So you’ve made the decision and booked yourself a boudoir photography shoot. Initially, the first thought that comes to mind might be —well the hard part is over right? Not necessarily. While you’ve decided to bring a little more zest into your album, the challenge is finding the perfect outfit. But have no fear! Below, we’ve provided our complete breakdown with the must do’s when it comes to picking out a wardrobe for a boudoir photography session.
Whether deciding to do a boudoir shoot as a gift for your special someone or a gift to yourself, you obviously want to look great doing it. When it comes to the perfect outfit, it’s crucial to focus on: style, cut, color, and even accessories. There is no shortage of ways to tap into your creativity during a boudoir photography shoot, while also looking and feeling you’re very best.
Knowing Your Body’s Shape
Familiarizing ourselves with our own figure and understanding the nuances of our bodies will not allow us to draw out more self-confidence. Additionally, it will teach us how to dress for (and flatter) our bodies. No two people are the same, and that truth translates over to our physique as well. It’s understandable that some of us may get discouraged while shopping, especially when it comes to lingerie or outfits typically worn in a boudoir photography shoot.
Only a small percentage of the world has the same figure as a mannequin – so why do we expect to look similar? The key is to learn your body shape and shop for the qualities and assets that make you-you. We’ve listed out seven-figure types along with the lingerie or ‘boudoir apparel’ suggestions that will fit our bodies best.
Athletic Shaped – Traditionally having a nice and lean build, those who are athletic shaped would benefit from wearing a two-piece lingerie set during their boudoir shoot. Accentuating the longer and leaner abdomen will show off one of the best body traits for an athletic build. For a sample, two-piece outfit, try out ASOS’ two-piece lingerie Kate lace long-line bra set. Since athletic builds’ typically lack larger curves and defining hips, it may be beneficial to try adding a garter belt with the ensemble. This will give the appearance of a pulled in the waist while also defining larger hips.
Petite Shaped – Those who are petite in size understand that shopping for their body type will always be non-traditional, so why should shopping for lingerie be any different. Those who are petite typically have height working against them when trying to dress for their bodies – so buying lingerie is absolutely their time to rock it! Work that short torso by wearing a sexy and lacey bodysuit, like this lace number from Aporei. Bodysuits and leotards like this will help elongate your legs as the V shape gives the illusion of a longer and leaner tone.
Curvy Shaped – If you got them, rock them! When it comes to a boudoir photography shoot, showing off your curves and figure makes the image that much more enticing. You just have to know what to wear. Consider wearing a pair of high waisted panties, like the Amara style from Impish Lee, as they will tighten and bring the highlight of your curves up to your waist. For a bold photo, consider posing topless using your arms as a prop. If that may be a little too risky for you, a bralette for your top would be a great way to complete the outfit.
Pear Shaped – *insert one of the many butt jokes, or song line title here*. During a boudoir photography shoot, pear-shaped women are going to want to accentuate their derriere while also creating and leanness to the lower half (so they don’t appear to look cut off from the butt down). Consider trying a sheer long slip, like this one from Impish Lee. The long slip will lean out the legs, but the sheer nature of the slip with allow the curvature of your booty to be on full display (with the right choice of a panty).
Apple Shaped – With broad and sexy shoulders, it’s always important that someone with an apple shape cuts their shoulder to bring curvature to their upper body. Items like tube tops or strapless ensembles tend to leave the shoulders and upper body feeling bare and not giving them the proper definition or flattery they need. A great way to accentuate the shoulders is to play around with spaghetti straps, halter tops, or even sleeveless outfits.
A great lingerie outfit for someone with a pear shape would be this sleeveless lace robe, like this one from Aporei. As it cuts the shoulders nicely, it also brings a slit up the leg, and those with an apple shape tend to have lean legs – so showing those off would also be flattering during a boudoir photography shoot.
Full Bust – When it comes to finding swimsuit tops or bras, ladies with a full bust seem to draw the short end of the stick with it comes to options. But there’s hope for those looking to score some sexy lingerie for their upcoming boudoir photography shoot. Keeping the ladies in and looking good is the main priority, but even though that thought is occupying the main focus doesn’t mean to limit your creativity and not have fun with your wardrobe – you just have to look for support!
Most bras made to support a full bust tend to be full coverage, so the main objective is to find those select few bras that give ample amount of support but also give a nice peek-a-boo. The Abby Balconette Underwire Bra from Impish Lee does just that while showing a little skin and having mesh-see through the material it also gives your girls the comfortable home they deserve.
Tall – Being tall has so many different variables when it comes to discovering the details of your body. Is your length in your legs? Or maybe it’s in your torso? The first order of business when finding a lingerie set (or piece) for your boudoir photography shoot is seen where the majority of your length is located. If it’s in your legs, you’ll want to show them off by wearing a baby doll or short slip (like this slip from La Perla).
