What to wear for a boudoir shoot

May 6, 2023

Are you looking for inspiration on what to wear for an upcoming boudoir shoot? Planning outfits is an exciting stage! Or, are you thinking about booking a portrait session but are hesitating because you’re unsure about what you would wear?

If your answer to either of those questions is YES, then keep reading for inspiration and ideas. I’m going to share lots of valuable tips and examples so you’ll soon have tons of boudoir photography outfit ideas!

Boudoir’ is a French word which literally means a ladies’ private dressing room. This is why in a boudoir shoot, typically women are photographed in a bedroom setting – real or one setup within a photography studio. Boudoir sets are usually complete with a large and stylish bed and other elegant bedroom furniture, furnishings and props.

Related reading: What is boudoir photography?

Boudoir photography outfit ideas

A boudoir photoshoot is an empowering experience for a woman. It’s a chance to express her inner self and beauty in a sensual, private manner. The clothing worn in a boudoir shoot is therefore incredibly important.

Your boudoir outfits are a crucial element to the overall story and should reflect the real you, conveying your unique personality and style. For example, if you have a penchant for leopard print or simply adore lace, then naturally you should choose lingerie and clothing that incorporates those.

Ultimately, whatever styles you love are what you should wear for a boudoir shoot. Your boudoir outfits should reflect the real you!  

Related reading: Beautiful plus-size boudoir photography

Must you wear lingerie in a boudoir shoot?

Many women do choose to wear lingerie for their boudoir photoshoot; however, this is not essential!

More importantly, you should choose what to wear for boudoir pictures based on what makes you feel beautiful and sexy! If this is lingerie, then fine. If not, and you’d prefer something a little less revealing, that also is fine.

You can feel sexy in an oversized shirt, a snuggle jumper or when wrapped in faux fur. It needn’t be the case that you should wear lingerie to your boudoir shoot.

Related reading: How to prepare for a boudoir photography session

Choose boudoir outfits that make you feel incredible!

Remember that the boudoir photo shoot day is a day about you. Nothing but YOU. It is a day you focus on pampering and expressing yourself.

You may choose to pick favourite pieces from your existing wardrobe or go shopping for new pieces ahead of your boudoir shoot day. Either way, make sure you bring along a selection of outfits and clothing options that are quintessentially you.

Of course, you can also bring along items that are a bit racier – perhaps something that you have always wanted to try out but you haven’t found the occasion to wear. A boudoir photography session is the perfect time to get imaginative and adventurous!

Dress to feel beautiful

Related reading: How long does a boudoir photo shoot last?

What to wear for a boudoir shoot

Now, let’s get onto the examples of boudoir outfits and my suggestions of what to wear for a boudoir shoot….

Classic Boudoir Photography Outfit Ideas

Bra and briefs

As I’ve already mentioned, classic boudoir often incorporates lingerie wear, typically including a bra with briefs set, or G-strings.

Whether you are into lace or other types of fabric, it is important to match your bra and pants and wear them as a set for the best overall look.

In terms of colours, white, black and red are classics that work for almost everybody. However, if you are fond of colours such as mint green, dark green, pink, burgundy and blue etc., most colours would like these work for a boudoir shoot.

**Just let me know in advance what colours you are thinking of wearing so that I can make sure my set and style for the shoot match their lingerie choices.**

Skin-coloured lingerie can also be useful for those near-nude shots. Please note though that nude lingerie that is too close to your skin tone may not suit if you have fair skin.

In terms of fabric choices, you could opt for a simple, plain fabric or one with an intricate pattern or print since these tend to work well on camera. 

The next question when it comes to classic bra and briefs set is, “Should I wear briefs or G-strings”? The answer to this comes down to the exposure you desire. If you would like to show off more of the curves of your hips, then choose a G-string. Otherwise, briefs look great in boudoir photos too!

The key is if choosing to wear briefs, go for either high waist (snugging on your exact waistline) or low waist options that would best accentuate your waistline.


Bodysuits tend to work for all body types and are a popular choice in boudoir photo shoots. There are more modest types and more seductive styles available.

