What to Wear in Your Online Dating Photos

Posted on: February 22, 2021

So you’ve booked a professional dating profile photographer (YAY!). Now…what to wear?

I always send my dating photo clients a pre-session packing list so they know which types of clothes and how many of each to pack, depending on the length of session we’re doing.

But sometimes it’s helpful to have a little more of a top-level view of the task at hand. 

You want the clothes you wear for your dating profile photos to help potential matches get a sense of you as an attractive, authentic, multi-dimensional person.

That means we want to show a little bit of range with wardrobe and we want to use clothes as a tool to communicate values (values like: “I take good care of myself”, and “I know how to dress context-appropriate”, and maybe even “I’m artsy and like to take risks with my clothes”).

Below are 5 tips to help guide you as you put together a collection of clothes for your dating profile photos that will show off your authentic self and catch the eyes of future dream sweeties.

1. Focus on Fit

Wearing clothes in your dating photos that fit you well just looks stellar. But it also shows potential matches that you have good self-awareness and good judgment. 

Well fitted-clothes in online dating photos communicates: I’m self aware; I have an honest and current understanding of my body shape and can choose (or hire someone to choose) clothes that fit and flatter me. 

Wearing clothes that fit and flatter your body are also a sign that you’re putting an effort into looking attracting. And putting in effort (especially if you’re a man who dates women) goes a LONG way. On dating apps and *in general*.

If you are unsure when you look in the mirror whether a particular item of clothing fits you well, assume that it doesn’t and scrap it. 

There are also tons of online resources for how to tell if clothes fit. Like this one:

>>How an untucked button-down shirt should fit

2. Channel First Date Vibes

A good rule of thumb for your business headshot is to dress as if you were interviewing for your ideal role. 

There’s a parallel rule for online dating photos–include at least one photo in your dating profile where you’re dressed like you might be dressed on a first date with a dream babe.

Another way I like to say this is: wear something that says… “I clean up well”. 

Dressing up (even if it’s just a little bit by wearing a shirt with a collar) shows potential matches that you can and do dress nicely when the occasion calls for it. 

Make it easy for a super hottie who is eyeing your dating profile photos to not hope but *know*, “this guy would be a great date to my bestie’s summer wedding”.  

3. Dress for your Lifestyle

One of the 4 photos you should definitely have in your online dating profile is a “lifestyle” shot. This type of dating photo shows you spending time in a place you enjoy, doing something you like doing. 

This may sound pretty basic but it’s helpful to call it out while you’re thinking about clothing…

If you typically wear a certain type of clothing for the activity you want to show off in your lifestyle/action dating profile photos, then those clothes need to be in the mix with what you pack for your professional dating photography session.

Whether it’s simple (like it’s your favorite shorts, hoodie, and running shoes), or more specific (like a wetsuit), dressing the part for the context you’re in will make your dating profile photos feel authentic and organic.

4. Wear some COLOR

People wear a lot of black, gray and neutrals, especially here in the PNW. 

A sure way for your photos to stand out on dating apps is to wear bright or bold colors. Color is just eye-catching as hell. 

Now, I’m not saying you should wear some hideous shade of neon (though that would for sure catch eyes), but I do recommend that you wear a shirt or dress in a bold color for at least one of your online dating profile photos.

Don’t own any brightly colored clothing? Now is a great time to buy something. Not sure which colors look good on you? I recommend hitting up Nordstrom and asking one of the salespeople to help you.

5. BONUS: Conversation-Starter

dating photo graphic tee

Last but not least, if you sometimes like to wear playful/shouty/bold things, throw a little of that in the mix for your dating photography session.

A really fun or unexpected item of clothing can be a great conversation-starter in an online dating profile.

Maybe you bust out that sequined jacket you love wearing to parties or your favorite pair of cowboy boots. Maybe you finally give yourself permission to buy that outrageous gold-laced rockstar T-shirt you’ve been eyeing at Gold Dogs.

I’m not suggesting you dress up in anything that feels like a costume for your dating profile photos. But I am proposing that, if you sometimes like to look a little (or a lot) funky and fabulous—GO FOR IT! 

Upside is that you’ve got a conversation-starter built right into your dating profile (omg dude, that SHIRT!). You’ll show potential matches that you’re fun and not a “play it safe” person.

Worst case is that someone sees the shirt and thinks “ugh, I would never go out with a guy who would wear something like that” and if that’s the case, wouldn’t you like to filter this person out now rather than waste time getting to know them only to find out later that they can’t deal with a funky item of clothing??

Dating profile photos are about showing off who you really are so you catch the eyes of people who love those qualities in a person.

If there’s an opportunity in your dating photos to wear something that you *love* but that might be polarizing….TAKE IT.

Alright friends, that’s a wrap! 

If you’ve invested in hiring a professional dating profile photographer it’s worth also investing time in choosing a set of clothes that will represent you well to the kinds of people you want to match with. 

Your 5 tips for choosing clothes for dating photos are:

  1. Focus on Fit
  2. Channel first date vibes
  3. Dress for your lifestyle
  4. Wear some COLOR
  5. Throw in a conversation-starter

Fellas, since you typically ask for more style help than ladies, I’ve got a Men’s Style Pinterest Board to start your wheels turning on the types of looks you might like for your dating photos. And, when you book a dating photography session you’ve got the option of adding a Zoom Style Consult (pre-shoot zoom call where we plan exactly what you’ll wear together).

And if you’re totally overwhelmed or hate your wardrobe and want to invest in rebuilding your entire closet, reach out to Michael Bruce Image Consulting. <<Highly Recommend!

Ready to pull the trigger and schedule your professional dating photography session?


crossmenuchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram