7 Tips for Nailing that #OOTD Post

Khensani Mohlatlole

Khensani is a fashion and communication student who’s obsessed with African fashion, fashion media and anything to do with womxn breaking boundaries. You can find her searching for the world’s best dating reality show when she’s not researching fashion conspiracy theories or trying to figure out how to extend her closet space.


Picture this: you’re scrolling through your Instagram and in between a funny astrology meme and your friend’s latest (and cutest) selfie, you spot pure sartorial elegance from your favourite fashion influencer in which she’s somehow managed to leave you in awe and total envy of her perfect layering techniques, trendy new sneakers and today’s it-bag. You think about your own really cute outfits and wish you could nail the same perfect out of the day (#OOTD) post just like that. Well, you’re in luck because you don’t necessarily need the same budget (but owning a Dior saddlebag would be amazing) or professional photographer-boyfriend on call to nail the perfect outfit post. Following these five easy tips, you too can post up with the best of them.

1. Find an interesting background

Nothing draws the eyes more than a background that serves to make your outfit pop. While you might want to opt for a plain white wall, how about using a textured brick wall or brightly coloured one to bring a little colour and dimension to the photo? You can bring a real street style sense to your image if you shoot in a cityscape, or you can pick up the circular patterns of your clothing on a spiral staircase. Don’t shy away from signage, like graffiti or posters, as these can bring a sense of everyday realness to your outfit. Alternatively, you can create your own studio by using curtains or draping fabric across a clothing rail to manufacture your own backdrop. Always keep an eye out for arresting locations to best take that OOTD against.

2. Find your light

Good lighting is essential to producing a high-quality, beautiful selfie and the OOTD is now different. Always try to make sure the light falls to the front of your outfit and you aren’t being hidden away by too many shadows. Shooting outside, during daylight, always works or finding a good amount of natural or artificial lighting indoors. You don’t always have to look for sunlight, however. Neon signs, strobe lights and fractured lighting can also work in your favour. Bright red lights can complement or match the colours in your outfit, or using the shadows from curtain blinds can add interesting texture to your final photograph. And if you’re shooting at night? Ask a friend to shine the torch feature on their phone on you or a nearby portable lamp, behind the camera, to recreate your own DIY studio.

3. Keep it ‘plandid’

The planned candid, or plandid, creates a more natural, casual and authentic feel to any Instagram post and just exudes effortless chic. It might make you feel really silly to pretend laugh or look away from the camera into the distance but once captured, makes a for a really interesting shot. You don’t have to be all smiles either. How about taking a little walk, as if you’re being caught by the paparazzi, to enhance the movement in that flowy skirt or your new blowout. Or read a book or scroll through your phone for that sense of nonchalance.

4. Grab a friend

What’s better than one fly dresser? Two! Or more, if you’d like. Not only does a great OOTD photo with your bestie scream #squadgoals, but it also helps break up the one-note personal portraits everyone’s timelines are filled up with. A great ‘me and my bestie’ outfit of the day photo works when you and your friend are twinning in some way. This can be done by either wearing the same colours and accessories or styling different items of clothing in the same way. Alternatively, you and your friend can play each other’s opposites. You could wear contrasting, complementary colours like orange and blue or opposing styles like sports luxe and flirty feminine. Don’t shy away from adding, even more of your stylish friends either.

5. Have a seat

There’s no rule that an outfit photo means standing up. Sitting down not only gives you a break from those heels but also makes your legs look much longer. A good seating pose can better show off your shoes, whether they’re on your feet or on the seat next to you, and allow you to better incorporate props like you would in the plandid. Remember to keep it natural and remain aware of how your clothes may fold and rumple in different seating positions.

6. Lay it flat

Take a cue from the ever-popular flat lay and spread your entire outfit on their floor before you wear it. This works great because every component of your fit gets a chance to shine. Create dimension by rolling up a scarf of laying one shoe flat and the other standing upright. A plain background, like your carpet or wood flooring, can make the colours pop. A patterned or brightly coloured surface can complement the details on your purse or t-shirt. Your outfit doesn’t have to lie on the floor either, you can rumple up the sheets of your bed or grab a textured piece of fabric like fur. Be creative and have fun with it too by adding props like your morning cup of coffee or a succulent plant.

7. It’s all about the details

Throw a curveball at the OOTD by creating closeup shots that highlight all the finer details of your outfit that might get lost in longer frame photos. With these closeups, everyone can better see the panelling on your jacket, the straps of your shoes or even how your manicure matches your jewellery. Detail shots also mean you have more gorgeous photos with which to show off your ‘fit. Nailing that perfect outfit phot is easier than you think; it just requires a little planning, creativity and your own unique spin. Make sure to take lots of photos in different angles and styles, utilising one or all of these tips, so you have plenty to choose from. Keep your camera quality high and the editing minimal so you can really pop on the ‘gram. And most of all? Have fun and tag #OOTD!