What to Wear Wednesday…with Jessica VanDerMark

Hi guys! It’s WTWW and this week we have the oh so fabulous Jessica, of Jessica VanDerMark Photography, joining us! She’s talking about one of my absolute favorite things…SHOES!!

Senior Style Guide

“Shoes. Shoes. SHOES!!!!  One of my favorite things on the planet.  Let’s talk about shoes and seniors!  Shoes can absolutely make or break an outfit and often get neglected when planning outfit selections for senior sessions.  ESPECIALLY the boys!  Raise of hands – How many of you have had senior boys show up on a session with ONE pair of old, dingy Nikes?  If you are really lucky, those old dingy shoes might be a pair of Sperry’s.  You know, cause he brought his “good shoes”.   And it doesn’t apply to only the boys.  I’ve had many girls show up ill prepared with their shoe choices only to say “hmmm… I’m not sure what shoes I’ll wear with this outfit.  I didn’t really bring anything that goes with it.”    Really?   HOW can that be?   I often buy my shoes first and then find an outfit to work with it.   But I quickly realized soon after specializing in seniors that not everyone was like me.   So now, I educate.Senior Style Guide

I suggest to my clients to bring all of the shoes in their closet so that I can help them pair them correctly with their outfit choices.   Many times, it’s easy for them to be lazy and just pick shoes that they wear often.  For girls, wedges are all the rage right now and they wear them everywhere.   While wedges work with a lot of outfits, they do not work with everything and if left on their own, they just might bring one pair of wedges to wear on the entire shoot.  You know, like those boys bring one pair of Sperry’s.  Not only do the shoes not work with every outfit but it’s boring!  If left in my hands, no two outfits will have the same shoe.

Senior Style Guide

Senior Style Guide

Senior Style Guide

We then take a look at their outfits, if possible,  I pick a different pair of shoes for each look.  So in addition to there being diversity in their outfits, there will be diversity in their shoes too!   Heck, sometimes I choose two different pair of shoes for the same outfit and we shoot both looks!  Many outfits can be dressed up or down by accessories and a quick change of shoes.  Voila!  You just made one outfit into 2 looks, expanding the variety and image choices for your senior with little to no effort.

Another fun suggestion that I make is to bring a colorful shoe to add in as an accent color for an outfit that might be more neutral.   This can bring an otherwise boring outfit alive!  Or just polish off an already fantastic outfit.

Senior Style Guide

In addition to educating my clients on the importance of footwear, I also arm myself with a stash of good “go to” choices.   It’s easy to find black and nude pumps on clearance or in thrift stores.  I have both colors in every size from 5 to 10.   Same for the boys!  A stash of dress shoes and socks is a great thing to build in your arsenal of tools.   Don’t go out and break the bank.  Just keep your eyes peeled for clearance racks anytime you are out shopping.   Having a collection of shoes HAS saved me on more than one occasion.   And don’t just stop at the neutral colors.  Once you have a good collection of “safe” choices, continue to build that shoe collection!  I’ve found shoes for less than $10 that would otherwise be $80 or more.

Senior Style Guide

Senior Style Guide Senior Style Guide

The bottom line is simple.  A killer outfit doesn’t stop at the clothes and accessories.   Don’t take the chance of ruining a polished looked by leaving it in the hands of your clients.  Educate, assist and be prepared!

Senior Style Guide

And when all else fails.   Go barefoot!”
-J

WOW, Jessica, you never disappoint. This is such a great post! Thank you for the tips, the imagery, and for joining us!
Be sure to follow Jessica’s work!

Stay Stylish!
Megan