What To Wear For Passport Photo

If you’ve ever traveled internationally, you know how important it is to have a good passport photo. Passport photos are used on your passport as a way to identify you when traveling abroad and to prove your identity. Because they’re such an important part of the process, it’s crucial to make sure yours looks professional and can be easily recognized by government officials.

If you’re not sure what colors work best for passport photos or you want some tips on how to look your best in one, we have everything you need here!

Passport photos are taken with a white background.

There’s no one right answer as to what clothes you should wear for your passport photo. The choice depends on what background you’re taking the photo against, how formal it is and whether or not it’s a business trip (and if so, how serious that meeting or event is), and some personal preference. If it’s just a quick trip to the post office, then you might go for something more casual like jeans, a collared shirt, and either a polo or casual sweater.

For days when there’s an actual purpose to the trip—say you’re attending a conference of some kind—you’ll want something dressier and perhaps even more stylishly dressed than your typical outfit. Think long-sleeved shirt with slacks or pants and tie, maybe with a lightweight jacket over top. For other times when there’s no real purpose behind your visit—like an ordinary day at work—it may be easier to stay in casual wear. There are plenty of ways to dress up this type of picture too! Consider wearing shoes that match your wardrobe as well as accessories that complement it while also creating contrast with the image itself such as shades of grey or black within your outfit are subtle but effective ways of making that final image pop without blowing the remainder out in color alone.

Your clothes should be of solid color, preferably dark in case they show through the face.

As mentioned, it’s important to wear dark clothes so that you don’t unduly show up in the background of your passport photo. This can be a touchy subject for people who are afraid of being singled out, but chances are that by now you’ve gotten used to the idea that anyone can recognize your face from afar (and if not, you might want to think about learning how). However, there are still instances where the passport photo might not be good enough—for example, if your face looks too pale or too light relative to the background. If this happens, and you’re using mostly dark clothes for your passport photo, try taking a few precautions:

  • First off , always make sure that you’re wearing a hat and sunglasses and dressing slightly warmer than casual.
  • The most important thing is to avoid patterns in general. If you have any stripes on your shirt (especially horizontal stripes), consider getting rid of them before taking the picture. The same goes with horizontal stripes on pants or any pattern whatsoever on top of your shirt or jacket; often times these can obscure parts of your face from being seen by the camera flash . And don’t rely on some sort of patterned scarf/shawl for hiding those pesky head-length bangs; as mentioned elsewhere , it’s best to get them cut short before it becomes an issue when photos get taken at airports or other secure spaces (such as old age homes).
  • Finally : if possible, avoid red. It tends to mix with facial recognition software and messes up matching and missing person databases .

Avoid wearing stripes, plaids, and other distracting patterns.

Don’t wear:

  • Stripes, plaids, or other distracting patterns. You want to stand out in your passport photo because it’s you in the photo. Don’t get lost among a bunch of distracting lines and colors.
  • Red clothing or clothing with green hues. The camera might pick up the color and reflect it onto the background, making it look like bright red or green spots are on your face or hair when they’re actually not.
  • A head covering (unless you wear one for religious reasons). A head covering makes your face less visible; this is not allowed in passport photos.

Plain, light-colored tops are fine as long as they don’t show through your face or blend into the background.

It’s recommended that you wear a dark-colored shirt for your passport photo, as a light background can cause your face to blend into it. You can also check by seeing whether or not the color of your shirt shows through your face. If it doesn’t, then it’s a safe bet that you’re good to use such a color regardless of what the background is. A light-colored shirt is fine too as long as it doesn’t show through in this way.

Authors are unanimous on this point: they all recommend wearing a jacket or coat over any top you choose to wear, as shoulders and arms will be removed from the picture anyway and therefore don’t need to be visible.

Above all else, make sure that you use a white background for your passport photo (no, cream isn’t close enough), otherwise it won’t meet government requirements and will end up being rejected!

Darker tops or jackets create good contrast.

The clothing you wear in your passport photo is just as important as the background. The contrast between the color of your shirt and the background makes a huge difference in how well you stand out from the background and it’s important that you do so. Wear a jacket or sweater with a collared shirt underneath instead of just a t-shirt, so you avoid blending in with the background too much. Also, remember to dress appropriately for your gender. Try to avoid wearing any strapless tops or tank tops (guys), and try to avoid wearing spaghetti straps (girls). You may also want to reapply makeup or touch up hair if it has become disheveled prior to taking your picture, but don’t overdo it—you’ll still have time after you take your photo!

For glasses, wear ones with thin frames that don’t cover your eyes.

If you wear glasses every day, don’t worry about removing them for your passport photo. Just make sure the frames are thin so that they don’t cover your eyes. If you have thick frames, consider wearing contacts for the photo or opting for a pair of glasses without a frame if you have them. While sunglasses are allowed in outdoor photos, try to avoid wearing them in indoor photographs because they can obscure your eyes and make it difficult to recognize you from the photo.

There are some rules about what you can wear for a passport photo.

Although there are some definite rules about what you can and can’t wear for a passport photo, it’s important that you follow the rules. It is, after all, your personal information on paper with a government employee taking it. Losing your photo is an awful idea.

You should also be careful about wearing headwear of any kind, such as scarves or hats, for two reasons. First of all, if someone were to look at the photo and see you without any identifying features (such as necklace or hat), they could ask to take a second one in case they missed something the first time around. Second of all, headwear makes it hard to identify who’s pictured in a passport photo—and even easier to misidentify someone.


In conclusion, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to passport photo wear:

  • Do not wear a hat, head covering, or sunglasses for your passport photo.
  • Choose a white or light colored backdrop for your passport photo.
  • Choose an outfit that is free of patterns and graphics and has a solid color.
  • Avoid wearing bright clothing for your passport photo.

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