Choosing the Perfect Outfit for Your Acting Headshots
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


Understanding the Purpose of Acting Headshots

Colors and Patterns: What to Wear for Acting Headshots

Clothing Styles: Making the Right Choices

Accessories: Enhancing Your Look

Hair and Makeup: Final Touches for Acting Headshots

Choosing the perfect outfit for your acting headshots can be a daunting task. But fear not, we're here to help you navigate the world of headshot fashion, ensuring you make a lasting impression. In this blog, we will explore the purpose of acting headshots, discuss what to wear for acting headshots, and provide tips on selecting the perfect outfit, accessories, and hair and makeup styles.

Understanding the Purpose of Acting Headshots

Before we dive into outfit selection, it's important to understand the primary goals of a professional acting headshot. These photos serve three main purposes: creating a strong first impression, showcasing your personality, and meeting industry standards.

Creating a Strong First Impression

First and foremost, your headshot is your calling card in the acting world. Casting directors often browse through hundreds of headshots, so yours needs to stand out and make a memorable impression. This means that your outfit should not only look good but also reflect the type of roles you want to be considered for.

For example, if you're aiming for dramatic roles, you might want to opt for darker, more sophisticated attire. On the other hand, if you're targeting comedic roles, a lighter, more colorful outfit could be a better fit. Ultimately, your headshot outfit should give casting directors a glimpse of your potential as an actor.

Showcasing Your Personality

Your headshot should not only demonstrate your professionalism but also reveal a bit of your personality. After all, acting is all about connecting with audiences, and your headshot should showcase the unique qualities that make you stand out from the crowd. When choosing what to wear for acting headshots, consider how your outfit can reflect your personal style, energy, and charisma.

Are you a bubbly, outgoing person? You might want to wear a bright, cheerful color. Do you have a more subdued, serious demeanor? Perhaps a monochrome outfit would be a better choice. By showcasing your personality through your outfit, you're giving casting directors a better sense of who you are as an individual and as an actor.

Meeting Industry Standards

While it's important to let your personality shine through, it's also crucial to adhere to industry standards. This means avoiding outfits that are overly casual or overly formal, as well as steering clear of anything too trendy or distracting. Your acting headshot should look professional, polished, and timeless — something you'll be proud to submit for years to come.

So, when selecting what to wear for acting headshots, make sure to choose clothing that is classic and well-fitted, with simple patterns and colors. By striking the right balance between showcasing your personality and meeting industry standards, you'll be setting yourself up for success in the competitive world of acting.

Colors and Patterns: What to Wear for Acting Headshots

Now that we've covered the purpose of acting headshots, let's move on to one of the most important aspects of your outfit: colors and patterns. Selecting the right colors, avoiding distracting patterns, and complementing your skin tone will ensure your headshot is visually appealing and showcases your best features.

Selecting the Right Colors

When deciding what to wear for acting headshots, the colors you choose can make a significant difference in how you're perceived. Opt for colors that accentuate your eyes, highlight your natural skin tone, and convey the right message for the roles you're targeting. For example:

  • Blues and greens can make your eyes pop and create a sense of calm and trustworthiness.
  • Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow can evoke energy, passion, or playfulness.
  • Neutral colors like white, black, and gray are versatile and work well in a variety of situations.

Remember, the focus should be on you, not your clothes, so choose colors that enhance your features without overpowering or distracting from your face.

Avoiding Distracting Patterns

While it may be tempting to wear your favorite patterned shirt or dress, it's best to avoid busy patterns when selecting what to wear for acting headshots. Bold patterns, large logos, or intricate designs can draw attention away from your face and make the overall image look cluttered.

Instead, opt for solid colors or simple patterns that won't compete with your facial features. This will ensure that casting directors can focus on what's truly important: your unique look and personality.

Complementing Your Skin Tone

When choosing the colors for your outfit, it's essential to consider how they'll interact with your skin tone. Colors that complement your skin tone will make you look healthy, vibrant, and more attractive in your headshot. Here are a few tips to help you find the right colors:

  1. Identify your skin's undertone: cool (blue or pink), warm (yellow or golden), or neutral (a mix of both).
  2. Select colors that work well with your undertone. Cool undertones typically look best in blues, greens, and purples, while warm undertones are flattered by reds, oranges, and yellows. Neutral undertones can generally wear both cool and warm colors.
  3. Experiment with different shades and saturations to find the most flattering options for your unique complexion.

By selecting colors that complement your skin tone, you'll create a harmonious and visually appealing headshot that showcases your natural beauty.

Clothing Styles: Making the Right Choices

After nailing down the colors and patterns, it's time to focus on the overall style of your outfit. From selecting a flattering fit to choosing versatile styles and the best necklines, this section will guide you through the process of deciding what to wear for acting headshots that make you stand out in the right way.

Choosing a Flattering Fit

When it comes to acting headshots, a well-fitted outfit can make all the difference. It not only enhances your appearance but also boosts your confidence. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect fit:

  • Opt for clothes that fit comfortably without being too tight or too loose. You want to look put-together, but not constricted.
  • Pay attention to the fit around your shoulders and neckline, as these areas will be most visible in the headshot.
  • Consider getting your clothes tailored for a custom fit that shows off your best features.

Remember, the goal is to look like the best version of yourself, so choose clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident.

Versatility in Style

Since acting headshots are often used for various types of roles, it's essential to choose an outfit that is versatile and presents you as a flexible actor. Here's how you can achieve that:

  • Select clothing that can be easily adapted to different characters or settings. For example, a classic button-down shirt or a simple blouse can work for both professional and casual roles.
  • Avoid overly trendy, seasonal, or costume-like clothing that may pigeonhole you into specific roles or time periods.
  • Bring a few outfit options to your headshot session, so you have a range of looks to choose from.

