What Ties Are Best for Headshots?

by | Jun 21, 2021

While the fashion trend among business professionals these days is definitely leaning towards casual, many professions and industries should still wear a tie in their professional headshot. 

The most obvious examples are lawyers, executives, realtors (sometimes), and finance professionals.

While we’ve already talked about ~what to wear for professional headshots~, we haven’t covered ties in particular, so we’ll do that in this blog post.

Here are our four tips to help you pick the perfect tie for your headshot.

Tip 1: Pick a Tie With Muted/Subtle Patterns

Subtle patterns look sophisticated in headshots, without being distracting.

If you’re going to wear a tie for your headshot, we strongly recommend that you select a tie that has a subtle or muted pattern. These ties tend to add some sophistication to your look, but don’t distract from your face in the photo.

Ties that have loud patterns and/or repeating images tend to be distracting. Shiny solid-colored ties (covered in Tip #4) can also distract from your photo.

Tip 2: Your Tie Color Should Complement Your Jacket & Shirt

Dark blue jacket with a dark red tie is a classic combination.

The timeless classic combinations are [dark blue jacket with light blue tie] [dark blue jacket with patterned red tie] and [black jacket with either dark blue or dark red tie].

Tip 3: Avoid Classic Service Industry Combinations

There are actually two combination [black jacket + black tie + white shirt] or [black jacket + red tie + white shirt].

Unless you’re a waiter at an Italian restaurant, there are certain combination that are too commonly used in the service industry to look appropriate for a professional headshot.

Avoid using a:

White shirt, with a black jacket, and a black tie.


White shirt, with a black jacket, and red tie.

This problem will be be even worse if you don’t follow our next tip…

Tip 4: Stay away from ties that have a lot of sheen/shine

Shiny ties (most common are black and red) look tacky in headshots.

The studio flash will reflect off your tie and become a distraction. Wool, cotton, and silk ties photograph best. Nylon or polyester ties like the example above should be avoided.


That’s a wrap! Follow these tips and your tie will look both tasteful and stylish in your new headshots. In the interest of variety, if you’re booking with HeadShots Inc, we usually recommend getting a couple shots with both your tie and no-tie during your session.

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