What to Wear for a Boudoir Photo Shoot

Once you’ve decided you’re *for real* doing a boudoir shoot, and you’ve got your photographer picked out (me, me, pick me!) your first thought is going to be about wardrobe. What does one even wear for a boudoir photo shoot? So, I’ve put together a nice little list of ideas for what to wear for your Bay Area boudoir shoot. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’ll hopefully give you some ideas and make you more confident about whatever you decide!

First Thing’s First – What Is Boudoir Photography?

Boudoir photography offers a woman a chance to celebrate her sensuality and feel beautiful in an intimate, private setting. Unlike portrait photography, boudoir images allow a woman to pose in lingerie or partially nude to create stunning photos that capture her confidence and allure and – let’s be honest – her body. Regardless of whether your body looks exactly how you might want it to (and I know – we all have things we would change if we could), I’m a firm believer in loving and celebrating your body through all of the ebbs and flows of life.

A boudoir photo session typically takes place in a photography studio designed for that express purpose. Since the French would “boudoir” means a woman’s private sitting room, a boudoir studio will often be furnished like a home or bedroom.

In my studio, I have different vignettes to offer a variety of styles. We chat while you get pampered with hair and makeup so by the time we are ready to start the shoot, you are already comfortable.

While boudoir was once seen as a pre-wedding gift for one’s future spouse, it is now a popular way for women to embrace their sensuality through fine-art photography. You can bring your true self and be vulnerable in a safe place free of judgment.  

Make the Most of Your Session

A successful boudoir photoshoot starts with choosing the right photographer. Look at photographer portfolio websites and imagine how you would feel having such photos of yourself. Get to know the photographer online first and think about whether they seem like a pleasant person to work with. Schedule a consultation ahead of the shoot to get any questions answered. Make sure you trust your photographer and their artistic process so that you can just relax and enjoy the experience.

Remember that mimicking fashion models or glamor magazine shoots is not always the goal – you want to celebrate being and looking like yourself, just with a sexy twist. An experienced boudoir photographer (like me!) knows how to direct clients. I use flattering poses to highlight your beauty and walk you through every step of the way to create stunning boudoir images. While lingerie is a classic choice, there are lots of other options available for you to bring your personality to the photo shoot!

Let’s take a look at the best boudoir outfit suggestions below.

1. Lingerie And Boudoir Basics: The Essential Choice For Your Bay Area Boudoir Photography Session

Lingerie is the number one thing that comes to mind when thinking about what to wear for your boudoir photo shoot. And for good reason! There is in infinite amount of options in this category to help you create a look that truly flatters your lines and curves.

Here are Some Popular Lingerie Options:

  • The Classic Two-Piece – This timeless choice offers versatility and elegance, allowing you to mix and match tops and bottoms for a personalized look. You can go simple and casual with a t-shit bra and panties or go more whimsical with a pretty lace matching set. This is a great option if you want more support on top to accentuate those curves! Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to have a flat stomach to rock a two piece – there are styles available to flatter any body! 
  • Bodysuit/Teddy – A bodysuit or teddy can accentuate your curves and create a sleek, sophisticated silhouette. It’s a hip, modern choice and it’s great if you want a smoother look along your body. It can also be fun pairing a bodysuit with clothes like a jacket or jeans for a playful style!
  • Strappy Things – If you’re looking to add a touch of edginess to your boudoir photos, consider lingerie with intricate strappy details. These designs are super sexy and there are a variety of options available! Just be sure you watch a video on how to put them on and practice in advance – it can be a bit tricky ;). 
  • Corset – Corsets have long been associated with boudoir photography sessions for their ability to provide stunning hourglass figures. They can be laced up to emphasize your natural curves and paired with matching bottoms or a skirt. It’s especially important to try on your corset before you come in and make sure you like the way it fits and how it looks from all angles. Corsets can be harder to sit and move around in, so keep that in mind as you’re thinking about your shoot and make sure to bring other options so you can try a wider variety of poses.


2. Partial Clothing In Boudoir Photo Shoots: Layered Storytelling For Your Boudoir Session

I love this option and want to encourage everyone to bring something like this to wear for their boudoir photo shoot! Using cute but basic every day clothing in your shoot helps to take the images from imagination into real life. In some ways, this can be the sexiest of all! Something like an oversized sweater plus panties, or a bralette with jeans, really bridges the gap between the “glam” you and the “real life” you. This option is fun both for still shots as well as acting a strip tease (don’t worry, I will coach you every step of the way!) Incorporating motion and storytelling into your images can add a captivating, almost voyeuristic quality to your photo shoot. This makes it a memorable and sensual experience for both you and your partner.

