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What to wear: Lifestyle Newborn Session

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  • Post last modified:April 7, 2020

What to wear: Lifestyle Newborn Session

After a client schedules and books their session, the first question I am often asked is “what should I wear?” Below I’ve cumulated my favorite tips, five of them to be exact. Incorporate these suggestions, and you’ll be set up for a successful lifestyle newborn photoshoot!

Tip 1: Neutral tones

While I always stress that the most important aspect of photos is to feel confident and comfortable, I find that bold colors and patterns can detract from your child as the center of the shoot. Neutral tones can often be mistaken to mean a plain white shirt, and jeans…I am here to stress that this is not the case. Try to think of a palette of colors, such as grey, white, navy, tan, ivory, soft blue, soft pink, mustard, etc. The importance of this palette is to make sure all the colors compliment one another and blend with your home decor. Another loose rule I have is a max of four colors, including denim. KISS, keep it simple silly 🙂 Men can sometimes find it difficult to find shirts lacking patterns, in which a solid sweater overtop can help in breaking it up, and are a nice complimentary accessory.

Tip 2: Flow, Texture and Layer

Try to find fabric that moves and has texture. Everyone looks beautiful in this style of clothing, and it can help mothers who are feeling a little subconscious about their bodies (although they shouldn’t be!) Textures are visually pleasing, but don’t detract from you and your family. It is a great way to add contrast and interest to your photos. Layers are very flattering, depending on the weather a kimono or cardigan could add interest to your look.

Tip 3: Proper Fit

I always recommend a simple onesie, and white always looks great. There aren’t many rules when it comes to what your newborn should wear, but one item that I will say “no” to, is if it doesn’t fit! Try to purchase clothing that is labeled “newborn”, because sometimes they’ll be swimming in size 0-3 month old clothing. Also, try on the clothes before the session to test how your newborn will look in the pictures. If you are struggling to find the right outfit, I would recommend even airing on the side of simplicity with a onesie and a swaddle. It’s a timeless look and gives your photos a sense of warmth and comfort. 

Tip 4: Find the Perfect Style

I am often asked about my favorite brands. Some of my favorite brands are Madewell, Lou and Grey, Banana Republic, Kit and Ace, Free People, and Anthropologie. You could consider with these brands as a starting point if you don’t know where to find the perfect outfit for your newborn. Thrifting these brands is another great way to save money and still have a fashionable baby. Some of my favorite thrift stores for finding these brands in the Pittsburgh area would be St. Vincent De Paul and The Red, White and Blue Thrift Store. They also work for you and your husband’s clothing for the photo session. Additionally, try to stick with similar brands if you have any other little children in your family for pictures as well. 

Tip 5: Keep it Casual

Try to wear clothes that you would normally wear at a day at home. Cardigan and jeans, flowy dresses, leggings and a blouse, any of these would work, try to pick simple, casual outfits that will not go out of style in a few years. For babies, the ideal outfit is either a swaddle or simple onesie (a plain white onsie never goes out of style), with a hair bow if it’s a baby girl. Also, consider going barefoot or wearing socks in your home, to give a more homey look to the pictures. As for jewelry, I’d try to keep it simple, with some timeless statement pieces. Simple silver or gold earrings and a dangly necklace can go a long way to dress up a picture.

I hope this list helps you in your decision on what to wear to your newborn lifestyle newborn session! Remember to incorporate neutral tones, flow and texture, and make sure everything fits properly! Additionally, try out my list of my favorite brands, and keep it casual, make sure YOU feel comfortable in your clothing, and remember to wear something you might normally wear during a day with the family. Leave a comment if you have any additional tips, or if you want any clarifications. I can’t wait to see you and your beautiful family soon! 


Hi, I'm Laura Mares! I'm thankful to be a wife, mother and Pittsburgh lifestyle photographer. I photograph because I believe that life is simply beautiful and every person has a story worth telling. I'd love to tell yours.

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