Barbara Neely Designs

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5 Must-Have Dresses for Summer Photo Sessions... and Everyday!


As you are building your senior wardrobe, dresses often are at the top of the list. But how do you know which dresses photograph well? Which dresses will you be able to wear again after the photoshoot is over? And which dresses do you need to round out your warmer-weather wardrobe? That’s what I'm answering today !

  1. A solid shirtdress: Sweet and simple, even the edgy fashionista needs one of these in her arsenal. A great shirtdress never goes out of style and can be changed to suit any type of personal taste: Pair it with a red saltwater sandal and cat-eye sunglasses for an easy retro look, add low top canvas sneakers and a denim jacket for a preppy look for brunch, or wear it to work with a cardigan and pearls.
  2. A knit dress for everyday: A knit dress that can be thrown on with just about anything is an indispensable part of any girl’s wardrobe. Less expensive babydoll knit dresses can be easily found at Forever 21 and Old Navy (usually under $20). These look great especially under a vest or jacket. Be sure to balance out a flowy dress with sturdy ankle boots for structure, or heels for height.
  3. A floral maxi for fun: Floral maxi dresses are everywhere this season, and for good reason. There are flowy, bohemian options, as well as fitted, knit options that are really comfy. Try pairing a girly flowy maxi dress with the ever-popular jean jacket for events like church, meetings, or family parties, and then add heels and a nineties-inspired choker for a look thats ready for an evening dinner out. 
  4. A cold-shoulder dress: Warmer temps mean you can bare your shoulders! The flirty look of a cold-shoulder dress gives you the fun of an off-the-shoulder top with the coverage of a little strap or slim sleeve. This is great if you want to wear a regular bra. Pair with a higher wedge sandal for the perfect outfit for going to dinner with friends.
  5. A floral wrap dress: I know….another floral? But this nineties-inspired number is even more perfect than a maxi. You can give it a little edge with white converse and aviators, so it doesn’t feel as dressy. If you want to dress it up, a low sandal and long duster sweater will keep the proportions fun and interesting. 


Each of these can be perfect for your senior photos or family portrait session, and can give you some serious fashion mileage afterwards! It is great to invest in dresses you can wear many times, while only changing out the accessories or the shoes.