This will add a nice dimension to the ensemble, as the exposed lean legs will give off more of a sexy vibe while the slip or babydoll will read more as playful. If your length is located in your torso, try an elongated two-piece set like this Sweetheart bralette from Impish Lee, or these high waisted lace panties from H&M. This way you accentuate the torso while also adding in an element or fabric to contrast the length.
How To Accentuate Your Best Physical Asset
Even though you may recognize yourself as a certain body type, there’s never a clear formula as to which asset of your body you like best. It’s up to you, as to which area you want to show off during your boudoir photography shoot. For example, some women who are traditionally athletic shape may have a larger chest they’d like to showcase. Or women who are pear-shaped may have longer legs they’d love to feature. Understanding that our bodies are all different is the first step to rocking a sexy outfit for your boudoir shoot.
Legs – If you’ve got legs going miles long, there’s no doubt they should be showcased during a boudoir photography shoot. Like mentioned earlier under body types, legs are displayed perfectly by wearing something that cuts you as a V moving through your hips. An example of this would be a leotard shaped bodysuit, as well as a sheer/lace short slip or babydoll with panties (underwear should be hip hugging bikini or thong, and not resembling shorts as they cut you mid-thigh).
Derrière – Not to sound cheeky, but you’ll probably want to wear some cheeky underwear to show off your tush during your boudoir photography shoot. While wearing an item like a thong may show off… well more, there’s something about creating dimension with cheeky panties to give the appearance of a fuller and lifted backside. Additionally, styling with cheeky can be fun, as you get to play around with different sets or pieces that offer this style of bottoms. Some examples include: garter belt sets, bodysuits, and two-piece matching sets.
Chest – When it comes to showing off your chest, there are so many different directions to take your ensemble. Maybe you’re like Kendall Jenner and don’t mind a little nip-slip if this is the case try wearing a sheer lace bra or bralette. This will give your boudoir photos a little sneak peak. If it’s the size of your chest you’d like to show off, try a low to mid coverage underwire bra. As they come in many styles, you’re bound to find one that fits your style and your girls.
Face – You’re in love with your dimples and think your eyes are the prettiest shade of blue. If your favorite features just happen to be the ones of your face – no worries, because boudoir photography is more than just your body and curves. Boudoir is all about encapsulating what makes you feel and look sexy all while creating body positivity. When doing more portrait style during your boudoir photography session, you may want to add an element of lingerie.
To do this, try by covering your shoulders in colored lace with a camisole or robe (like this one from Aporie). When on camera (especially when focusing on your face) makeup is also a crucial element to showing off your style and creativity. Try rocking a smokey eye, or blinding the camera with a not-so-subtle highlight.
Shoulders – To some, there are nothing sexier than a prominent collarbone and beautifully pointed shoulders. If looking to show off this part of your body during your boudoir photo shoot, try draping a kimono or lace robe off your shoulders. This way, you’re still adding the boudoir element of lingerie but showcasing your favorite feature. An additional tip, to make your shoulders on camera appear super defined, try adding both contour and highlight to your top half.
To do this, start with the collarbone, place the darker contouring shade in the lowest part of your collarbone – which will be above and below the horizontal singular collarbone (it will almost appear as a hollowed out triangle). Then, add a splash of highlight to the top outer corner of your shoulder and make sure to blend well.
Adding Variety To Your Wardrobe
Often, when scheduling your boudoir photography session, you’re able to mix and match different outfits to your shot list. This really gives you the opportunity to explore different avenues and input your personality and creativity into the mix. Below, we’ve broken down five potential outfit choices to include in your shoot:
Lingerie – The most traditional form of wardrobe choice when choosing to participate in boudoir photography. With the expansive amounts of options to choose from (while aligning with your body style and favorite features of course), it could be possible to have a shot list purely dedicated to different lingerie ensembles. The creativity here (minus the outfits), will also be the pose styling as you really want to capture all your best angles in your nightwear.
Costume – Who says Halloween is the only time to get all dressed up. During a boudoir photography shoot, have fun and incorporate your personality. With a costume, you can be anyone you (or your partner) fantasize being. It can be as traditional as a sexy librarian or bring in some Wes Anderson classics by dressing up as The Royal Tenenbaums with this sexy number.
His (or your) Favorite Team Jersey – If you’re participating in a boudoir photography shoot for your guy (and he just so happens to be a major sports fan), a sexy shoot in his favorite team’s jersey may just have him staring away from the television on Sundays.
