What to Wear for a Passport Photo? [7 Clothing Items to Avoid]

The Appropriate Dress Code For Passport Photos

You’re about to get your passport photo taken, and you want to ensure you look your best.

The last thing you need is to be stuck with a photo you’ll regret for the next 10 years because of a fashion faux pas.

Don’t fret.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn exactly:

  • What to wear for a passport photo to get the green light from the State Department.
  • Whether it’s OK to put on glasses, hats (or head coverings), and makeup.
  • Passport dress code for infants and children.
  • What clothing items to avoid.

Passport photo in 3s!

Take a photo with your smartphone, upload it to the website, we will convert it to an official passport photo and send you a digital or printed version. Simple? You can’t get more convenient than that!

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U.S. passport photo dress code

For the U.S. passport photo, it is best to just put on your everyday, casual clothes—and that’s it. 

Following the U.S. State Department regulations regarding passport photo attire, it is most advisable to wear your regular clothing. Similar suggestions can be found within the regulations of nearly any other country.  

You are, of course, allowed to put on your fancy shirt or even a tie, however, you should not overdress. 

Be aware that despite what you wear, the passport picture will be cropped adequately to the official standards, presenting mostly your face and a bit your shoulders. The passport photograph is a document that should simply allow for your identification, nothing more. 

Attire for U.S. passport photo: 7 things you should avoid 

There are, however, some forbidden pieces of attire for passport photos. See the list below and make sure to dress accordingly. 

  1. Uniforms and camouflage attire: you are not allowed to wear any uniforms or clothing that looks like a uniform. It is also forbidden to wear any form of camouflage attire, even if it is just a T-shirt.
  2. Glasses: your glasses should also be put aside while taking the passport photograph. It makes no difference whether you have them on your face or in your hair—neither of these forms is allowed. There is, however, one exception to this rule and it is glasses for medical purposes. You will find more information about that down below.
  3. Hats and head coverings: you must not have any form of a head covering, whether it is a baseball cap or a fancy fedora. There is also an exception to this rule—more on that below.
  4. Hair covering the eyes and big hair accessories: as for the hairstyle, while there are no strict regulations in general, there is one rule you should always comply with: your eyes and eyebrows must not be covered by your hair. There also cannot be any big hair accessories, such as headbands, visible.
  5. Strong makeup: for your passport photograph, you are not allowed to wear intense makeup that would make it difficult to identify you. It is better to stick with a natural look, or just very delicate makeup.
  6. Headphones: it is a rather unlikely scenario that anyone would like to pose for their passport photograph while listening to music on their headphones, but in case this was your idea—do not do it. Headphones and any other gadgets are strictly forbidden.
  7. Gadgets: be aware that you are not allowed to have with you any distracting gadgets in your picture. This refers to electronic devices, toys, or any objects that would be in the shot. Your attire should be simple, with the least amount of add-ons.

Dresscode for passport photos: 5 things you are allowed to have 

Luckily, there is some level of flexibility when it comes to the dress code for passport photographs. Most of them are just exceptions related to medical or religious reasons. To find out what these are, please see the list below.

  1. Glasses for medical reasons: you are allowed to wear your glasses only if you can deliver a signed doctor’s statement that you need glasses for medical purposes. In other cases—whether you have prescription glasses or not—you are not allowed to wear them.
  2. Hats for religious purposes: a similar rule applies to traditional religious attire, and such can only be admitted if a special statement verifying its legitimacy is delivered.
  3. Tattoos: there are no regulations as to tattoos—once you get one, it becomes part of your biometric data, especially if it’s located on your face. That said, you can have tattoos wherever you desire.
  4. Jewelry and piercings: you are free to wear jewelry and piercings as long as they do not cover your face, making it difficult to identify you.
  5. Hearing aid: if you wear hearing aids on a regular basis, you can have them on in your passport picture as well.

Passport dress code for infants and kids

The passport photo dress code for babies is pretty much the same as for adults—no hair accessories, no glasses, no toys are allowed. 

For the U.S. passport, your baby does not have to wear clothes, but it is still recommended to dress your children casually. Remember that pacifiers, colorful hair pins or other distractors (even your hand) are not allowed. 

As to older children it is most advisable to have a casual outfit and no accessories unless they fit the above-mentioned categories. 


Got your outfit ready? Take your shot with Passport Photo Online

Passport Photo Online is an intuitive and user-friendly app that allows you to take a great passport photo from anywhere, even from your own room. 

