What to Wear for Lifestyle Newborn Photos

Nothing ruins the excitement of lifestyle newborn photos more than figuring out what to wear for the entire family ????! Don’t worry I’ve got you covered! I’ve put together some tips and real inspiration photos of past clients to help you figure out how to make your family look stylish and put together for your session.

Plus if you are a client of mine you will get access to my Client Dashboard with even more tips, advice and suggestions on places to shop! Be sure to check out my Pinterest board Newborn Photoshoot What to Wear for more examples!

Mom wearing jeans and white sweater as example of what to wear lifestyle newborn photos


When it comes to what to wear for lifestyle newborn photos think about yourself and your family and what your overall style is. What are you most comfortable in outside of yoga pants :)? If you are a jeans and t-shirt girl maybe this isn’t the time to jump on rent the runway and get a ball gown.

Not to mention it takes awhile for your post partum body to heal. You are not dressing your normal body and if seeing your belly still swollen in a form fitting dress is going to make you hate photos with you in them don’t do it. If you can run a mile in 5 inch heels and love to dress to the nines then embrace it and go for it! Embrace YOUR style!

Color Palette

Let’s tackle color palette next, my go to suggestion is always to stick with neutral and pastel colors. We want the focus to be on baby and not the brightest color in the photos. I recommend light pinks, blues, aqua, white, cream and gray. Avoid hot pink, neon green and bright orange as these can cast unflattering colors onto your skin and baby’s skin.

lifestyle newborn photo session charlottesville virginia
at home newborn session richmond va
central virginia newborn photographer

What to Wear Outfit Tips & Inspiration

Mom Outfits

Dressing your post partum body is tough, I’ve had 3 kids so I definitely know what that feels like. I’ve had clients wear everything from long flowy dresses to jeans for their session. The most important thing when it comes to what to wear for lifestyle newborn photos is that you feel comfortable! I’ve rounded up some photos of real mom clients of mine so you can be inspired when picking out what you want to wear.

what to wear lifestyle newborn photos
Jeans are a classic if your style is more relaxed and casual. You can easily dress them up and they can help tuck in any post baby belly.
charlottesville newborn photography
Dresses definitely up the vibe of a session creating a more elegant feel. I recommend going with a maxi dress!
virginia newborn photos
Definitely keep your top a light neutral or pastel color when wearing jeans. You can also opt for white jeans to keep your overall outfit light and bright.
richmond newborn photography
Whether you choose jeans or a dress just make sure if fits your style and the vibe you want for your session. I want you to feel comfortable and beautiful!

Dad Outfits

Let’s be honest here, keep it simple for dads! Be sure to pick out their outfit for them well ahead of time and lay it out so they know exactly what to wear. I can’t tell you how many times I hear dad’s say I thought you meant this blue shirt before they go change into the right one :). So make it easy on them!

Typically my dad clients wear khaki shorts or pants or jeans for our sessions and a button down. I love how a crisp long sleeve button down with the sleeves rolled up can dress up a pair of jeans for dad! Check out some of my past dads to see what to wear for lifestyle newborn photos.

what to wear lifestyle newborn photos dad
Make sure Dad rolls his sleeves for photos for a more relaxed but still put together look.
 newborn photography
Pair a button down with khaki pants if mom is wearing a dress for a more formal look.
dad what to wear lifestyle newborn session
Button downs can be a solid color or patterned. Just watch the colors and the pattern to ensure it’s not too busy or too bold. We want to keep the focus on baby and not Dad’s shirt.
 lifestyle newborn photographer
When in doubt white is always a classic!

Sibling Outfits

Definitely keep the tones for sibling outfits to neutrals and pastels. Avoid busy patterns and bright graphic elements. Nothing dates a photo more than a Paw Patrol or Minecraft shirt. If mom is wearing a solid dress you can put a sibling in a subtle delicate pattern dress or shirt but if mom is wearing a pattern stick to solids for the kiddos.

at home newborn photos
Yes you can mix khakis and jeans on siblings! Just make sure their shirts have the same style. For example don’t put one kids in khakis and a button down and the other in jeans and a tshirt. Henleys can be a great option too if you are looking for something between a t shirt and button down!
on location newborn photography
I love little girls in dresses! Keep it neutral and if mom is wearing a dress make sure they both aren’t patterned. One pattern and one solid color is perfect.
lifestyle newborn photography
These are all great examples of matching sibling style to mom and dad!
girls with sisters at miami lifestyle newborn session
Again I just love dresses for little girls!

Baby Outfits

I recommend to all my clients to start baby off in a white onesie. It keeps the focus on baby’s face and their features. Then we typically will swaddle them for the second half of photos for another look. If you have a special heirloom outfit you want photos in we can do that at the end of the session!

lifestyle newborn photos
Make sure to get a special swaddle blanket or knotted gown for your baby’s second look! This helps add to the variety of photos you will receive.
what to wear lifestyle newborn photos
I will ALWAYS tell you to start with a plain white onesie! This allows us to focus on baby’s tiny details like their little fingers and toes and sweet lips vs seeing their outfit first.
 newborn photographer
But bring on the cuteness for a second outfit!
 lifestyle newborn photos
If you have an outfit you wore as a child or something special a grandparent made we can definitely dress baby up at the end of the session to get some photos. Loved this heirloom dress Mom wore as a baby and now her little girl is wearing it!
 lifestyle newborn photographer
If a plain white onesie just isn’t quite fancy enough look into getting something custom monogrammed!

I hope you enjoyed this post on What to Wear for Lifestyle Newborn Photos. If you are in the Charlottesville, Richmond or Central Virginia area and having a baby I’d love to chat with you about booking a lifestyle newborn session! Clients typically book in their second trimester so if that is you click the button below!

What to Wear for Lifestyle Newborn Photos

Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond & Charlottesville Virginia Master newborn & maternity photographer. She offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style. Her clients love that not only do they get digital files from their session but artwork to display in their home. She is happy to design custom wall art galleries to show off your favorite photos! Be sure to check out the Nov 21 issue of Inspired magazine to see a feature on Melissa and her work!

Melissa serves Charlottesville, Richmond, Staunton, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, Culpeper, Gordonsville and beyond.

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

    Miami newborn photographer

    Hello & Welcome

    I'm Melissa! Luxury maternity and lifestyle newborn photographer in Charlottesville, sail boater, lover of Lilly Pulitzer, and obsessed with true crime and interior design. I'm so glad you found me!


    more about me


    Favorite Blog Posts

    free download


    Disclosure Statement is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. participates in other affiliate programs, and receives commissions when purchases are made through the links. This is at no extra cost to you.

    Melissa Arlena is an award winning Richmond and Charlottesville photographer. She recently earned her Master Photographer Certification in the Maternity, Newborn & Family categories from the National Association of Professional Child Photographers. Melissa offers maternity, lifestyle newborn, and family photography in her relaxed, natural, and joyful style.


    Melissa serves Charlottesville, Richmond, Staunton, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Waynesboro, Culpeper, Gordonsville and beyond.



    Melissa Arlena Photography captures newborns, maternity, and families.

    Charlottesville and richmond, va

    Like what you see?