10 Outfit Ideas for Your Boudoir Session

Boudoir photographer, Ashley Biess, shares a boudoir outfit guide complete with suggestions and tips for a fun, successful boudoir session. All photos by Artistrie Co.

If you’re in need of some boudoir outfit ideas, you’ve come to the right place!

I have over 15 years of experience working as a boudoir photographer and I wanted to compile a boudoir wardrobe guide that features my absolute favorite clothing items to photograph. Many of these ideas are items you may already have in your closet which means no shopping required.

Read all the way through to learn about my favorite lingerie brands and pieces!

 My Top 10 Boudoir Outfit Ideas

Boudoir outfit ideas

1. Lingerie

Tried & True Lingerie Wardrobe Staples:
Bluebella Natalia Bodysuit in Black | Fleur Du Mal Satin Bullet Bodysuit – Black & Pink | Thigh High Stockings by Cosabella | Fleur Du Mal Bella Embroidery Cutout Bra | Fleur Du Mal Satin Bra | Fleur Du Mal Satin Bottoms | La Perla Wrap Bodysuit in Ivory | Fleur Du Mal Bustier in Ivory | Fleur Du Mal Black Lace Bustier |

Of all boudoir outfit ideas, lingerie is the the first people think of. This is the most common clothing women choose to wear for their boudoir sessions, and for good reason! Lingerie is sexy, skin-barring and fun. Most of my clients feel like they are playing the adult version of “dress up” when they wear it. 

There are a multitude of lingerie styles suited for every body type. My number 1 favorite lingerie piece is the bodysuit. Bodysuits are universally flattering on all women. If you’ve never worn one, I highly recommend giving it a try. 

Two piece sets (bras & panties) are another very popular lingerie option that nearly every one of my clients brings. Pro tip: look for high waisted bottoms. I swear, high waisted anything looks great on everyone. The higher waistline draws the eye upward to give the illusion of longer legs, and as a bonus can conceal any insecurities around the tummy area. 

Other lingerie styles to consider include corsets, bustiers, slips, garter belts and stockings. The only lingerie style I usually don’t recommend is the babydoll. Babydolls are fitted to the bust and flare away through the midsection, which can make women appear to be wider than they actually are. If your body style is very straight and narrow, a babydoll could help give you the illusion of curves, if that’s what you are hoping for.

2. A Button Down Shirt

Beautiful Button Down Shirts:
White Sleep Shirt | Linen Beach Cover Up Shirt | Sheer Black Button Down

My ultimate favorite boudoir wardrobe piece is the classic button down shirt. I prefer these in soft, somewhat sheer fabrics to allow light to pass through in photos. Linen is a very popular choice and photographs beautifully. 

When it comes to color, white is a very classic choice. Color can work well too, just make sure it coordinates with your lingerie. 

When it comes to button down shirts, I always, always, always recommend wearing items that are sized for women and not men. Men’s shirts are typically very rigid and stiff, are sized way too large and in my opinion do not photograph well for boudoir.

3. Bed Sheets

Favorite Bed Sheets:
Great for at home sessions or for photographers looking to stock their studios
Brooklinen in White

Okay, this isn’t exactly an item hanging in your closet…or maybe it is? One of my all-time favorite boudoir looks involves zero clothing and only bed sheets. Most of my clients still end up wearing lingerie (typically a nude set of undies and a strapless bra) but the idea is to give the illusion of nudity while you are tangled up in the sheets.

Of all my boudoir outfit ideas, I love this idea for EVERYONE. And as long as your shoot location has a bed, you don’t even need to bring anything.

4. Cozy Sweaters & Cardigans

For an effortless, cozy style, consider wearing a soft sweater or cardigan. You can pair these wardrobe items with a set of lingerie or just the bottoms. 

With sweaters, it’s important to find something that doesn’t appear bulky. Try to find a sweater that can drape over your shoulder to show off some skin or a cardigan that crops to your waistline.

5. Jeans & T-Shirt

A boudoir outfit idea including denim jeans

This two-for-one idea is another absolute favorite combination! You can start by wearing jeans, a t-shirt and your undergarments. From there, you can mix it up by wearing only your undies and a t-shirt or just your jeans and a bra. You can wear jeans and go topless. 

This is a very natural, effortless style that you can pull directly out of your closet without shopping. If you want your boudoir look to appear understated and subtle, I’d highly recommend considering these items.

6. Blazers & Jackets

A fitted blazer, leather or denim jacket can create an incredibly edgy, sexy look. You can wear any style jacket with simply a pair of bottoms. This can give the illusion of nudity without showing actually anything. 

My absolute favorite way to utilize a black blazer is by pairing it with a sheer or lace black bodysuit. This idea screams French girl aesthetic which I LOVE.

7. Robes

Chic Robes:
Whimsical & Dramatic Tulle Robe | Long Chic Robe | A Simple Kimono

A robe or kimono for boudoir works well for so many good reasons. Pairing a robe with your lingerie can be a great place to start your shoot, especially if you feel a little nervous about baring it all in front of the camera. 

And don’t forget to bring the drama with your robe! Find a robe that is as exciting as your lingerie. I personally love a long robe with tulle or lace or applique details.

8. Swimwear

A bathtub boudoir photo at the Nobu Hotel in Chicago

Sultry Swimwear:
La Perla When Summer Comes Wireless Bandeau Bra | La Perla When Summer Comes Brazilian Brief | Maygel Coronel Two Piece | Sheer Navy Dress / Swim Cover Up |

Even if you’re not heading to the beach, swimwear has its moments and can be an unexpected boudoir outfit idea. If your shoot location has a fun bathtub or shower room, swimwear will allow you to get under the water which will take your shoot to a whole other level. 

