Ask a photographer, Boudoir, Tips and advice

Ask a Photographer: What to Wear for Your Boudoir Session

what to wear for your boudoir session yuliya rae photography

After shooting dozens of boudoir sessions, I can confidently tell you what works very well as an outfit for a boudoir session and what does not. If you Google ‘what to wear for boudoir session’, you will get countless articles with images that include everything from a sexy football uniform outfit to women wearing nothing at all. Of course, what you wear depends on both your comfort level and what makes you feel sexy, not someone else on the internet.

My style of boudoir is classic and elegant which means I discourage women to wear items that will look dated in a year or two. I am one to discourage uniforms, dress up outfits and play boy bunny ears. Why? Because I am a strong believer that a woman doesn’t need to wear a mask or a costume to showcase her playful and sexy side.

With that being said, here are outfits I highly recommend my clients look into and determine whether it is something for them.

1. A classic bra and panty

Whether it is a matching set or not is up to you, what matters most here is the quality of your lingerie. Choose silk and lace over stretched-out cotton and old polyester. Consider shape too – both bikini and high-waisted panty type look amazing, it’s all about what shape you’d like to highlight. High-waisted panty creates a visual hour glass shape so if you want to either create or highlight that in your images – opt for that.

Yuliya Rae Seattle PNW boudoir portrait Outdoor Photographer for curvy women

2. A bodysuit

Honestly, a bodysuit is my favorite item to recommend to women for boudoir sessions. Why? It creates shape. It comes in a variety of styles: sheer, lacy, high-cut, low-cut, with cups, without cups, strapless, high-neck, you name it. Its versatility and the fact that it looks fantastic on every single woman I’ve photographed makes it a no brainer.

Yuliya Rae Seattle PNW boudoir portrait Outdoor Photographer for curvy women

3. A kimono/cardigan/overlay

An amazing way to bring your outfit to a whole new level, or create one with just one item. Looks beautiful on top of a bodysuit or a two-piece set, but stuns all on its own. Wear nothing but a lacy kimono and see how classic and elegant you look with your own choice of how much skin to expose. It’s delicate, romantic and timeless.

Yuliya Rae Seattle PNW boudoir portrait Outdoor Photographer for curvy women

4. White sheet/nothing at all

There are so many creative ways to photograph a white sheet or fine art nude type imagery. It’s all about sensuality and suggestion, and the result makes you feel like a goddess. Consider a white sheet/implied nude imagery if you want to push yourself beyond lingerie.

5. A well-fitted solid color t-shirt 

Why does this look work so well? Because it’s simple. Note that there is no colorful print on the front of the t-shirt, no distracting elements or embellishments. It’s a solid color, no pattern, and it’s well-fitted. It makes the woman look comfortable, relaxed, yet sexy and playful. Consider a white t-shirt with a panty as a fun and playful way to depict yourself in your photos.

Yuliya Rae Seattle PNW boudoir portrait Outdoor Photographer for curvy women

6. A cozy sweater (+ optional thigh highs)

Probably my second most-favorite option after the body suit. It evokes comfort and coziness while making you look sensual. Think long oversize sweaters that expose the shoulders and legs or short cropped sweaters that show your tummy. Whichever you choose, make sure the sweater is a solid color (no busy patterns and weaves).

What to leave at home

  • A teddy/babydoll. Not a single time I have photographed one did it flatter the woman in front of me. They are shapeless, wrinkle easily and generally do more harm than good.
  • Corsets. They are tough to get on and take off and they leave strong indentations on your skin, cancelling the possibility of wearing anything else after.
  • Stuffed animals/toys. In our session the focus is you, so leave the unnecessary props at home.
  • Bows. Not in your hair, not on your lingerie.

I hope this helps you in selecting what to wear for your boudoir session. Remember – the focus is on you, so leave any unnecessary, distracting items/clothing/props at home. Focus on you, what makes you feel confident, strong and sexy and choose that. It will show in your photos and you will love the results!

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