She wanted a new family photo for her room at college.  Our daughter asked for new family photos.  No need to ask me twice.  Her father and brother weren’t as excited but, let’s face it, are guys ever excited about photos?  It’s just something we have to insist they do.  It really is so worth it in the end.  Even if this is what we have to put up with during the process.

Family photos mean the whole family need new coordinating outfits, right?  Nope.  I’m going to show you how to shop your own closets to come up with coordinating outfits for the whole family that will cost you nothing.

This is how I came up with last minute coordinating outfits for the whole family without spending a dime.

  1.  I started with the child that was the most particular about her outfit.  Any guesses who that was?  I asked her to pick out what she wanted to wear and then built the rest of our outfits around it.  Advice:  Start with one favorite piece and build outfits from there.

2.  Next I coordinated my outfit because I knew I had a similar cactus shirt.  I didn’t want everyone in jeans so I opted for jean shorts.  I also had similar strappy brown sandals.  Advice:  Avoid putting the entire family in matching solid color shirts.  Mix patterns and coordinating colors for a more interesting, polished look.

3.  Then I moved on to my husband’s outfit because I knew he had a coordinating pair of green shorts.  I wasn’t thrilled about his gray t-shirt but that’s the best option we had on hand, so we went with it.  The brown flip flops were probably 10 years old but they worked just fine.  Advice: Don’t fret the small stuff.  Just go with what you have.  It will look fine in the photos.

4.  One outfit left to go for my son.  I found a shirt in his closet that was a similar color to the cactus flowers on our shirts.  I went with jeans for him so two of us were in shorts and two were in jeans.  The only pair of shoes he had that remotely matched ours were his brown boots.  Advice:  Mix and match jeans with shorts, boots with sandals, t-shirts with tank tops, etc.

5.  Finally, add accessories.  Advice:  Accessories like earrings, scarves, vests, hats, necklaces, bracelets, etc. can also help pull in coordinating colors.  I typically recommend against watches unless they are on the dressy side.

That’s it!  Four coordinating outfits that worked just fine for summertime family photos and I didn’t spend a dime.  You can do it, too.  Next time you consider family photos, don’t stress and don’t feel pressured to buy all new outfits.  The photo memories are more important than expensive outfits that will be outgrown or out of style the next season.


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