One of my favorite parts of boudoir session is helping my clients pick out their outfits! Sometimes they send me links as they are exploring their options, or photos as they are making decisions. And sometimes they just bring everything they own, and we decide that day! Either way, I adore getting to help pick the PERFECT options for their session. After years of photographing boudoir session, one of the keys to success is bringing a proper wardrobe with you that not only is beautiful, but photographs well and flatters your body.
QUICK LIST OF LINGERIE STYLES
BRA & PANTY SETS
There are so many different options out there for sexy bra/panty sets out there. When shopping for these, proper fit is extremely important. Be careful of push up bras as they often make you look unnatural. Make sure the area near your armpit looks nice and smooth and you are not coming out of the cups. Also, make sure that your panties set smooth on the skin and don’t dig in; sometimes this means going up a size. One of the biggest mistakes I see is underwear that is too tight!! Also, bra and panty sets with lace edges tend to smooth out over skin best!
CORSETS & BUSTIERS
Corsets are meant to cinch your waist and give you killer curves. They usually have ties in the back that help create your shape. They are hard to put on, but don’t worry – I can help you!
A bustier is similar to a corset in coverage, but it has cups built in that give nice breast support. They don’t normally cinch the waist like corsets do, but there are some hybrid styles out there that combine a little waist cinching and breast lifting.
GARTER BELTS, GARTERS & THIGH HIGHS
A Garter Belt is a belt worn around the waist or hips with attached garters or fasteners to hold up stockings. Sometimes Garters are built into lingerie so a belt isn’t needed.
The stockings they hold up are called Thigh Highs (because they are tights that pull up to the thigh). There are two different types of thigh highs:
Some have a rubber material on the inside to help them stay up. This is REALLY important to know. If the stockings have the rubber inside they are NOT meant for garters. They are meant to be worn without them. The rubber allows them to stay up on their own. If you try to pair these stocking with garters, they are very hard to attach because of the thickness, and they can be very tight on your thighs. Stockings without the rubber are much more desirable for garters. There is an art to attaching the stockings. Again, don’t worry, I can easily help you and teach you how it’s done.
TEDDIES & BODYSUITS
Both teddies and bodysuits are garments that cover the torso and crotch in one garment. It is similar in style to a one-piece swimsuit. Bodysuits are traditionally a more solid fabric and sometimes considered clothing. Teddies typically are more sheer and definitely sexier. All women look amazing in outfits that fit and show off their curves, and teddies/bodysuits are a perfect example of that!
A babydoll is a short, sleeveless, loose-fitting nightgown. It sometimes has formed cups called a bralette for cleavage with an attached, loose-fitting skirt falling, in length, usually between the upper thigh and the belly button. In general, babydolls don’t always photograph well and can make the wearer look bigger than they actually are.
Shape wear is a type of tight-fitting underwear intended to
control and shape the figure. There are many beautiful options out there these days. (Not the ones that are meant to be hidden, but styles that flatter and are also pleasing to the eye).
Think of them as dresses that are meant to be worn under a dress, often with cups built in for support. Some slips can fit into the shape wear category but many do not.
Clothing is a fantastic option for boudoir! It might sound counterintuitive but think about a hot leather jacket; or ripped jeans and a sexy bra; or off the shoulder sweaters; or a sheer T-shirt. There are so many options for clothing that can be just as sexy, if not sexier then lingerie. You can also mix the two. Try a beautiful bra with a full skirt, a tank top with a lacey thong or high socks. Why not have fun and be creative?!
Now that you know a little more about the different styles, it’s time to determine which is the best for you!
The right lingerie… Want to show off those hard earned abs and a little more skin? Bra and panty sets are a great option. Things to think about are the style of panty you choose (the amount of coverage) and what type of bra suits you best. I know its tempting to pull out a bra you might wear every day – but try to look for something a little sexier, special. Something that is meant to be seen! Want to be sexy but maybe not your stomach? Look at teddies!! They do an amazing job of showing off your curves while minimizing the areas you are more self conscious about.