One of the many reasons why bodysuits are so popular in boudoir photography is that they give extra support and definition to the body. They cover up body parts you may not wish to expose. They also create additional visual interest through details of the garment.

Robes and dressing gowns

Robes, whether in see-through or solid colour materials, can be worn on their own or be teamed with other lingerie to create versatile looks and layers. They help with the storytelling and give a nod to the early morning waking hours.


Corsets originated in the Victorian era as female underwear, forming the garment structure to give women’s fashion their form. They accentuated the female curves by narrowing in the waistline and creating hourglass shapes in female bodies.

Some corsets now of course can also double as outerwear. Often featuring intricate lacing or hooks on the back. They may be a bit more cumbersome to put on but nevertheless, they can look fabulous! Remember, I – as your boudoir photographer – can always help you put it on and adjust if necessary.


Like bodysuits, slips are firm favourites among women of all ages for boudoir photography sessions. They create a slightly more modest, more free-flowing yet feminine and soft look.


I have to say wrapping my female clients in bedsheets is one of my favourite looks as a boudoir photographer! It is also a firm favourite among my clients.

Crisp white bedsheets give you a sultry yet effortless look. Think Marilyn Monroe for her infamous in-between bedsheets look by Douglas Kirkland.

Alternative outfit ideas for your boudoir shoot

It’s important to realise that if the classic boudoir attire is not your style, there are still lots of options. You can think beyond your lingerie drawer. It’s entirely possible to wear something from your everyday wardrobe if you’d prefer. There truly are no limits on what to wear for a boudoir shoot. Remember, make it reflect you!

A classic oversized shirt

A classic white shirt is a great boudoir outfit. It can be one of yours or your partners’ (shhh, we’ll tell him later)!

What’s great about this boudoir outfit staple is that we can let it hang comfortably and loosely on your body and either button it up loosely or leave it unbuttoned. It can be oversized or just a slightly loose fit on you, the two giving a slightly different look and feel.

Oversized jumper & cardigans

Similarly, oversized jumpers and cardigans create effortless chic. They give a soft edge to that sultry look. The texture is the key here and adds all-important visual interest. In your boudoir photos, I often encourage my female clients to choose knitwear that they can twirl around their fingers and feel their softness.

Cropped top

Cropped tops require no introduction. Short, fitted cropped tops can look great in boudoir pictures because they emphasise your waistline, revealing your tummy while creating a confident and fashionable look. They aren’t for everyone, but if you have the confidence then why not?!

Tanked tops/tees

Much like the classic white shirt, the simple white t-shirt is also a great item to have among your boudoir outfit choices if you’re not going to wear lingerie. They give you that effortlessly chic and timeless look. Pair them with simple briefs or shorts for that “I just get out of bed like this” look.


Tailored jackets, coats and blazers look incredible on their own or with lingerie wear. They give a striking masculine contrast to the femininity of your lingerie or female body. They can be oversized or fitted depending on the look you’re hoping to achieve.


A classic pair of jeans, worn with bras or simply topless can evoke that Kate Moss/Calvin Klein Jeans inspired fashion-led vibe. I have to say that the latter is a favourite look for my boudoir photo shoots!

Football shirts

Another clothing item which works brilliantly in the boudoir is a football shirt, and many ladies choose to wear their partner’s favourite football shirt in their boudoir photos to create a special portrait for their other half!

Of course, football shirts needn’t be that of your partners – you may love football yourself and have your favourite shirt that you’d like to wear to your boudoir shoot. If it’s special to you, then certainly bring it along to your session!


I’m often asked whether pyjamas are a sensible choice of clothing for boudoir photo shoots. The answer is always yes, but I would suggest breaking the pyjama set into parts; either wear your pyjama top or bottoms, not the complete set.

Bridal Boudoir Outfit Ideas

A bridal boudoir shoot is a popular session among engaged women who are keen to create a very special wedding present for their partner. Beautiful and sensual bridal boudoir portraits, presented to your bride or groom on the day of your wedding, can be a fantastic surprise and keepsake.

