Dresses for Summer Pictures in 2023

by | Jun 25, 2023 | Planning Ahead | 0 comments

High school seniors, families, and engagement sessions – I’m often asked for suggestions on what to wear for portraits. Let’s talk about the best dress options for summer pictures!

While you may find it easy to select outfits for day-to-day life, recognizing that this will be the outfit you will be looking at on your walls in the months ahead can make selecting a dress for your portraits a little daunting.

That’s why I love being able to help my clients select the best option for their portraits! It’s important to me to help you find an outfit that makes you look great as well as feel great. Living in the Upper Peninsula, we don’t really have malls with lots of options close by, but we do have the Internet at our fingertips! Online shopping makes it easy to try a wide range of dresses from the comfort of your home.

Before we get started: this post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them I may receive a small commission at no cost to you. For more information please read my disclaimer on affiliate links.

Is this the year you are ready to update your pictures? I can’t wait to meet you! In the meantime, here are my top recommendations for dresses for summer pictures.

How to Decide What To Wear For Summer Pictures

The first thing I ask when someone seeks advice on what to wear is what they plan to do with their images. If you are planning to hang your prints in a family room, consider selecting clothing that will coordinate, not clash, with the rest of the room.

A couple of general tips when selecting dresses for summer pictures:

  • If you’re sporting prints (i.e. polka dots or floral), make sure they’re big enough to show up on camera, but not too big. You don’t want to get lost in an oversize print – think giant Hawaiian flowers.
  • Avoid small, tight patterns like very narrow stripes and gingham. This can lead to something called moire.
    (See an example on ThredUp here. Note the difference in patterns – when photographed, the tight lines give a somewhat dizzying effect that makes my eyes hurt!)
  • Consider the weather. Is your dress a material you can easily move around in, even on a hot, humid day? Is the skirt very short where you won’t be able to sit, walk, and move freely if there’s a brisk wind? In my experience, you’ll want your skirt to at least hit at your knees.
  • What are your insecurities? If you don’t like your arms, DON’T wear a sleeveless dress! Are you insecure about your midsection? Wear a more flowy dress that will skim (a silky chiffon style) instead of cling (like a t-shirt/jersey dress)!
  • Consider the silhouette. There’s a difference between a dress that doesn’t cling and an oversized dress that you get lost in. If your clothes are too baggy or loose, it can actually make you look BIGGER! A well-placed belt will take you from drab to chic!

Amazon Skirts and Dresses for Summer Pictures

Amazon makes it SO easy to order, try on, and return dresses as needed! Click on any of the pictures below to view its listing.


Calf and Full-Length Dresses

When you click on some of these listings and view the available colors, note how certain colorways have a lot of contrast, making it difficult to discern even what the pattern is. (Example: small white daisies on a black background.) These are materials I would avoid for dresses for summer pictures because the same thing will happen in your pictures.

Summer is a great time for bright bold colors – have fun with it! For best results, stick to natural blends like linen and cotton instead of polyester or satin. Shiny fabrics are more likely to reflect color back onto your face, resulting in unnatural skin tones (think yellow neck or orange undereye area).

More Recommendations for Spring Dresses

While Amazon is super convenient, consider browsing other stores as well. The dresses linked below are from a variety of brands, from Wal-Mart to Vici and Baltic Born. Baltic Born is one of my FAVORITE places to find a beautiful, flattering dress for your portraits. Remember – just because you wear a dress in pictures doesn’t mean you can never wear it again. Instead, plan to enjoy your new dress and wear it again to an upcoming wedding, graduation, or other event!

Another site I love to browse for summer dresses is ThredUp.com. I didn’t link anything specifically from them as their inventory turns over quickly, but this is a great option for gently worn (but clean and reviewed by a team, not an individual seller) clothing. Click the link above to receive $10 off your first order!

Are you ready to plan your 2023 pictures?

Fill out this brief form and I’ll contact you personally within 48 hours!

Now that you know what to wear for summer pictures, click below to read about my favorite makeup for pictures!

assorted makeup for pictures on a white background
My Favorite Makeup for Pictures

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Enjoy the VU Photography

Hello there! I’m Veronica, an Upper Peninsula wedding and portrait photographer.


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