You can stage your own luxurious bubble bath while wearing a set of swimwear (preferably with a strapless top to give the illusion of nudity), with your hair pulled back while sipping on a glass of champagne with candles glowing around you.

9. Wedding Veil

A Stylish, Affordable Veil:
Cathedral Length Tulle Wedding Veil

For bridal boudoir sessions, consider a wedding veil. A wedding veil has a distinctly bridal, romantic look that can feel soft and airy in photos. I personally love veils because they add a layer of texture and movement. 

If you’re going to wear a veil, plan on all white, neutral or pastel colors for your lingerie and I highly recommend finding a cathedral length style. Instead of using your own, borrow  a used veil from a friend. That way, you don’t have to stress about it getting dirty, wrinkled, or possibly ripped.

10. Nothing At All

A boudoir session is all about feeling confident in your own skin, so if you really want to go all out, you can always wear nothing at all. 

In my opinion, the best nude boudoir photos showcase the female form in an artful, beautiful way. For those who want more of an “implied nude” look, there are dozens of posing options that allow you to be naked without revealing too much. 

I always prefer my clients to give me notice if they’d like to capture fine art nudes so that I can prepare them ahead of time to make sure they feel 100% comfortable and safe.

My Favorite Lingerie Brands & Stores

After people ask me what to wear, the next question usually is about where to shop. There are many options out there, but I’m listing a few of my absolute favorites below. I hope this boudoir wardrobe guide has been helpful!

Dora Larsen

Dora Larsen has gorgeous, colorful pieces that are vibrant, fun and cheeky. If you have a bold, bright style, I recommend shopping here.

Honey Birdette

Incredibly sultry, sexy pieces for those who want to bring the drama to their photos.

A Girl and a Serious Dream

For those who dream of whimsical, feminine and romantic boudoir photos, A Girl and a Serious Dream is worth looking into. Their pieces are simply one-of-a-kind and stunning. While it’s a bit of a splurge, this dreamy french lingerie set is one of my absolute favorites!


I’ve had many clients wear this brand and their pieces always photograph beautifully! It’s at a great, affordable price point. This brand is also available at Nordstrom.


For those local to Chicago, Journelle has a location right here in Chicago at 1725 N Damen Ave in Bucktown. This can be a great option if you prefer to shop in person vs. online. They always have a great selection!

Fleur Du Mal

If you check out my Pinterest board, you’ll see a *lot* from Fleur Du Mal. Very feminine, fun, luxurious and romantic pieces. I especially love the amount of beautiful and unique color they feature. This is great for the gal looking for something a little bit different.

Agent Provocateur

For the gal who wants to go all in on luxury. Beautiful, sultry pieces that are one-of-a-kind. Everything from Agent Provocateur is incredibly high end and the quality and structure is worth the splurge.


Cosabella is one of the most popular brands my clients wear and for good reason. Their pieces are beautiful, well structured and they offer inclusive sizing for all body types.

YSE Paris

I absolutely adore YSE! It’s that effortlessly chic Parisian boudoir vibe. Please note this is an international brand so please check return policies and shipping timeframes before placing an order.


Anthropologie sells whimsical, romantic pieces that can be purchased online or in store. I simply love their selection! It’s worth a visit to their website. Be sure to check out their robes too! They usually have a great selection.

Adore Me

This is a super affordable option with beautiful selections of lingerie.


Nordstrom carries a variety of amazing lingerie brands so this is always a good one stop shop, especially for those who’d prefer to try on items in person vs ordering online. The Lingerie Department staff can find the perfect size and fit for you with just a quick glance. They are amazing.

Boudoir Outfit Guide Essentials

A few favorite items & garments that I recommend frequently to my clients!

A Sheer White Sleep Shirt – A must for any boudoir session.

Bluebella Natalia Bodysuit in Black – A fairly inexpensive but beautiful lace bodysuit. This is an Artistrie Co. client favorite! See if you can spot it in photos found in this post. 😉

Fleur Du Mal Satin Bullet Bodysuit – One of my favorite bodysuits for an ultra glam style. Available in black and rose pink.

Jergens Ultra Healing Body Lotion – Any body lotion will do, but I personally love this drugstore brand. I highly recommend applying lotion to your skin twice a day (morning and night) starting about 2 weeks before your shoot. Your skin is the star of the show, after all!

Eye Masks – An under eye mask, like these by Wander Beauty, can be great to have on hand and apply the morning of your session, especially if you didn’t get quite enough sleep. They’ll help brighten and reduce puffiness underneath your eyes.

A Simple Kimono Robe for Your Hair & Makeup Appointment – I recommend packing a simple cover up to wear during your hair and makeup appointment. A robe like this won’t leave any marks or impressions in your skin.

A Long Dramatic Robe – For your session, bring a robe to wear in photos that has some drama, like this one!

Thigh High Stockings – An essential for a glamorous, chic look.

I hope these boudoir outfit ideas inspired you! Please email me at ashley@artistrieco.com or drop a comment below if you have any questions. I’m always happy to help! Thanks for reading.


Have a question?

Reach out to Ashley today and let's start planning the perfect photography experience for your wedding, boudoir or portrait session.

Email: ashley@artistrieco.com