Need a lift… So you have had a baby, or lost some weight, etc… and you may feel you need some lift in the breast department. I know most women are tempted to go straight for push up bras… but resist the urge. Look for demi cup bras, or underwire bras that offer strong support without adding too much size. This is typically more flattering proportion wise. Good support is more important than padding any day. This is not to say that there aren’t some good push up bras out there, just be really aware of how any bra fits and flatters. A lot of women aren’t wearing the correct bra size. If it’s been awhile, maybe it’s time to get fitted again!
How to do coverage, correctly… Even though boudoir is about shedding layers, I do understand many women don’t want to show too much skin or they are concerned about parts of their body that they might not want to show off. Here are some tips to cover, boudoir style:
- If you are worried about showing your stomach think of shapewear (the gorgeous kind!). Bodysuits show off all the right curves. A beautiful lace robe over a bra and underwear is a great choice. So is a plain white tank top and lacey undies.
- Need a lift but don’t want to show too much skin? Bustiers are for you! They offer amazing support while giving you a little more coverage, all while flattering your shape.
- If you have some stretch marks or scars look for some more opaque materials, but stick with a style that will still show off your shape – like a bodysuit or a slip.
- The worst thing you can do is hide behind a lot of fabric – like a babydoll for example. It will only make you look heavier. We want to see your gorgeous shape no matter what you wear or how covered you are.
Legs Legs Legs… We all want long gorgeous legs. Here are a couple of tips for that! Look for high cut undies, teddies, bodysuits. The higher the leg opening the longer your legs will look. Also bring a pair of nude shoes with you. That will make your legs look even longer than they are.
Want to arm wrestle… Arms are sometimes a concern for women. Look for long sleeved body suits (like this one) or throw a button down over some killer lingerie. Crisp white, flannel, and chiffon can all be great options for different looks!
Let’s get to the bottom of this…. If a great tush shot is on your list, I recommend bottoms that show just enough, but not too much. I prefer cheeky or Brazilian bottoms over thongs. Many teddies and body suits are cut in the back to show off some tush. Those are a great option too! (Beware of stringy thongs though – they don’t always flatter!)
Don’t forget to bring…
A PAIR OF BLACK PANTIES OR A THONG
This can be used in a variety of ways. It will be easy to pair with other things if your photographer wants to mix it up. Also, if you plan to do any implied nudes, “sheet sessions”, or borrow items from your photographer’s client closet you’ll want these for sanitary purposes.
Consider bringing at least one pair of black and one skin colored heel with you. If you want to bring more shoes, fantastic!! Just keep in mind, the higher the heel – the better!! And take a few minutes to clean them up so they look great!
Feel free to bring any jewelry you might want to wear. Your photographer can help you choose what looks nice with your outfit and what will flatter depending on the poses that you are going to working through.
If you want to bring a prop or two to show off your interests and personality, that’s great. Just be careful that it doesn’t get too costume like. In my opinion, less is always more. Also, check out your photographer’s portfolio!! If you don’t see a lot of props, and you have a ton you want to use, then that photographer might not be right for you.
Most colors work really well in camera. Some that do not include fluorescent or neon colors and sometimes bright red and turquoise. On the other hand, I love deep red. Black is always classic and looks great on everyone!
Now where do I buy these things??
No matter where your budget is, you can absolutely find something amazing. A few of my favorite places to suggest are Fredericks of Hollywood, Victoria’s Secret, Shein, and AdoreMe. I always suggest checking out local lingerie shops (because then you also get to support local) and they can help you find the PERFECT thing. Also, there is some amazing stuff at great prices on Amazon. Click here to check out my absolutely tried and true amazon favorites:AMAZON BOUDOIR FAVORITES LIST
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I truly love everything suggested here, but at no cost to you I might receive compensation from showing you my faves!
What questions do you have about picking the perfect outfits for your boudoir session? Hit me up in the comments!!