By choosing versatile clothing styles, you'll create a headshot that showcases your adaptability and increases your chances of landing diverse roles.

Selecting the Best Necklines

The neckline of your outfit plays a crucial role in the overall appearance of your headshot. Here are some tips to help you pick the right one:

  • Choose a neckline that flatters your face shape and neck length. For example, v-necks often look great on people with round faces, while crew necks can suit those with longer necks.
  • Avoid excessively low-cut necklines or clothing that reveals too much skin, as this can distract from your face and may not be appropriate for all roles.
  • Experiment with different necklines, such as collared shirts, scoop necks, or boat necks, to see which one best complements your features.

By selecting the right neckline, you'll ensure your acting headshot looks polished, professional, and highlights your unique qualities.

Now that we've covered clothing styles, let's dive into the world of accessories and how to enhance your look with the right finishing touches.

Accessories: Enhancing Your Look

Now that we've addressed clothing styles, let's explore the world of accessories and how they can elevate your acting headshots. In this section, we'll discuss the importance of a minimalist approach, selecting the right jewelry, and wearing glasses in headshots. Remember, the goal is to enhance your look without detracting from your face, which remains the star of the show.

Taking a Minimalist Approach

When it comes to what to wear for acting headshots, less is often more. Accessories should complement your look without drawing unnecessary attention. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Stick to simple, understated accessories that add a touch of sophistication without overpowering your outfit or face.
  • Consider the overall balance of your look. If your outfit has a bold pattern or color, opt for more subtle accessories.
  • Remember, the focus should be on your face and expression, so avoid anything that distracts from that.

By adopting a minimalist approach, you'll ensure that your acting headshots look polished and professional while keeping the focus on you.

Choosing the Right Jewelry

Jewelry can be a great addition to your headshot if chosen wisely. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect pieces:

  • Opt for small, delicate jewelry, such as simple studs, thin necklaces, or a slim bracelet. These pieces can add a touch of elegance without stealing the spotlight.
  • Choose jewelry that reflects your personality and the type of roles you'd like to play. For example, if you often audition for professional roles, a classic watch might be a fitting choice.
  • Make sure your jewelry matches the overall style and color scheme of your outfit, creating a cohesive look.

By selecting the right jewelry, you'll enhance your overall appearance and create a memorable acting headshot.

Wearing Glasses in Headshots

If you wear glasses regularly, you may be wondering if you should wear them in your acting headshots. Here's what you need to know:

  • If glasses are a part of your everyday look and you feel they represent your unique style, include them in your headshots. Casting directors should see the real you.
  • Choose frames that suit your face shape and don't distract from your features. Avoid overly trendy styles or frames with heavy logos.
  • Discuss with your photographer any potential issues with glare or reflections and how to address them during the shoot.

Glasses can be a distinguishing feature and make you stand out, so don't hesitate to include them in your acting headshots if they're a part of your personal style.

With accessories covered, let's move on to the final touches for your acting headshots—hair and makeup.

Hair and Makeup: Final Touches for Acting Headshots

Now that we've covered clothing and accessories, let's complete the look by discussing hair and makeup for your acting headshots. This section will focus on achieving a natural look, preparing your hair, and providing makeup tips to ensure your headshots truly shine.

Achieving a Natural Look

When it comes to what to wear for acting headshots, remember that the focus should be on you and your unique features. With hair and makeup, a natural look is key:

  • Keep your hairstyle simple and clean, showcasing your natural hair texture and color.
  • Opt for makeup that enhances your features without being overly dramatic or drawing attention away from your face.

By embracing your natural beauty, you'll create an authentic and inviting headshot that resonates with casting directors.

Preparing Your Hair

Proper hair preparation is essential for a successful headshot session. Here are some tips to ensure your hair looks its best:

  • Start with clean, well-conditioned hair, free of excess oil or product buildup.
  • Style your hair in a way that feels comfortable and reflects your everyday look. If you have multiple hairstyles, consider bringing a few options to the shoot.
  • Bring a comb, brush, and any necessary styling products to the shoot for touch-ups as needed.

By taking the time to prepare your hair, you'll ensure a polished and professional appearance in your acting headshots.

Makeup Tips for Headshots

Makeup can elevate your headshot by enhancing your features and creating a flawless finish. Here are some pointers for choosing the right makeup:

  • Stick with matte makeup products, as they photograph better than shimmery or glittery ones, which can create unwanted shine or reflections.
  • Choose foundation and concealer shades that match your skin tone, avoiding any noticeable lines or color discrepancies.
  • Focus on emphasizing your eyes, as they are the window to your personality. Opt for neutral eyeshadow shades, a bit of eyeliner, and mascara to make your eyes pop.
  • Finish with a natural lip color that complements your skin tone, avoiding overly bold or trendy shades.

By following these makeup tips, you'll create a beautiful, camera-ready look that highlights your best features and helps you stand out in the competitive world of acting.

In conclusion, selecting the perfect outfit—including colors, patterns, clothing styles, accessories, hair, and makeup—plays a vital role in creating a memorable and professional acting headshot. By taking the time to carefully consider what to wear for acting headshots and preparing accordingly, you'll showcase your unique personality and increase your chances of catching the eye of casting directors.

If you're looking to take your acting career to the next level and want more advice on how to make a great impression, check out the workshop 'Breaking Into Acting: 9 Tips for Aspiring Actors' by Jessy Moussallem. This workshop offers valuable tips and insights on breaking into the acting industry, including how to choose the perfect outfit for your headshots and much more.