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What to Wear for Family Photographs: The Green Edition

In honour of the first day of spring and St Patrick’s Day this week, today we’re talking about wearing green in family photographs.

If you have a neutral-loving heart as I do, you may think green is a bold choice. And it definitely is, but perhaps not quite as bold as you might think given our Vancouver landscape. During your planning session, if we’ve decided on either a grassy field or forest trail for your session location, incorporating green into your outfits can have an almost monochromatic effect that I love.

Here are some great green pieces in stores now that would work well for family portraits..

top row: frilled jumpsuit / garment-dyed oxford shirt / rugby pique polo
middle row: garment-dyed oxford cloth chino / floral bloom flutter dress / henley shirt
bottom row:  long-sleeved garment-dyed tee / ‘the cinched’ shift dress / boys’ chino

The green frilly Zara jumpsuit in the top left corner? Way too cute. My daughter doesn’t often wear jumpsuits but I’m seriously debating picking this up just so I can photograph her in it. Putting together these what to wear articles is very hard on my wallet…

Emerald Green or Army Green?

Pay attention to which shade of green you choose for family portraits. Both emerald green and army green are fine, but I probably wouldn’t combine them together.

If your home is filled with white and bright colours and we’ll be photographing you on a grassy field in the spring time, emerald green is a great choice. If your home decor is more muted and we’ll be photographing your family on a forest trail where the colours are little darker and more brown, army green is perfect.

Wearing Green In Family Photographs

Incorporating green into your family portrait outfits may seem challenging at first but it can be done. At your planning session I’ll help bring together the final wardrobe but green is one colour where it doesn’t hurt to give me a few options to pull from.

Boys are easy. At this time of year, most stores carry a solid green polo or henley and green looks great on most kids. The Gap, Zara and JCrew all often have coloured cotton pants that work well for family portraits.

For girls I find it easiest to choose a pattern that has some green in it. And thankfully, that isn’t hard to find given the abundance of botanical prints in stores in spring.

If you’re looking to add a little fun and whimsy into your family portraits, a pair of green chucks for your children are a perfect option. For dad consider green socks. They’ll peek out when you’re seated but won’t be overpowering.

The Problem With Green

The biggest struggle with green is that it’s a little bossy. Green goes from ‘a nice pop of colour’ to ‘way too matchy-matchy’ very quickly. The easiest way to remedy this problem is to have one person with no green at all, usually mom or dad. That neutral outfit should still coordinate, of course, but having that one person without green keeps your outfits from looking too contrived.

Here’s how I would go about wearing green in family photographs…

Kathryn knit-back shirt / prism green onyx necklace / henley shirt / knit cardigan / floral super skinny skimmer jeans / chambray shirt

You can see there’s lots of green but it’s not over-powering. We have a green rug in our family room so family portraits of us in these outfits would work well in our home.

I went with a simple green henley for my son and a floral print pant for my daughter with a neutral top. I also can’t get those green Converse out of my head so I’m pretty sure I’d pick those up as well. I went very simple and classic for me but added the beautiful Leah Alexandra necklace for a hint of green. And for my husband, a simple chambray shirt with the sleeves rolled up.

The outfits look great together, have a good amount of contrast and feature green without it being overwhelming.

What do you think? Does this inspire you to consider wearing green in family photographs?

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