Photoshoots, Style Tips

What Not to Wear For Your Boudoir Photoshoot

July 8, 2024

I’m Abby!.
I'm a certified & published fashion stylist located in Silicon Valley with speciality in personal styling, color analysis and runway, commercial, and editorial styling.

Hi, I’m Liza from Bay Area Boudoir: the premier women’s portraiture studio in San Jose! Today I’m excited to share a bit of insight from many years photographing boudoir on how to make the best wardrobe decisions leading up to your boudoir photoshoot. At my studio, I’m a big believer in creating a safe, creative space for women to show up authentically and celebrate themselves, their bodies, and their sensuality. For this reason, I don’t have hard and fast rules on  what not to wear for your boudoir photoshoot, except that you should wear whatever you feel the most amazing in. That said, here are some tips I can give which can hopefully inform your decision-making as you pick what to wear for your shoot! 

What you should not wear to your shoot:

  1. Something that’s not your size. This one is so important I could stop right there and not even finish the list! Many of us, myself included, fluctuate in weight, size and shape throughout our lives. A boudoir photoshoot is all about celebrating who you are today, as opposed to some past version or a future possibility. All that to say, don’t try to squeeze into something from a few seasons (years, maybe decades?) ago just because it’s on hand. Make sure what you are wearing fits and supports you as you are today. 
  1. Something that covers instead of flattering. I find a lot of my clients who are less confident about parts of their body want to cover up by wearing full coverage bodysuits, boxy robes, etc. Now, if it’s something you love and suits your aesthetic, we can definitely incorporate it or make it work with posing! But if you’re not confident about your shape, what you really want is something flattering vs something which will cover up your curves and give you a boxy look.
  1. Corsets that are too small. This is a variation of my first point which might be a bit surprising. You might be thinking: ‘aren’t corsets intended to be ultra tight and cinch you in?’ Yes! But they are also originally intended to be worn *under* other garments. When you cinch down a corset too tightly, it’s inevitable to have some unwanted spillage.You get rolls in places you don’t usually want them, specifically under your arms, on your back, and around the bottom edge of the corset. My recommendation: find a corset that looks great on you without squeezing you all the way in. Typically with corsets (and, honestly, most lingerie), a higher end item will fit better. Make sure you look at yourself in poses other than standing up as well! We do a lot of poses in the studio and very few of them are standing up — you’re often lying down, stretched out, arching, kneeling, sitting, etc. 
  1. Items that wrinkle easily. Yes, I do have a steamer available in the studio just in case, but trust me: nothing messes up the flow of a shoot quite like having to stop to steam a cotton nightgown or a badly wrinkled nurse costume. Plus, wrinkles are a tremendous pain to deal with in photoshop! Opt for a thicker, less easily wrinkled fabric.
  1. Bad self tanner. This is admittedly a bit tangential since this isn’t specifically about clothing, but it’s certainly something people put on. Self tanner stains clothing and the studio set, and risks looking splotchy if it’s the wrong shade or adheres to your skin unevenly. If you must tan, go to a professional tanning salon and always make sure to try it at least a month in advance to make sure you like the results, and don’t have any bad reactions. If all is well, then do it again a week before your shoot. 

I hope you all found my tips helpful in the process of deciding what to wear for your boudoir photoshoot, and that it gives you peace of mind leading up to the big day! Check out Wardrobe Stylist Abby Young’s feature in my own guest blog for professional tips on How to Accessorize For Your Boudoir Photoshoot. If you have any questions and want to learn more about booking your own boudoir photoshoot, feel free to contact me at I look forward to meeting you!

Liza Head is the owner and lead photographer of Juniper Spring Photography and Bay Area Boudoir – She has been helping women celebrate every stage of life with photos for over 10 years.

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