Affordable Dresses | Light & Airy Inspiration

Beauty + Style

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When we get our pictures taken, the first thing I say is always, “What am I going to wear?” I look in my closest, disappointed, then I start my internet search. From there I can’t find any affordable dresses that I love. We get our picture taken about once a year. If I am going to take the time to gather my family for our family photos, I everyone to look sharp! Depending on the season, it can be hard to find options that can fit into our light and airy style. I gathered some of my favorite shops, style ideas, and currently available dresses so that if you feel like me, you would have a place to start!

Just as much as the time of the day, the location of the session, and the types of cameras and settings we use, your outfit choices can drastically affect the outcome of your image! We personally believe that when people dress to the nines for their images, they are always going to love them more. It takes the stress away from your outfit and you can focus on just having a great time! So we always recommend thinking about what you will wear!

We know that it would be unrealistic to purchase a dress for once a year family photos! But I want to give a few things to consider when you are looking through your current wardrobe OR permission to take this as an opportunity to “treat yo’ self” as one of our all-time favorite characters says! If you only get your picture taken professionally once a year, or maybe once every few years, why not invest a little more to make sure they are images you absolutely love and can even hang on your walls, not just print for a Christmas card! We put together this post to help you find some affordable dresses that won’t break the budget and will still look gorgeous on camera!

If buying something new is not an option, I’d love to share with you ideas on how to make what you have work, what to consider when looking at your garment’s texture, color and fit as well as some of my favorite shops and boutiques if you are looking to add something new into your closet!

**Please note that these images are not ours, just a representation of the outfits and the links to the pages of the shops where you can find them!**

STEP 1: Look at what you have

What is your favorite outfit that you feel so confident in? You know when you wear it you look amazing. Maybe you have a dress that you wore for a friend’s wedding that was altered to fit you perfectly! Where is that dress that you bought that you loved in the store but haven’t had an excuse to wear yet? Now is the time!!

STEP 2: Look for specific textures, colors, and shape

We believe the most photogenic of all the textures are the flowy-er styles. These are ones that can always add movement to your still photographs. Wouldn’t it be amazing though if our pictures moved like in Harry Potter 🙂 I digress… With flowier dresses, it gives us room to play and create that life and fun in your images! So look for dresses made of lightweight material like chiffon, tulle, or breathable cotton!

When considering the color of your dress or outfit, stick with neutral and pastel colors. Color is not bad at all, but as we mentioned above, your outfit can and will change the overall feel of the image. If you are wanting pictures that look like what we share, pinks, whites/off white, dusty blue, and other pastels in line with these are the way to go! Subtle patterns look amazing as well as plain colors! You can always jazz up your outfits with your shoes and accessories!

Lastly, we want to touch on the shape of your dress. Know the areas you are self-conscious about! If you look at a picture and immediately your eyes are drawn to your arms, consider a dress with sleeves or wearing a jacket or cardigan. If you go with a short dress, accessorize with heels to elongate your legs! Do your best to avoid choosing an outfit with no shape like a swing dress because they often don’t photograph well. Check out our Pinterest page for more outfit inspiration!

STEP 3: Decide!

Long dress or cute top? Heels or flats? This part is totally up to you! You by no means have to wear a dress to have amazing images! You can apply all these principles when considering a cute top with pants! Go for fun colored pants that are light green with a peplum white top and tan flats! Or a dusty blue jumpsuit, belted at the waist, add a trendy fedora and you’re good to go! The truth is when you feel confident and amazing in what you’re wearing, that will come through in your pictures!

Here are some ideas for those that would like a place to start! Remember that when looking at in-store and online boutiques the prices will always be a little more expensive than bigger brand stores like Target or Walmart. Check out our blog post about Spring 2020 Amazon Dresses for some other affordable dresses!

LONG DRESSES: Options from Morning Lavender, Lulu’s & Target. Under $100.

Pieces from Target that can be worn for more than pictures! Under $30

I hope all of this was helpful! Want more help? Check out these posts!

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