When I first started doing wedding photography, I also started receiving requests to shoot boudoir…
If you’ve decided to finally get over your scruples and excuses and book a boudoir session, the next thing you need to think about is what you’re going to wear.
You want to look and feel sexy, beautiful, and cute. You also want lingerie that fits, hugging you in all of the right places and loose where you’d like a little mystery.
As a professional photographer in the Chapel Hill and Durham, NC area, I always advise my clients to bring along a few pieces:
What to wear for your boudoir session
- A one-piece (be it a bodysuit, slip, or teddy)
- A two-piece (bra/undies, garter set, corset and stockings, etc.)
- Some kind of cover-up (wrap, shawl, cardigan, etc.)
- Something fun
While you shouldn’t break the bank when you’re looking to purchase items for the shoot, it’s not a bad idea to invest in at least a couple of items. You want to have fun at your shoot, and it can be exciting to wear something new.
When considering what to purchase, think first about fit. Make sure the items you choose are not too tight. You definitely don’t want to bulge in the wrong places since it’ll be difficult to photoshop that.
Next think about color. Black always looks sexy. Solid neutrals always look good. Definitely avoid busy patterns and very bright colors.
Style comes next. The sky’s the limit with this, but a cute matching bra and panty set, high-waisted undies, corsets, bodysuits, a vintage slip, etc. all make for great choices.
Lastly, remember that things that aren’t lingerie can also be great things to wear. Like your husband’s shirt, his favorite team’s jersey, or a simple camisole.
If you’re wanting to purchase actual lingerie items, though, here are some of the best and most reasonably priced stores and websites to check out:
My clients have raved about Aerie mostly because they do not airbrush any of their photos, and their models have realistic bodies. You can get a great idea of how you might actually look in their items because you’re seeing real women wear their clothes.
Not only that, their pieces are adorable and affordable. A bralette with its matching panty would be a great purchase idea.
The Cacique Intimates line which is sold through Lane Bryant caters to plus size women (36C+ for bras and 14-28 for undies). Their “sexy lingerie” section has everything from mesh and lace babydoll, balconettes, hip slips, to pasties. Every piece is gorgeous and will hug you in all of the right ways.
Boux Avenue has a slew of stunning options for a wide range of body types. You can get anything from matching lingerie sets to everyday casual items to seriously hot. They also have a wide array of sexy cover-ups.
They have so many options that you could seriously spend hours considering all of the different delicious items you could get or surprise your partner with once your shoot is done.
When you think of lingerie, it’s doubtful you think of H&M, but they actually have a surprising number of pieces that would work perfectly for a shoot. Everyday bra and panty options as well as bodysuits, lacy slips, garter belts.
It’s also not a bad idea to consider getting an oversized shirt while you’re there since something falling off your shoulders and a pair of simple panties could be seriously sexy for the boudoir session.
The price point at H&M is fantastic too!
Like Boux Avenue, you could get lost for hours perusing all of the options at this site. Yandy absolutely has every item you could hope for, from babydoll to waist cinchers. Depending on your comfort level, you could go with anything from a bodysuit to fishnets. All that matters is that you’re comfortable and feel sexy in it.
Nasty Gal is one of the most reasonably priced ones on this list. They have frequent sales, so they’re definitely one you should check out. While they have a lot of staple pieces, they also have several unique pieces, like some beautiful floral or lace patterns, and some bodysuits that stand out as wholly different from what you could find in the other stores.
Also consider picking up a pair of cute socks or heels. It’s easy to forget these items when you’re thinking of just what’s covering your naughty bits, but socks and heels can go a long way to accentuating your look.
While you may be familiar with Lovehoney because of its sale of “novelty” toys, they actually have a fabulous collection of lingerie for women of all shapes and sizes. They also, unlike several of the other websites/stores, have sexy costumes (maybe a naughty nurse?) and wet look pieces (lingerie that looks as if it was wet).
If you’re looking for sleek and comfy, Urban Outfitters is your fit. They make cute and practical pieces that you can choose to make as sexy as you like. Think about getting a simple thong and pairing it with a cami or bra top. If you’re looking for something a little different, also consider getting a romper or playing with getting something baggy that you could pair with something tight.
When preparing for your boudoir session, remember to find things you know you’ll love to put on. You’re either doing this session for a special someone or to celebrate yourself, so feeling comfortable and sexy has to come first. Beyond that, try to push a little outside of your comfort zone. Yes, being almost nude in front of a photographer is likely out of your comfort zone, but consider purchasing something that’s a little…daring. Something you can barely believe you’d wear. That’ll make your session, and the resulting photos, even more amazing for both you and whoever’s lucky enough to be on the receiving end of them!
Daniel Turbert is a philanthropist, president of a non-profit, and published photographer who runs a commercial photography studio near Chapel Hill, NC for headshots and fine art portraits.