Taking Pictures of Clothes for Resell

How to Photograph Clothes for Reselling

Dress Form or Mannequin

I'm pretty pleased that I was able to pick up a dress form.  I think it does help show what a piece of clothing would look like on a body...how it hangs, drapes, roughly how long the item is.  The sucky thing is that mannequins and dress forms still tend to be model size - so you know, small.  There are plus size options and male options as well if you want to go full throttle.  Hell, one seller mentioned having a "regular" size, a plus size, a male, and a kid one!  

Pro tip: Turn the mannequin/dress form around to take a picture of men's clothing without boobs.  

You can see in this example the shadow me taking a picture on my smart phone. I guess it was later in the day and the sun was not directly overhead. It didn't deter a potential buyer, because this jacket sold. So no need to overthink and make your pictures look perfect or professional.

Flat Lays

There aren't really discernible pros and cons to each style of photography and buyers & sellers both have their opinions.  I went from using a hanger only to a combination of flat lay and dress form (because I happened upon one at a store close out sale). I would say the biggest con to doing flat lays is that according to people who chimed in on Reddit/Social media, they think they are too cluttered and "can't tell what item is for sale".  Now this was actually in response to my request for a closet critique in which users went on to bash flat lays...the reponses about it being cluttered and couldn't tell the item for sale I don't think were in relation to mine, per se.  My flat lays (which my first ones are still in my listings) do have accessories I pulled from my personal closet. But it's pretty obvious what I'm selling - a pair of shorts that I styled with a pair of shoes and a little succulent decor.  The shorts are the main focus, the centerpiece.  The accessories are there to add a little pizzazz, a little something extra than just boring old pair of shorts on fake wood. So whatevs.  Do some research on flat lays - look at others' closets.  If you go with flat lays, do what YOU want, not what other people say you should or should not.

I have since abandoned using little decor accents and accessories in my flat lays and use a combo (most of the time) of the dress form and laying the clothing flat for additional pictures such as measurements, care tags, size tags, etc.

Using A Hanger

This practical and basic - and I mean this in a good way.  Think about when you're out shopping in any store.  99% of the clothes for sale are on a hanger!  Based on your first impression, you'll grab that item and buy it or try it on, right?  So there is nothing wrong whatsoever using hangers to style your garments.  This is still the most popular choice among sellers, as far as I can tell. 

This picture with a hanger and chevron striped background is from when I started reselling clothes approximately 2 years ago. Not super great, but not super bad, either. I'm glad I upgraded myself to a dress form and nice flat lays, though.

Modeling The Clothing

This is SUPER popular on Depop, so if you plan on selling there, just go ahead and model your clothes.

On the other platforms, this is way less popular.  A lot of people don't want to see someone else wearing what they're about to buy.  Some people say it doesn't help because their body and your body are too different, so it doesn't translate.  Others don't care either way.  It's a very personal choice...I say do what's easiest and do what you want to.

Angles and What to Picture

Definitely, definitely, definitely a front and back photo.  In my early research about selling on Poshmark, it was recommended to take a picture of tags, meaning the size tag, the care tag, and the fabric content tag.  Bonus if all 3 of these elements are all in one tag!  Less pictures to take.  Even if you don't or can't include the care & fabric content, mention those in your listing.  You'll have the pictures to refer to! You'll want to take a picture of anything that stands out - a hard to see pattern, intricate beading or sequins, a graphic or words, any sort of blemish, stain, tear, or hole.  You really do need to disclose that in your description and pictures help.  Measurements are not mandatory but are highly recommended.  I take a picture of bust or waist and length or inseam.  They don't always end up in the listing pictures, but at least I have them for when I'm writing my description.  At minimum, I'll add a picture of bust or waist and if a buyer wants more than that, I can refer to my pictures or just measure as requested.  

Key points for photographing clothes to resell online:

  • Make sure the pictures are not blurry
  • Keep the clothes off the floor
  • Use any kind of showcase for your clothes - flat lay, hanger, dress form, model on you, or a combination of any of these
  • Include care tags, size tags, fabric content
  • Take pictures of measurements using a measuring tape
  • Take pictures of details and/or of any flaws, blemishes, or stains
  • Take and use as many pictures as possible
  • Don't use stock photos* - here's more on that