It’s October, and you know what that means — gourds, pumpkins, cider, sweaters, boots, foliage, and, of course, Halloween. One family fun activity for this month is visiting a pumpkin patch. Whether you go for some farm-friendly pastimes, picking up produce, selecting the perfect pumpkin for your porch jack-o-lantern, or just a change of scenery, it can be tricky figuring out what to wear. Because let’s face it, the photo-op is just too good to pass up, and having a pastoral background for a family portrait is quite on-trend. With the idea of pictures in mind, it can be difficult to outfit the whole family. You want everyone to look their best, but for outdoor activities, you also want everyone to wear functional pieces, especially as the weather can be touch and go. Here are a few tips and tricks for what to wear to the pumpkin patch.
First, plan your outing. Decide which farm you’ll visit. Have you been there before? What’s the terrain like? What activities do they have? Check out previous visitors’ posts to see what backdrops, poses, etc. you could utilize. Pick a day and check the weather. Ideally, you’ll want a sunny afternoon, that’s not too cold or too hot.
Next, plan outfit options. You can go with everyone in jeans and sweaters, maybe have little ones wear some Oshkosh overalls, and really lean into the rural aesthetic. Jeans and sweaters with boots are the most practical choice and create a cohesive theme for family pictures. You can choose to wear matching sweaters, or simply coordinate sweaters, by having everyone in a favorite autumnal hue, like burgundy or forest green. When thinking about colors, try to envision how different shades will read in pictures with the actual pumpkins, either in the background or as part of the shot. In other words, try not to wear orange.
For a bit more fall flair, swap out jeans for corduroys, which are just as versatile and practical as denim, while incorporating more color and texture into your outfits. I love the idea of navy cords with flannels shirts in green, blue, and red. Or dark brown corduroys trousers with a fair-isle sweater and duck boots. Again, you could opt for corduroy overalls for the under-five set. Older kids may not be into corduroy and may prefer colorful denim instead of the typical blue jeans.
For men, chinos are a practical yet stylish option. Pair a dark beige, straight fit pant with a black (or blue) and white buffalo plaid, and top it off with a dark-wash denim jacket. You can also layer a cable-knit sweater over any button-down with a pair of standard chinos for a pumpkin patch photo-ready look.
If you’re in the market for more dressed up family pictures, then, by all means, go for it. Style your favorite summer dress with a long cardigan, scarf, tights, and boots. Have little girls in sweater dresses and leggings. For boys, again, chinos are a dressier option than jeans or cords and will bring a bit of polish to any sweater or sweater-and-shirt combo.
If you end up visiting the pumpkin patch on a chilly day, then focus your looks around outerwear. For a more casual look, go with hoodies layered under puffy vests, or fleece or shirt-jackets with scarves and knit hats. More formal ensembles may have blazers, for both mom and dad, bomber jackets for boys, and peacoats for girls. Or have everyone wear the same style of coat in different colors and patterns.
Speaking of patterns, plaid is the obvious choice for fall. But, be careful that your plaids don’t clash. They don’t have to match, but they should coordinate, being in the same color family and of the same proportion. Unless you are a diehard fan of plaid, I’d suggest limiting this print to one or two pieces in your overall family ensembles. Dad and sons can wear plaid, while mom and daughters can mix things up with polka dots, stripes, or florals. Yes, fall florals, either in dresses, blouses, or scarves, make for great pumpkin patch looks.
I’ve already mentioned boots, which I would recommend over loafers, sneakers, and especially heels. Functional boots can still be stylish enough for photos. The aforementioned duck boots, knee-high wellies, Timberland style workboots. Chelsea boots, hiking boots, and even pull-on rain boots for the kiddos. If they aren’t too scuffy and are waterproof-ish, all the better. You don’t want your enjoyment of the patch to be hindered by shoddy footwear.
Overall, you want everyone to be comfortable and appreciate the time together while supporting a local farm and hopefully making memories. And, of course, you want everyone to look their best as you take snapshots of those memories. Or not, sometimes, the pictures with imperfections are the most loved. Speaking of imperfections — for teenagers, I have no suggestions. If they are in clean clothes and smiling in the pictures, take that as a win!