The program uses advanced AI-supported algorithms to transform your casual photos into perfectly fitted passport photographs, which are always in accordance with official regulations. Passport Photo Online scans your picture and in a matter of seconds changes the background, lighting conditions, and cropping, so it looks just like from a professional photo studio. 

Passport Photo Online lets you upload as many photos as you wish, so you can test out different outfits before making the final decision. The payment is only made once you order a specific passport photo.

Make sure to pay attention to the fact that this app gives you a guarantee of acceptance, with a double money refund in case of rejection. 

How does an Passport Photo Online App work

Passport photo dress code: FAQ

Below you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the dress code in passport photos.

Is there a dress code for U.S. passport photos?

No, there is no official dress code for U.S. passport photos. That being said, American citizens must follow some basic rules given by the U.S. Department of State, which specify that glasses, heavy makeup, head coverings, or other distracting gadgets are not acceptable. The same goes for uniforms and camouflage attire. It is best to wear simple and casual clothes.

Can I wear a T-shirt in my U.S. passport photo?

Yes, you can wear a T-shirt in a U.S. passport photo. When choosing colors, it is better to avoid white clothes, as the background of your photograph will also be white. It’s better to go with any other color, except for camouflage shirts.

What shirt to wear for a U.S. passport photo?

You can wear any shirt you want for a U.S. passport photo. However, it is recommended to avoid white shirts as they may not compose well with the white background of your passport photo. A blue or dark shirt will do the trick just fine.

Do you have to wear a collared shirt for U.S. passport pictures?

No, you do not have to wear a collared shirt for U.S. passport photos. In fact, the most recommended outfit by the U.S. Department of State is your regular, everyday clothes. A simple T-shirt will do just fine.

Should I wear a suit for the U.S. passport photo?

No, you do not have to wear a suit for the U.S. passport photo. Instead, it is better to just put on your casual, everyday clothes, like a T-shirt or a regular shirt. 

Can you show your shoulders in a U.S. passport photo?

Yes, your shoulders can be visible in a U.S. passport photo. Bear in mind, however, that U.S. passport photos are cropped in such a way that only a fraction of your shoulders are visible. If you wear a strapless top, it may create an illusion that you are naked in the photograph. For that reason, a regular shirt is more recommended.

Can you wear hats in passport photos?

No, you cannot wear hats in passport photos. In fact, no piece of head covering is allowed, unless it is part of a traditional religious attire.

What’s the best color to wear for a U.S. passport photo?

You can wear any color you find suitable for a U.S. passport photo. That being said, remember about two important factors. First, the background of your photograph will be perfectly white, so clothes of the same color may not compose well. Second, you cannot wear clothing with camouflage patterns on it. Other than that, you are free to choose from dark gray, through green, yellow, or blue.

Can I wear a sweater in my U.S. passport photo?

Yes, you can wear a sweater in the U.S. passport photo. 

Can you wear a uniform in a U.S. passport photo?

No, you cannot wear uniforms in the U.S. passport photos. No pieces of uniforms are allowed—whether it is administrative, military, or from your company. 

Can you wear tank tops in ID and passport photos?

Yes, you can wear tank tops in ID photos. Bear in mind, however, that due to the cropping of ID and passport photographs—where only a small part of your shoulders is visible—some pieces of clothing may create an illusion that you are naked in the photograph.

Can you wear a white shirt in your U.S. passport photo?

You should not wear white shirts in a passport photo. The U.S. passport photos have a perfectly white background, therefore, wearing a white shirt may not compose well with the rest of the picture. Although it is not forbidden to wear white shirts, it’s better to avoid them.

Does it matter what you wear in a U.S. passport photo?

Yes, it does matter what you wear in your U.S. passport photo. Although there is no official dress code for passport pictures, there are some pieces of clothing—such as uniforms, camouflages or head coverings—that are not allowed. It is best to wear simple, everyday clothes with no additional gadgets or accessories.

Passport photo dress code: closing thoughts

Every-day clothes are the most recommended to wear for a passport photo.

A passport picture will serve you for a decade, so if you are tempted by the newest fashion trends and want to implement them in your passport photo, keep in mind that whatever is fashionable at this moment, may not be a year from now. It is, therefore, better to go with the safe and classic options, rather than face possible awkwardness in a few years, when the trends change. 


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