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Say Cheese With Style


The onset of summer brings with it invitations galore for special occasions sparking a photo frenzy. Whether it’s weddings, christenings or a day at the races, the camera lens is never far away.

You can even expect to pose for a fashion-cam at a high street near you... Shoppers at Westfield, Europe’s biggest shopping centre, were recently introduced to the ‘tweet mirror’ - a high definition camera that captures images of shoppers trying on outfits they can post on Facebook or Twitter for second opinions.

“Posing for a picture may seem like a simple thing but cameras are deceptively tricky things,” warns Hillary Kerr, co-author of What to Wear, Where.

In addition to adding the dreaded 10 pounds, there’s improper lighting and awkward angles to contend with as you’re flashing your best smile. But all of these posing problems can be stacked stylishly in your favour with savvy wardrobe choices, according to Kerr.

“When in doubt about how your outfit will ‘read’ on camera, you should do a test run and ask someone to photograph you in that ensemble,” she suggests. “Sometimes proportions or colours that look great in person are not as flattering in a photo.”

Get ready, set, snap for your summer occasion close-ups with Kerr’s ‘do list’.
Do: Go for bright, solid colour pieces in a hue that’s flattering against your skin tone.

Prints may be hot property this season but it’s the block colour trend that will shine in your special occasion snaps: “Solid colours look best in photographs, especially vivid or bright blues,” says Kerr. “Jewel tones are always a good idea (particularly sapphire and emerald). Just be sure to stay away from white, cream or even light beige, as these pale colours can make you look washed out in photos.”

Do: Stay away from high-cut necklines, especially turtlenecks.

Beware of the perils of the poloneck! Cutting off your decolletage may look Parisian chic in the flesh but high necklines can have a funny effect in photographs, particularly if you have a short neck.

Kerr advises: “No matter how svelte you may be, a collarbone-covering blouse or dress will never look as flattering as something with a slightly lower neckline.

“A V-neck is an excellent choice for most people.”

Do: Make sure your outfit is crinkle-free by choosing wrinkle-resistant materials.

In high summer, we all reach for the sun-friendly fabrics but steer clear of crease-easy materials unless you’re happy to carry a travel iron in your handbag!

“While linen is lovely, it will make you look like a crumpled dinner napkin on camera,” warns Kerr. “Instead, look for sturdier fabrics like crepe, tweed or wool blends, as they don’t show wrinkles so easily.”

Do: Opt for tailored pieces or show your silhouette with a belt.

This season’s Seventies fever has had the fashion world obsessing over floaty maxi frocks and palazzo pants, but you need to keep your silhouette in mind: “Billowy, relaxed pieces are often very chic, but unless you’re a 6ft tall supermodel, they rarely look amazing in photographs,” Kerr says.

“Instead of trapeze tops or slouchy, shapeless frocks, look for structured pieces like a well-cut blazer, ideally in a dark neutral hue (like black, navy, or charcoal) worn over a colourful blouse or dress.”

Do: Wear slightly more make-up than usual.

Once you’ve got the camera-friendly fashion sussed, don’t forget the big picture! Make sure you’ve got your make-up wardrobe at the ready too.

Kerr suggests: “You don’t need to go for an over-the-top runway look, but be sure to do a little extra grooming when you know your picture will be taken.

“A bright lip gloss and lots of mascara are definite musts - and don’t forget the blush for extra radiance.”

What to Wear, Where: The How-To Handbook For Any Style Situation by Hillary Kerr and Katherine Power is published by Abrams Image, priced £12.99. Available now