10 Outfit Ideas for Your Boudoir Session

If you’re in need of some boudoir outfit ideas, you’ve come to the right place!
I have over a decade 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 the end to learn about my favorite lingerie brands!

 My Top 10 Boudoir Outfit Ideas

A black set of lingerie

1. Lingerie

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.

A boudoir shoot featuring a black bodysuit A boudoir photo featuring stockings and a garter belt A bustier boudoir outfit idea

2. A Button Down Shirt

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.

A boudoir shoot with a button down shirt and lingerie A boudoir shoot with a button down shirt and lingerie A boudoir shoot with a button down shirt and lingerie

A boudoir shoot with a sheer button down shirt and lingerie A boudoir shoot with a button down shirt and lingerie

3. Bed Sheets

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.

The best boudoir outfit idea is to wear your bed sheets A woman wrapped in bed sheets for her boudoir outfit

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.

A woman wearing a sweater and cozy socks for her boudoir session A boudoir session featuring a cozy pastel pink cardigan A boudoir shoot featuring a cozy cardigan and lingerie

5. Jeans & T-Shirts

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.

Jeans and a bodysuit A boudoir shoot featuring a white button down shirt and jeans

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.

One of my favorite boudoir outfit ideas is a leather jacket and black bodysuit A black blazer boudoir outfit idea A black blazer boudoir outfit idea An edgy leather jacket and black bodysuit outfit combination

7. Robes

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.

A robe brought drama to this boudoir session in Chicago A luxurious robe was a beautiful boudoir outfit idea A beautiful robe for a boudoir session

8. Swimwear

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

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.

A bridal boudoir outfit idea Woman wears a wedding veil for her boudoir session.

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

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!
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.
This is a super affordable option.
There is a physical location in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood, but I believe they sell most of their lingerie online.
I’ve had many clients wear this brand and it always photographs beautifully! This brand is also available at Nordstrom.
If you check out my Pinterest board, you’ll see a *lot* from Fleur Du Mal. Very feminine and romantic pieces.
For the gal who wants to go all in on luxury. Beautiful, sultry pieces that are one-of-a-kind.
Nordstrom – Nordstrom carries a variety of brands so this is always a good one stop shop. The Lingerie Department staff can find the perfect size and fit for you with just a quick glance. They are amazing.
All Photography By: Artistrie Co.
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.
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