Oversized Tee or Button Down – We see it in every romantic comedy on television, the iconic leading lady wearing her man’s button down after a fun night in. As this outfit automatically triggers the mind to associate it the look with a shag session – why not make it last forever in an image. Like the team jersey, this costume is particularly recommended for those looking to give boudoir shots as a present for their partner.
Your Birthday Suit – Or why wear anything at all? There’s always the option to go in the outfit your momma gave you. By posing naked for your boudoir photo shoot, you’re not only embracing your body as is but creating the ultimate leap of self-confidence.
More than just the outfits and lingerie, boudoir photography shoots sometimes need an extra something (a pizazz of sorts). Something that helps to either compliment your style and character is a little accessory. Even when we find ourselves going out without flashing cameras, is an outfit ever complete without the matching bag, shoes, and jewelry? Well, a photo shoot is no different. To make sure you’re covering any possible or potential angle for your upcoming boudoir shoot, we’ve listed five great accessories items you’re going to want to pack with you that perfectly demonstrate boudoir.
Stockings & Garter Belts – What a cute and sexy accessory that needs an outlet to be seen outside the bedroom, so why not include this number for a boudoir photography shoot. Another positive outcome that comes from wearing stockings and a garter belt is the shape it gives the body. The garter belt can bring in the waist while the stockings elongate the legs.
Stilettos – Speaking of elongated the legs, stilettos are not only a sexy extension to an outfit, but they give excess height to your legs creating a longer and leaner appearance. Simultaneously, by bringing in shoes (such as stilettos) into your boudoir photography shoot you’re adding a layer of creativity. There are many ways to tie an outfit together with the style and even color of the shoe – are they full of glitter? Or spiked like Louboutins?
Flowers – There is something very feminine and sweet about florals, and when you mix them into your boudoir photography session they can give a balanced sweetness to the images. If you’re looking to give these photos as a gift for your wedding, it may be a fun idea to bring in a replica bouquet of the flowers you will be holding when walking down the aisle. Pair the flowers with a white or ivory sexy lingerie outfit, and you’ve got the ultimate node to the beautiful bride.
Kink – Boudoir photography is an outlet where you can creatively bring all elements of romance into a captivating space – this includes kink. Some examples of accessories to bring into the shoot to add an element of ‘naughty’ include: handcuffs (like these tasteful cuffs from 5th House), chains or whip, and even masquerade masks.
Jewelry – Complimenting and finishing any type of outfit, jewelry is a must wear when styling or piecing together an ensemble. The fun with jewelry is you can vary in style, finishes, and stones, all of which reflect directly on your personal style or the direction you wish to take the shoot.
For example, if wanting to focus on a portrait (or face) shot, wear a big bold earring (preferably with stones) to add an extra element and twinkle to the shot. It’s also important to learn your body’s tone to best match your jewelry. If you tend to be cool toned, silver would look better against your skin. If warm tone, golds, and rose golds would look better against your skin.
Hair Combs & Clips – Finally (and the last accessory on our list), the jewelry for our hair! No matter your style or the cut, hair accessories can add both a beautiful and whimsical element to your boudoir photography session. A different assortment of hair accessories could be: headbands, clips, decorative combs, and even tiaras (if you feel like being a princess).
Additionally, your hair color can also impact the choices you make with your hair accessories. Just like jewelry on our skin, the tones in our hair can impact which colors look yay or nay. For those with warmer tones (think brunette and redheads) gold accents or warm fall colors look best. For individuals with blonde and black hair, silvers and cool pastels tend to look nicely together.
What Your Wardrobe Color Choice Says About You
Believe it or not, the color we wear during our boudoir photography shoot can say a lot about us as well express who we are to others. The three traditional colors chosen for lingerie in boudoir are: red, black, and white. Each of these colors means something different, and even men have something to say about how they perceive color as well (if looking to give for a gift).
Red – There’s a reason why dating blogs suggest wearing a red top on a first date? Why because scientifically it makes you appear more confident. In a study performed at a University in Germany, it was proven that men were more likely to sit next to women wearing a red shirt versus the other colored tops in a bar – meaning men are more drawn to a woman in red.
Black – Don’t let red have all the fun, while not appearing as bold, black holds a significant amount of power when it comes to lingerie. In a lingerie study performed in the United Kingdom, researchers found that black was the color significantly preferred by men (more than any other color – including red).
White – Iconically seen as innocent and pure, white is a great color to add to your boudoir shoot (especially if shooting images as a wedding gift for your hubby). The traditional clean color can also help compliment and bring out any warm tones in your skin to give you a beautiful end look.
Share us your thoughts below. How have you found the perfect outfit for your photography session? Check out our recent article here if you need to find a photography studio rental for your upcoming session.