Like I mentioned above, I will coach you every step of the way! But if you’re someone who really likes to be prepared, there are some things you can try. Pose in front of a mirror in your favorite outfit and remove the clothing slowly. You can see how even basic movements can be beautiful, flattering and enticing! While lingerie is the go-to for many, incorporating movement, like the flow of a robe with just a glimpse of lingerie peeking out, can add an element of mystery and intrigue to your photos. Consider the delicate drape of soft fabrics, or a button-down shirt slightly opened to unveil a bralette; the possibilities are endless!

Here’s how you can mix and match pieces:

  • Jeans/Shorts + Bra: Pairing denim or shorts with a bra creates a playful and relaxed look that can showcase your confidence in your natural beauty.
  • Button-Down Shirt + Undies: The classic tease. Unbuttoning your shirt to showcase a bralette and panties creates a seductive look. This is one of my clients’ favorite choices when they want that classic luxury feel.
  • Robe + Undies/Nude: The robe is a versatile boudoir prop. Wearing it over lingerie gives a subtle hint, while an open drape can be more revealing.
  • Sweater + Undies: A cozy sweater paired with lingerie creates a comfortable yet alluring combination, allowing you to showcase your unique style.
  • T-shirt + No Bra: Embrace a natural, carefree look by wearing a simple tee or crop top with no bra: casual but oh so sexy at the same time!

** Pro tip: Mixing and matching these clothing combinations can help you highlight the body parts you’re most proud of while downplaying any areas you may be less comfortable with. You can draw inspiration from a Hollywood look from the 40s or the latest trends in fashion and glamor magazines. It’s all about creating a personalized and empowering boudoir experience that reflects your individual beauty and style. 

3. Topless/Body Chains In Boudoir Photography: Capturing Glamour With Simplicity

Embrace an edgy and glamorous vibe by focusing on body chains or jewelry for your body. Combining body chains with a skirt, underwear or nothing at all creates a sensually minimalist look. Body chains draw the eye and create captivating lines that focus on soft curves.

Pro tip: Don’t hesitate to experiment with wearing body chains with or without clothing! That allows you to explore different levels of comfort and style before your shoot. Remember, as boudoir photography is becoming increasingly popular, making personalized choices will set your session apart.

An example of what to wear to a boudoir photo session - a photo of a woman in glasses wearing a gold body chain and black underwear leaning on the back of a chair.

4. What to wear for your boudoir photo shoot (or not): Just You and the Sheets

When thinking about your boudoir photo shoot, instead of thinking what to wear, you could think of what *not* to wear ;). This is one of my favorites! I offer it as an add-on to any boudoir shoot. It’s a timeless classic that allows you to reveal or expose as much as you feel comfortable with. Sheets can be styled from super glam Hollywood to a bedhead-au-naturel vibe. Often I find that clients who are less confident with some parts of their body feel they need to “suck it in” with overly tight lingerie – but in my experience, the simple drape of fabric can be more flattering and even more sexy as you can reveal or conceal exactly as you want and it looks comfortable and unforced. 

Pro tip: If you want to try this look, take a moment to think about what color sheets you would prefer. While I’ve loved using black sheets in the past, I have other color options available to suit your taste.

Your Photo Shoot with Bay Area Boudoir Photography

When you book a session with me, I’ll send you a questionnaire that delves into your vibe, personality and preferences. This information serves as a starting point for our discussions about wardrobe choices. You’ll probably develop a gut feeling about what you’d like to wear! If you need guidance, I’m here to walk you through your options. I am also happy to assist you in selecting wardrobe items when you bring them to your shoot. My goal is to empower you and help you feel confident about your boudoir experience!

Selecting the right wardrobe plays a significant role in that process. I hope this list provides some helpful suggestions on what to wear for your boudoir shoot.  The most important thing is choosing an outfit that makes you feel sexy and confident. I’m here to give you a safe place to be yourself so that you not only have an amazing Bay Area Boudoir Photography experience but love the final product as well!

If you’re ready to schedule your shoot or have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.  Can’t wait to work with you!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *