
Free People Summer Chapter Midi
Free People Sunset Dancing Dress
Joyfolie Shannon Dress in Neutral Floral
Vici Collection Porter Linen Blend Tie Front Midi Dress – Sand
Vici Collection Underwood Strapless Smocked Crochet Midi Dress – Off White
Baltic Born Leilani Tiered Midi Dress
If you don’t mind the length of a maxi dress but just aren’t into dresses or can’t find the right one, perhaps a maxi skirt is more up your alley, and much like midi dresses, maxi skirts are very popular right now, so there are lots to choose from! Flow and movement are still crucial elements to keep in mind, as a tight and stiff maxi skirt isn’t going to be comfortable or look great in your photos, and you’ll likely feel constrained during your session. Skirts with a fair amount of billowing fabric are great because there’s usually a good amount of walking, playing, twirling and sometimes even running involved in a successful photo session!
Pictured: Joyfolie Cala Skirt in Teal Vine Print
Vici Collection Flawless Cotton Eyelet Maxi Skirt -Black (I bought this one and love it!)
Free People One Ravenna Convertible Maxi Skirt
Other Maxi Skirt Options:
Free People Jen’s Pirate Booty Lapis Maxi Skirt
Vici Collection Scenery Printed Tiered Maxi Skirt Camel
Vici Collection Cruz Cotton Smocked Tiered Maxi Skirt
Anthropologie Significant Other Ruffle Maxi Skirt
Maybe you’ve read the above though and skirts and dresses just really aren’t your thing. That’s ok! Luckily, the fashion world is full of lots of very stylish cuts of pants. I’d still recommend, if at all possible, steering clear of your regular pair of jeans. I mean this is your special photo session- why not take the opportunity to dress up a bit and show off your personality! The jeans can come out any day of the year. Instead, how about a pair of flared trousers, some wide leg linen pants, some pleated or pin-tucked pants? Or go bold with a jumpsuit!
Pictured: Anthropologie Pilcro Relaxed Utility Pants
Vici Collection Happy Valley Saten Pocketed Pants in Cinnamon
Other Pants Options:
Free People THRILLS Artist Pleated Chino Pants
Anthropologie Savannah Morrow Elle Pants
Anthropologie Wide-Leg Cargo Pants
Vici Collection Ilana High Rise Pocketed Belted Trousers in Champagne
Finally, layering with interesting pieces can add movement and flow as well, as long as you are careful not to cover up your shape and hide yourself! (For example, scarves are generally not recommended as they shorten your physique by cutting off your neck and hiding your collarbone, one of a woman’s best features!)
A lightweight gauzy or lace kimono, a shawl, or a beautiful crochet poncho can be a beautiful addition, and can even add that softer line to a pants-and-shirt ensemble!
Kimonos, Ponchos & Shawls
Pictured: Free People Sun Bleached Fringe Kimono
Vici Collection Hemingway Duster Kimono
Anthropologie Open Crochet Poncho
Other Kimono, Poncho, & Shawl Options:
Vici Collection Cleo Cotton Crochet Tassel Duster Kimono
Maxi dresses will always be my top choice…
But if you’re looking for something a little different for an upcoming session, or maxis just aren’t your favorite, I hope you’ve found some inspiration within this blog!
Of course, if you need any additional styling advice as you plan outfits for yourself and your family members, I hope you’ll get in touch. I’m always happy to provide my clients with lots of guidance!