The foolproof guide to shopping for your boudoir photoshoot
Alright, you’ve officially booked your session, now it’s time to must-have items for boudoir photo shoot. Unless you have a career as a burlesque dancer or stage actress, you prooooobably don’t wear garters on a regular basis. So it’s no surprise if you’re unsure which style to buy. You’re in the majority, don’t worry!
From our years of experience, we’ve learned a few tricks of the trade. Now it’s time to divulge our secrets.
These are insider tips for what to bring to your boudoir photoshoot:
- Heels: First of all, let’s get this out of the way, you do NOT need to bring heels. If you’re a flats-only or no shoes at all, barefoot kinda gal, that’s ok with us. But for those who embrace a high-heel, we recommend a classic black or nude pump. We’re particularly keen on one with a pointed toe because it elongates the leg. Why a nude or black pump, you ask? From one shoe lover to another, we understand the inclination for the hottest trend on the market (hello studded Valentino’s), but unless you plan to do a boudoir session every year for the rest of your life (which is cool with us) a neutral stiletto os a versatile and timeless choice. They’ll go with anything without being distracting.
- Bras: Here’s our most important piece of advice when it comes to a bra, buy one that fits. Second, (a close second), bring one with support. The first should be obvious, but frankly, it’s kinda tricky to nail the right size. Nordstrom or Victoria’s Secret offer complimentary fittings to all their customers. As for our second nugget of wisdom, it comes from a good place. You’re going to be lying down a lot during your session, so you’ll want something to keep the girls tucked in nicely. For more on this matter, check out our article on finding the perfect lingerie for your body type.
- Bodysuit: Along the same line as this, when it comes to bodysuits or slips, if you happen to be well-endowed up top, look for pieces with built-in support or shapewear material like Pinsy’s shapewear line. Kelly actually did plenty of research in this area when she did her boudoir shoot and came across a unique piece from UK-based line & Other Stories. Unfortunately, they no longer carry the exact piece, but it can be an inspiration for something similar.The goal is to find something that will lift the girls and help define your waist. Items with detailing at your real waist are also wonderful for further highlighting and even creating the illusion of a waist. Just keep in mind, you’re going to be moving quite a bit during your boudoir photo shoot, so you’ll want to make sure you’re garments are doing their job and shaping you.
- Underwear: This is quite personal, and to be honest, it might depend on who’s on the receiving end of your pictures. But we’ll add a few qualifications to consider.
- If you have tan lines, we recommend more coverage or opting for a spray or self-tanner to blend them a bit. Those with cellulite (you and me both) don’t let this be a deciding factor, we’ll take care of you there if you’re self-conscious of your dimples.
- For those with booty envy, aka flatter bums, play it up with a thong or bikini style.
- When it comes to buying thongs, go with this:
- Not this: The first is almost universally more flattering. Often times lingerie sets come with a v-string. Do yourself a favor and buy something separate to go with the top.
- Layers: Having an outer option is a great way to add variety to your session and also gives you something to do in your images (like casually slipping it off). A silk or lace robe is lovely. A white shirt is our favorite and most popular layer. There’s something super irresistible about a lady in a button-down shirt for boudoir photos. It works on so many levels, not just in creating visual interest, but also in the subtle messaging it makes to the viewer.
- Jewelry: When it comes to jewelry for your boudoir session, we often say, “less is more.” Your lingerie and form should be the shining feature of these pictures. We recommend sticking to small, timeless pieces in gold or silver with pearls or sparkle. There are of course exceptions to every rule. We’ve seen clients layer necklaces (example below) effectively and it’s been quite the moment. To maintain a pleasing balance when opting for a statement jewelry look, keep everything else simple and understated. Another example of this is a body chain. They are so, so good when done right. Try wearing one with nothing up top or peeking beneath a layer.
- Garters: No elastic, please! This might seem counterintuitive, but if you’re going all out, forget the elastic and let the clips do the work. This ensures no unwanted bulging around the top band like this. If, however, you can’t find a pair that works for you without the elastic, try a brand designed with this in mind. It’s a bit of a splurge, but Wolford has a line that we really love:
- Water: No joke, a boudoir session can be quite the workout. Stay hydrated and get ahead of your sore muscles the next day!
For more style and prep tips for your boudoir session, send us an email and we’ll share our exclusive style guide pdf. You can also check out this birthday boudoir post with a list of some of our favorite boudoir props.