How to Flat Lay fashion

Westfield launched a new competition on Monday called ‘Flat Lay The Nation’ (complete with it’s own hashtag). I think it is one of the most creative competitions I’ve seen and it gave me the idea to show you how to flat lay fashion, if you don’t know where to start.

I could write up a few paragraphs on what is a flat lay, but I think it will be more effective if I give you a brief description and some handy tips (from Westfield and myself) on how to flat lay fashion, and what makes a great flat lay.

What is a flat lay?

A flat lay is a photo of objects of the same theme grouped together that are laid out ‘flat’ and photographed from above. They are used a lot in fashion magazines to display outfits or different fashion styles, but are sometimes made up of homewares, beauty products or anything really.

how to flay lay fashion

Here is a flat lay that I put together for an up coming blog post, I’m sure you can guess what it’s about

How to flat lay fashion

Tip 1. Flat lays are usually displayed on a white background to make the items stand out, but you can of course use any background you have available. Plain backgrounds are more effective because patterns can sometimes can be distracting, you want your clothing/items to be the feature.

Tip 2. Less is more- you want to make your flat lay portray a theme or style, but don’t over crowd it. Pick one or two fashion items and add some props, like maybe your favourite book/magazine, some jewellery or makeup products.

how to flat lay fashion

Here is a shot of a flat lay that I put together for my entry, yesterday

Tip 3. Flat lays are always square. If you don’t have a ‘square’ shooting mode on your camera or phone, just take the shot a little wider than your flat lay and crop it into a square later.

Tip 4. Setting up the shot. Lay your items out on your background in a square, move them around until your happy with the set up. You can take your photo directly above by just standing over your flat lay, or you can get up onto a step ladder. Be careful when doing this though, you don’t want to injure yourself. Bending forward like this can cause strain on your lower back, especially if you are taking a lot of photos and are moving around your objects. Take breaks regularly in between taking your shots, to save your back. If you have a tripod use that with an extender arm and a shutter release cable/remote.

 Tip 5. Have fun! You can be really creative with your flat lays, creating colour themes or maybe something inspired by your favourite style icon. Create a snapshot of something that represents your own personal style. You can incorporate current trends, while sticking to your style. The judges (of the Westfield comp.) want to see a representation of your style!.

Here is a quick video summary from Westfield on how to flay lay fashion

I’m having so much fun creating flay lays for this competition, that you will soon be seeing more of them on my blog!

for more info on the Westfield #flatlaythenation competition and to view people’s entries you can head to You could be in the running to win a trip to the UK or a daily prizes of a $500 Westfield gift card! Entries close March 16, 2014.

Good luck!

Disclaimer: this post is not sponsored by Westfield nor was I asked to write it for them. It was my idea to write about it.