Ask Our Style Techs | Tips for Great School Pictures


Q: My kids have their school pictures in a couple of weeks and I’m trying to decide what they should wear. Do you have any tips? – Susan Z.

A: Ahhh… the school picture. We all have ones we love and some we hate. Anyone else have the big teeth, straggly hair shot from elementary school? Or the metal-mouth photo from middle school? All a rite of passage. We can’t control all the factors in the photo or if your kid decides to make a goofy face. (Can you say re-takes??!) Good news regarding blemishes though — many photo companies offer touch-ups now, unlike in the past when it was what it was. School pictures are kept FOREVER, and since we moms can’t come and do a final hair check or make sure everything is in place, we want to try to avoid potential picture pitfalls.

  • This may be obvious, but plan ahead. Do a trial run at home with the whole look, from hair to shoes. If you have a girl, would her hair look better with a clip or even a simple hair-colored barrette to keep things under control? Would her strappy sundress or top look better with a tank layered underneath in case of a droopy neckline? If you have a boy and his sneakers are constantly untied, go with the velcro closure on picture day. Avoid wardrobe malfunctions! Hollywood Fashion Tape is a must-have-on-hand tool. That way if your child’s button-up shirt or neckline has a tendency to gape, you can tack it down before they leave for school.
  • Prints can be done, but overall solid colors (or solids with textured patterns) are more flattering on everyone and put the focus on your kid vs. the outfit, which is ultimately what we’re going for. Jewel tones look good on just about every skin tone and/or hair color. Choose the hue best for your child — or their favorite if they have an opinion about it. In general, it’s best to avoid white or black which can look harsh (unless they wear a uniform in which case choices are more limited), and no neon colors. Navy is a good choice if you want to go with a dark solid.
  • Finally, this is your kid’s picture, so involve them in the outfit selection unless they really don’t care. You want the picture to represent their personality and look like they do at this moment in time. Memories!

Here are a few affordable sample looks in different styles from Macy’s that are picture perfect, yet still wearable for the school day ahead.

Girls | Dress (comes in blue & purple with necklace) // Shoes // Headband (comes in a pack of 3)


Teen Girls | Dress (comes in several colors) // Booties // Necklace


Boys | Shirt // Jeans // Shoes


Teen Boys | Shirt // Pants // Shoes


Looking for more photo styling tips? Read our advice for styling the perfect family holiday photo.


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