What to Wear in Holiday Family Photos

You’ve scoured the Internet to find the perfect photographer (if you haven’t already found him or her, get ready to drool over Kristen Lisa Photography), and have scoped out the perfect photo backdrop, but now it’s time for the biggest challenge—what to wear in holiday family photos. I mean, you want to look festive for the holidays but not like you live at the North Pole, am I right? Then take note of these tips for what to wear in holiday family photos:

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Start with what you ALREADY have.

You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars on clothes when you are already investing in a quality photographer. As a mom of boys, I skip the sports gear that my boys typically gravitate to and instead focus on the one pair of jeans and few sweaters in their closets and then build from there.

I group together colors that already show up in ALL of our closets and that have a holiday feel for them, keeping in mind what our photo backdrop will be (for us, we lucked out with a beautiful white barn so we had a clean slate!). As I’ve already shared, we love to wear blue in our family photos and the addition of green, specifically emerald green, makes our clothes holiday ready.

Integrate UNIQUE accents.

It isn’t very hard to get my boys to wear jeans as long as they are a soft wash (and it is even better when they have an adjustable waist) but I tend to bribe them (lollipops are my secret weapons) to wear button up shirts and ties. As you can see from these photos, the sugar high is totally worth it.

While all my boys (hubby included) are wearing different types of plaid, it is a cohesive look because they all incorporate something from our navy blue/emerald green color scheme. I simply mixed and matched from the current “Emerald Plaid Series” at Janie and Jack to ensure that we had a uniform color scheme but each outfit was as unique as my boys’ personalities. I mean, my little guy would NEVER wear a bow tie while my oldest one couldn’t wait to wear it, as well as put gel in his hair.

Since my boys are mud loving, puddle splashing little boys, we chose to have them wear their Hunter boots not only because they give off a classic, holiday vibe but also because they were incredibly practically, especially when our photo shoot was at a farm.

As for my outfit, I wanted a fun and on-trend pleated skirt—but on a budget. I found so many great ones to choose from at SheIn and chose a maxi skirt—or maybe it was intended to be a midi skirt and I’m just too short to pull it off! Either way, I love SheIn for holiday looks because it has so many unique and trendy styles at low price points—so when the style goes out of fashion, my money doesn’t go down the drain.

Add a bit of holiday SPARKLE.

For me, the holidays are a time to add some extra bling to your look, which is why I love statement pieces like these necklaces from Stella and Dot. To me, the bigger and shinier the better, especially if the rest of your look is understated.

Just be sure to balance your look so that your sparkles aren’t too overwhelming. My simple knit navy sweater is the perfect backdrop for a sparkly necklace so that’s what I went with. If I had a lace top on instead (unfortunately it was too cold for this gorgeous one I had been planning on), I would swap a statement necklace for impressive earrings like these.

CONSULT with your photographer.

There is a reason why you chose your photographer—because he/she has a great eye! So don’t be afraid to ask for his or her input when planning what to wear in holiday family photos. They have seen just about everything and can guide you in ways to minimized stress and keep your spending to a minimum—the perfect combo!

I have worked with Kristen Lisa Photography three times and she always has the BEST recommendations for outfits. Previously we had a shoot in front of a beautiful red barn with a gorgeous, retro blue truck. With her guidance we showcase a cozy and festive holiday style—even though it was almost 80 degrees when we took our photos!

This year our backdrop was a fun white barn so Kristen recommended a more formal holiday look for us that featured plaid for the boys and sparkles for me. Her insight paid off, because not only did I feel beautiful, but I also got to twirl nonstop in my skirt!

Be sure to check out Kristen Lisa Photography’s holiday mini sessions and schedule a time slot before they are sold out!

Happy Holidays!


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  1. Kristen says

    I always love your style and outfit! I love the part you said that they are boys and like to splash mud… because 😉 Your boys are the cutest thing!

  2. Amanda Martin says

    Perfect timing! We’re getting ready to take our photos next weekend. I was thinking about wearing a silk emerald green dress and I love how you paired navy with emerald! Might have to use that idea!

    • Amanda says

      It was so flattering and easy to find in all of our closets. Blue is always our go-to but the emerald green gave it some holiday flair.

  3. Christa says

    I love the idea of shopping your own closet. Not only is it more cost friendly, but it reflects who the family is. All of these pics are gorgeous!

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