A couple of years ago, I did portraits for Vice President Biden and his family
for the official holiday card. He walked out of his house wearing a bold blue and white striped button-down, and his first words to me were "What do you think about this shirt? Is this too much?" I sputtered nervously, looked around helplessly at his staff, and then at the guys with the machine guns. "Don't look at them," he said, "You're the photographer!" So I told him that, indeed, his shirt was a bit much, to which he replied "no problem" and went inside and changed. The shoot went great after that, and most importantly, the Secret Service did not take me down for my impertinence.
With this in mind, leave your bold striped shirts and attention-getting necklaces at home on headshot day, as well as short sleeves and deep V-necks that show a lot of skin. I prefer dark to mid-toned solid colors or simple patterns. Bright white shirts can also pull the eye away from the face, though throwing a darker jacket over them usually takes care of the problem. Ideally, bring along a couple of options for us to choose from.