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How to Coordinate Family Outfits on A Budget

You booked a family photo session. Now what?

You want coordinated family outfits for a photo you can admire for many years!

In this blog post, I have 6 easy tips on how to coordinate family outfits for photos, including the holidays.

Plus, I added bonus tips to do it all on a budget.

We all have that one kid who won’t cooperate, right?

With coordinating outfits, the photos will still turn out great.

And your family will be ready even for a spontaneous photoshoot!

Don’t have time to right now? Pin to read it later!

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1. Stick to The 3-Color Rule

Okay, yes this is a rule.

But use it as a guide when choosing colors for your color palette.

So, here’s how to use the 3-Color Rule:

  • Pick the main color
  • Pick 2 other complementary color

That’s it!

You might be a little confused right now but don’t worry; I talk more about complementary colors below.

2. How to Coordinate Colors and Patterns (Not Matchy-Matchy)

The easiest way to have a cohesive look for a coordinated family outfit is by choosing colors and/or patterns that GO together.

I know matchy-matchy outfits are fun but you don’t have to wear one color or pattern.

There’s something about the candidness of coordinated (not matching) outfits – it’s natural and effortless.

So, choose a color palette that contains several colors and use the 3-Color Rule I mentioned above.

Here’s how to easily do that:

  • Look at a color wheel below or search on Google.
  • Any colors opposite of each other in the color wheel go together.
  • Any colors adjacent to each other also go together.
coordinated family outfits color wheel

You can even pull out colors from one pattern.

I used this method when I created the example family outfit (more on this later).

Be sure that the other colors you choose for your palette are in the same family.

Try to stay within the same color family or tones– or as close as possible.

Again, we’re not aiming for perfect coordination here.

The goal is to have a coordinated look; the colors don’t have to exactly match!

3. Coordinate Family Outfits by Choosing Classic Patterns & Colors

As much as your little one loves Cinderella, for example, it’s not something you’d want in a coordinated family outfit because it’s too distracting in a photo.

You’d probably want to display these photos right?

So by choosing classic patterns and colors, your photos will never go out of style.

They’ll never look and feel dated.

In the fashion world, classic colors and patterns are considered neutral which means anything can go with it (usually).

These are neutrals:

  • colors: navy, brown, khaki, white, black, gray
  • metallic: gold, silver, copper, gunmetal, bronze, pewter
  • patterns: glen plaid, pinstripes, tweeds, tiny checks

4. Consider the Photoshoot Location

Don’t wear red with the field of red tulips as your background. You’ll blend in.

Loud prints, cartoon characters, and loud colors can clash with the photoshoot location.

So consider your photoshoot location when deciding on your color palette.

I highly recommend discussing this with your photographer as much as possible.

Otherwise, stick with classic colors and patterns.

But If you really want prints, go for subtle prints.

5. Family Photo Outfits on a Budget

I don’t like buying things and using them only once.

I’m all about versatility and affordability and I know you are, too.

The first place you need to shop at is your closet!

It’s possible to create coordinated family outfits just by using what you and your family already own.

Second-hand shops are also great places to find outfits on a budget.

Here are retail stores you can check out for affordable family outfits (one-stop-shop!)

These stores are already budget-friendly but they have sales every.single.week!

Another way to save money is to utilize accessories to coordinate.

Sometimes it’s hard to find coordinating clothing pieces.

You can use accessories instead – use bow tie, shoes, hats, scarf, etc.

Accessories are usually way cheaper than clothes!

Related Article: 7 Reasons to Sign Up for a Target RedCard

6. Coordinating Family Outfits for the Holidays

Choose patterns and colors that can be worn throughout the year.

Don’t choose a snowflake or Christmas tree patterns. This way you can display your family photos year-round.

Janie and Jack holiday collection uses classic prints and non-traditional holiday colors like pink.

In the example below, I use the Janie and Jack Holiday collection to create a coordinated holiday outfit for the whole family – Daddy and baby included!

Coordinating Family Outfits for the holidays - How to easily create a coordinated family outfits for photos planned or spontaneous! ( #mommyandme #familyoutfits #holidayphotos

(Links for above photo: Janie and Jack Velvet Sweater Dress, Janie and Jack Velvet Bow Flats, Target Good Fellow & Co Crew Sweater, Janie and Jack Boy’s Plaid Pull Over, Janie and Jack Boys Wool Pants, Janie and Jack Baby Girl’s Toile Dress, Lauren Conrad Wrap Dress)

Color-Coordinated Family Outfits – Final Notes

I hope that this blog post gave you some ideas on how to approach coordinating family outfits with less stress.

And in case you missed some tips, here are the main ones again:

  • think versatility – choose classic prints and colors so that you can wear the pieces over and over
  • keep it simple – 3 color rule
  • create a color palette – you can start with a pattern
  • keep it budget-friendly – use what you already own first and check out sales and discounts, use accessories to tie outfits together
  • No holiday dedicated patterns – choose colors and patterns that can be worn throughout the year

Don’t forget to have fun and embrace that one child who always makes a face – makes for fun photos to remember!

Good luck!

xx, Glenda

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Over to you! How often do you take family photos? Did I miss any tips? Please share in the comments below!

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