I recommend that you wear, for your bridal boudoir photo shoot, any of the above-mentioned items. That said, in most bridal boudoir shoots, the clothing is bridal white or ivory to tie in with the bridal theme.

Related reading: Why invest in bridal boudoir pictures?

Bridal white clothing and accessories

I always suggest boudoir clients who are brides-to-be bring along bridal accessories such as their bridal veil, wedding shoes, and perhaps even their wedding dress. All of these can become part of your wedding-themed boudoir shoot, in harmony with your white bridal lingerie. 

Other wedding accessories which you could consider bringing along, and which could be a fun addition to your bridal boudoir photo shoot, are props such as part of your partner’s wedding outfit. For example, something that they will be wearing on the wedding day, or something related to their interests and hobbies, or that has meaning to you as a couple would be ideal.

What to wear to a maternity boudoir photoshoot 

Another key milestone in life is pregnancy, and I offer maternity boudoir sessions for those ladies who wish to capture their pregnancy journey in a non-traditional way.

A maternity boudoir photo shoot is an intimate way to record the changes to your body and capture its beautiful curves during this very special period in your life.


As with a classic boudoir photography session, a bra is a popular choice for a maternity boudoir look.

When choosing your maternity bra, make sure you have enough support in your lingerie wear as your sizes possibly vary from your normal size.

You can choose from different fabrics, whether it be lace or more comfortable materials that give you better support and coverage.


Bandeaus are a popular alternative to bras since they give a more contemporary look which is maybe what you’re after in your pregnancy boudoir photos.


I love the open jeans look for pregnancy boudoir shoots. They emphasise the woman’s growing belly while still making mums look fashionable!


Fabric is a great way to accessorise during a maternity photo shoot. Long drapes of beautiful coloured fabrics give lots of movement and a sense of romance, and they cover the key private parts while leaving the pregnant lady’s tummy on show for the photos.

Nude or naked boudoir photography

Fine art nude boudoir photography, in which you are fully or semi-naked, is a great way to express the beauty of your female body and that you are comfortable in your own skin.

If you want to go for the half-naked or implied nude boudoir photo shoot, your options would be to wear only the lower half of your lingerie or to cover yourself in fabric or other clothing items.

Do you feel inspired by this option?

Related reading: The art of nude boudoir photography

Boudoir accessories

Now we’ve covered clothing options, let’s not forget accessories. There are endless options when it comes to accessories for boudoir shoots, examples being:

  • Suspenders and garters
  • Stockings
  • High heels
  • Gloves
  • Jewellery
  • Hats
  • Your hobby items
  • His hobby items

Some of these accessories can take centre stage in your photoshoot and be used in lieu of clothing, and they can form key pieces in your implied nude photos.

Boudoir shoot outfit ideas

A boudoir photoshoot is an empowering experience. Hopefully, the examples and tips I have shared here have inspired you to think about the possibilities for your own boudoir portrait session, and made you realise that anything goes!

Now it is your time to go through your wardrobe (and possibly your partner’s) in search of boudoir photo shoot clothing items and props! Please visit my boudoir photography gallery for other photos and ideas on what to wear for a boudoir shoot.

I would always suggest that you take considerable time ahead of your shoot to plan your boudoir photography outfits. As I have emphasised, the clothes you choose to wear are important as they will impact the overall look and feel of your portraits. Boudoir photography outfit ideas should therefore be chosen carefully.

Remember to enjoy this part of the boudoir photography experience. Window shopping for boudoir lingerie, clothing and accessories can be a lot of fun!  

Related reading: Frequently Asked Questions about Boudoir and Lingerie Photography

Book your boudoir shoot today

So, if you’re feeling inspired, I would love to hear from you. Contact me if you want to plan or book a boudoir photography session that will have you walking away feeling fabulous and confident about yourself!

I am an experienced London female boudoir photographer, with a passion for empowering women through creating the most stunning portraits.

If you need any more advice on what to wear for a boudoir shoot or want to run some boudoir outfit ideas by me, I am happy to help.