What to Wear to Your Next Session (if you’re not into maxi dresses)

Tips and Tricks

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.

Midi Dresses

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

Baltic Born Bodrum 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!

Maxi Skirts

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:

Anthropologie Knit Kaftan

Savvi Ada Kimono

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!