Shopping for your photo shoot clothes can be both intimidating and overwhelming. But there are some things that can help ease the stress! First, I always recommend doing your wardrobe planning far in advance before your equestrian portrait session. This way, you have plenty of time to make sure you really love everything and it gives you enough time to receive all of it if you're doing online shopping (which is my preferred method!) So let's get right into it.
Follow Fashion Influencers on Instagram
This is helpful for finding out about new stores & boutiques because a lot of influencers get brand deals with smaller boutiques. But they'll (the ones I follow at least) also share links to the bigger brands too. Part of why I like this option is because of the new-ish Instagram Shop feature. So you can shop right inside the app. My favorite western fashion influencer is my friend, @westdesperado!
Also: this is kind of a given, but just make sure the influencers you follow share your same sense of style so you can actually get use out of their posts. If you don't know your personal style... you should try to find it!! That's one of my five unconventional tips to complete before your equestrian portrait session.
Shop on Pinterest
This one is fun! It can also be really frustrating though. Pinterest recently came out with a new "shop" feature. So when you're pinning outfits that you like, you can now click on the shopping tag icon on the lower left corner of the pin to shop similar items. This introduces you to lots of new stores and brands and really makes for super simple shopping. The irritating part is when you're pinning and you find a piece of clothing you really love, sometimes you can't find that exact item once you start shopping (but always check if the pin itself is a direct link to the store). *beware of scams when doing this... if the website doesn't have reviews for their items or the prices are very low, it's a good chance the site is a scam!
Search on Google via photos
See a picture of someone wearing a super cute top but they didn't tag the store or answer anyone who asked where it's from? Try searching on Google. This can only be done by using the Google app! So first, add the app to your phone. Next, click on the camera icon in the search bar. From there you can upload the picture from your phone with the outfit you like. Google will find visual matches for specific parts of the picture, with a link to buy a similar clothing piece. It's really handy when it works, but slightly disappointing when it decides to search for the horse in the picture instead of the person's dress.
Second Hand Shopping (with a twist)
I love shopping second hand! I actually shop second hand more than I shop straight from the original store. How I'm able to find exactly what I want though is the trick!
What I normally do: I browse online at the big retailers first (here are some of my favorite stores), then when I find something I love, I head to one of my go-to second hand online stores & search for that exact item. I either find exactly what I'm looking for or something similar. The two second hand stores I shop from most are Postmark and Mercari. If I can't find what I'm looking for there I go to Depop or Thred Up.
Now of course you can go thrifting at Goodwill or your town's local thrift shop, but I personally find online shopping to be more convenient.
Rent a Gown
You can rent gowns from various different companies just for your shoot. This is a great opportunity to wear a gown for a fraction of the cost compared to purchasing one! Check out this blog post featuring my favorite rental shops for photoshoot gowns.
Want even more guidance for your photo session shopping? Download my free shopping guide!