Boudoir Outfit Ideas to Light Your Fire

So you've finally booked a Boudoir photoshoot! I am SO proud of you and I can't wait to bring your vision to life! Now comes what most women find to be a tricky part, other than choosing a music playlist for the day of their Luxe Portrait Experience…and that is figuring out what to wear. 

Worry not, I've got your back. Try one of these boudoir outfit ideas to truly light your fire and show the world the badass woman you are!

Lingerie is a classic…

And for good reason!! There's something about boudoir photography that allows me to truly show women who have no fear in showing their sensuality and vulnerability.

Lingerie provides women with a voice that says "Hey, I'm bold AND sexy!" And for a lot of women, they don't really realize they need that kind of voice until they see the final results. There are also many other kinds of lingerie out there—so if one kind doesn't elevate you, another one will, and I love how that happens. It's why I'm often recommending the custom Luxe Portrait Experience.

…however, more boudoir outfit ideas exist right here

Just because lingerie is the most commonly thought of outfits to wear, it does not mean at all that you have to wear it or feel obligated to. It's YOUR photoshoot, and you have 100% choice of wearing what makes you comfortable.

Boudoir does not strictly mean lingerie is the only thing to wear, or that you HAVE to bare all for the camera (although that is an option most of my clients have ended up doing, because they realized how empowering and freeing it feels! And if you feel that way when clothed, that's awesome too!).

So, if not lingerie, then what to wear instead? How about one of these?

1. Body suits, body suits, body suits!! Did I mention body suits? Seriously, this one garment, often used by ballet dancers, moulds itself to any and every woman's body imaginable, and it does it in such a simple and modern way. It's classy, it's simple, and it 100% aligns with my photography style and brand of boudoir.

2. High-waist panties. The waist to me is an underrated and definitely underappreciated part of the body! So this clothing choice can accentuate and heighten a part of you that you may not even be aware is so beautiful to others.

3. White sheets. I'm SO in love with how simple, sensual, elegant, and freeing this one piece of material can be, not only in Boudoir photography but in ALL forms of photography, period. I have them in my studio if you're ever interested.

Stay tuned to my blog for even more saucy tips on white sheets in the future!!

4. White dress shirts that are sheer. You may think men's shirts at first, but trust me, stick to the ones for women—the last thing I want you to feel like is a marshmallow! Instead, reach for a sheer white dress shirt that is somewhat fitted and still allows us to see your form. We don't want to hide you, we want to celebrate you!

Black and white boudoir portrait of woman with tattoos. boudoir portrait studio vancouver

5. Simple strappy dresses. This is so classic, that many of us have them in our wardrobe. They are simple, elegant, and heck, they can even be a summer maxi dress made of cotton! Simple strappy dresses are also comfortable and a great way to start your shoot to help you warm up. 

6. Anything that shows off the lower back. This is another sensual part of the body that not a lot of people see or think of it as being sensual, until they see the photos afterwards! I LOVE photographing backs and shoulders, they are my fav! Sometimes we worry about back rolls, but here's the thing: all backs have some 'rolls' or back cleavage. Let's normalize that!

7. Cardigan, wrap, or sweater. These are so cozy! And they can help you feel at ease, so this is another good idea to warm up during your shoot. Make sure your favourites aren't pilly! 

8. Blazer, leather jacket, jean jacket, trench coat—all of these can have as little as you want underneath, and each one has a special way of really bringing out our attitude! And each one's style is as timeless as the last.

Still stumped? Try this: a capsule wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is a hot and trending term for a wardrobe where the clothes inside have been selected thoughtfully, while also being very interchangeable. It's designed with the purpose of maximizing the outfits you can create in your photoshoot.

To me, a capsule wardrobe should consist of clothes that are simple, consisting of a few basic key pieces that are timeless and reflect your personal style. They should definitely reduce that sense of fatigue and stress you get about decision making when it comes to your clothes for sure! 

When/if you're building this, keep in mind to stay away from "dressing up", in the sense that you're not being yourself, or true to yourself. I've heard many women talk about how they've seen boudoir photography and they assume that they NEED to wear a certain outfit, which is completely BS!! 

Can I bring my own props?

See, I do get this question a lot, and it's a hard one to answer for sure. Because the last thing I want you to do before your big photoshoot is to get too off track with a bunch of elaborate ideas.

There's a great reason why simplicity is best. Focusing on things other than you draws people away from you, the subject. Like, do you want people to see you as a work of art (which yes, I CAN make that happen), or do you want people to see the props you're using? I think you know which answer you want, deep down.

So, yes, you can bring your own ideas, so long as they will also fit with my style of simplicity being everything. As the artist who's taking your photographs for you, I need to stay in control and with the time.

Pro tip: things like balloons in the photoshoot will distract and even come across as cheesy. Something sensual and personable that means a great deal to you, such as your partner's blazer, can add to the personality of the photos in question. So, hold on the cheese, and add a dash of personality and thoughtfulness. 

And if you're still really REALLY confused about this part, I've got your back again with this Boudoir prep guide

So, ground rules (don't worry, they're really easy to follow!)

1. Keep things really simple. Simple to me = modern, chic, focusing less on elaborate extras and more on you, the beautiful subject!

2. Outfit numbers to wear should be 4-5. That's my recommendation for sure.

3. HAVE FUN! Seriously, I can't recommend this enough. This is your day, I'm simply here to create art from it all.


Photos shared with permission.

Michele Mateus is a Boudoir, Intimate Portrait & Nude Fine Art Photographer located in Coquitlam, BC. Serving Coquitlam, Vancouver, Greater Vancouver and Fraser Valley, BC. Studio, Outdoor and On-location Boudoir Photography.

Hair & Makeup By Jenny Valla.

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