Life · Style

What to wear for holiday festivities and family pictures


It’s that time of the year where there are lots of holiday parties and events to go to.  Many families opt to take their annual family pictures around this time.  The question is, what will you and your family wear?  You want to look stylish and cohesive as a family, but in an effortless way (i.e. You don’t want to look like you tried too hard).  You definitely don’t want to look matchy matchy.


The grey argyle vest above is on sale right now for under $16.


I’ve been doing family pictures for a few years now and below are some tips that I have picked up along the way.

  • Decide the overall look you want to achieve.  Do you want to look fancy, casual, or somewhere in between?  I tend to do casual because 1. We don’t own a lot of fancy clothes and 2. My kids and husband are more comfortable and act more natural in casual clothes.
  • Select a color scheme.  What are your favorite colors?  My family tend to dress in a lot of blues.  I once joked that my husband only wears light blue, medium blue, and dark blue.  When I look back at our past pictures, we tend to wear a lot of blues and whites.  Last year, we had a red color scheme.  This year, I decided to venture out of our comfort zone and selected green.  I just found out that the pantone color of the year for 2017 is greenery.


  • If you are unsure about what other colors will go with your “selected” color, start with an item that will be the star of the show.  This can be a fun sweater, a scarf, or a shirt that has a few colors on it.  In my case, I found a scarf at the J Crew outlet that had a fun combination of holiday colors.  From there, I built the other family member’s outfits from the scarf’s color scheme.  This is a quick and easy way to select colors.
  • Look on Pinterest for ideas.  There are tons of pictures out there.  Pick one that speaks to you and use it as your inspiration.
  • Add textures and layers for a dynamic look.  Think about adding scarfs, hats, headbands, chunky knit socks, etc.  Also, try to vary the type of clothing that everyone wears.  For instance, if you have two boys, try to avoid putting them in the same button down shirt (unless you have twins).  For example, my older son wore a vest over a shirt.  My younger son had a collared shirt under a brightly patterned sweater.  My husband typically wears sweaters,  but I convinced him to wear a green checked flannel shirt.


  • Shop your closet.  You don’t need to go out and buy all new outfits for everyone.
  • Make sure you wash and/or try on your new clothes beforehand.  Kids don’t typically like to wear new things.  Have them test out the clothes before your photo day so that they don’t freak out on the day of.  Typical 2-3 year olds often have opinions about what they will and will not wear.
  • Take you holiday photos earlier in the season (around Thanksgiving).  You can then recycle the clothing for your holiday parties.
  • I personally adore Janie and Jack for kids clothes but I often get sticker shock every time I shop there.  Look out for sales.  Sometimes you can get great deals.  I pick up a handful of “special” items from the store on an annual basis.  That way, I can acheive the specific look but not spend too much on clothes that the kids will outgrow quickly.


On the day of the photo shoot:

  • Take your pictures earlier in the day.  Little kids have more energy and are generally in better moods
  • Avoid scheduling around nap times
  • Make sure the kids are well fed beforehand
  • Start with the whole family picture, then move on to the youngest child.  Finish up with a few couples pictures
  • Limit your photo shoot to more more than 30 minutes, especially with babies and little kids.  They will loose their patience very quickly.
  • Bring treats as bribes (only use if needed).  I like the Happy Baby yogurt snacks, they are semi healthy and the kids love them.
  • Try to relax and enjoy the process.  Don’t get too caught up in the idea of getting the perfect pictures.  Have a good time and laugh.  The candid pictures are usually the ones I like best.

Do you take family pictures?  Do you have any ideas and tips?

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Photo Credit: Kim Lind

5 thoughts on “What to wear for holiday festivities and family pictures

  1. Great tips! Love the idea of selecting an item to be the “star of the show” and then building the other family members’ outfits around it! And the tip to shop your own closet and smart, practical kid-tips! Thank you for sharing. And what a beautiful family photo! You look gorgeous 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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