I get asked this SO often! And it makes a big difference if you can follow even a few simple guidelines. First is that simple is best! Cartoon characters, logos, graphics….they all compete with your child’s face (or yours)! That being said, small kids can get away with some fun patterns. Stripes and polka dots are cute. I do think they work best away from the face.
When you are coming in with your family for a family shot, try to pick clothes that are complimentary, but they don’t need to be matching. If they are all the same value, then that will look best. I recommend this trick to see how your outfits will look as a group:
lay out the outfits on the bed next to each other. Turn around and walk away from them, then turn back around and look at the bed. Does one outfit or piece grab your attention a lot? If so, that is what will stand out in the photo. If you see one group, rather than one part first, then you’ve probably chosen well! And you can always bring several things to your session and I can help choose! I love doing that!
Here is one idea of some outfits that work well together. Not everyone has to be “matchy-matchy” to look good in a family portrait!