School pictures appear in yearbooks, become gifts for family members and create lasting mementos for school-aged friends, so make clothing choices carefully before picture day. You want all eyes to focus on the student's smile, not the vibrant pattern or logo on his shirt. Choosing a simple, timeless top in a solid color looks best when posing for a school picture.
Choosing Bright Colors
Children appear happy and vibrant in bright colors. When dressing a young student for picture day, bright colors enhance the child's jovial appearance. Choose a solid, bright-colored shirt in the child's favorite hue. This also will help instill confidence in a student who might feel apprehensive about picture day. Avoid dressing the student in a shirt with a distracting pattern or logo.
Wearing Black or White
If black and white clothing dominate the student's wardrobe, choose black. Dark, neutral hues direct the viewer's focus to the student's face, the most important part of the photograph in a school head-and-shoulder-style portrait. Darker colors also have a slimming effect for students with broad shoulders. If the student has a very dark or extremely fair skin tone, choose a gray top to create a visually pleasing contrast between her skin and clothing.
Classic Clothing for Portraits
All ages of students look well-groomed in a low-contrast colored shirt. Choose a long-sleeved shirt in an earth tone such as brown, rust, burgundy, blue or green that meshes well with the classic mottled blue or gray backdrops used by school portrait companies. When choosing a brown or rust-colored shirt, avoid a shade that closely matches the student's skin tone. The clothing should contrast with the skin, making the student's face dominate the portrait.
Clothing Colors to Avoid
Leave any flesh-toned tops in the closet -- even if they are favorites. Fair-skinned students should avoid shades of peach, pastel yellow, beige and white. Students with dark skin tones should avoid black, dark browns and navy blue. Olive-skinned students should avoid green and gold hues. Other colors to avoid include neon shades of any color and reflective fabrics such as shiny silver or gold silk.
Angela Tague writes marketing content and journalistic pieces for major brands including Bounty, The Nest, Lowe's Home Improvement and Hidden Valley. She also provides feature content to newspapers and writes health and beauty blogs for Daily Glow, Everyday Health and Walgreens. Tague graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications in 1999.