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  • Writer's pictureBruce Caines

10 Boudoir Don'ts--or What Not To Wear

Updated: Sep 8, 2022

panties on a clothes line

You finally got your nerve up and booked your boudoir session! You are fired up and ready to go--except now, you're freaking out. Not about how you look, but about what to wear. Well honestly, when thinking about your boudoir experience what NOT to wear is just as important.

Some women LOVE to wear lingerie, but not every woman is a lingerie girl, and that is totally okay. I tell clients all the time, deconstructed everyday wear or some sporty Calvin Klein briefs and sports bra can look just as alluring as lace. But whether you're treating yourself to a boudoir shopping spree, or shopping your closet, there are some definite "Boudoir Don'ts" Bruce Caines Photography suggests you keep in mind.

1 - Skin Tight Ain't Always Right!

There's a difference between "body conscious," "form fitting," and tight.

Form fitting is cool, but there is a line, and once that line is crossed, things can get ugly! The garments look bad, and even worse, you look bad. If the body that you want to look good is squishing out of places where it shouldn't, that's not pretty. And when you take it off in your session for your next look, it's left marks and weird ridges on your body because it was digging into your skin. Also, when clothing is too tight, you can't move naturally and comfortably. (See tip #2.) You will see that in your photos. A pretty bra that is the wrong size suddenly makes you look like you have back fat you never knew existed. So make sure your items fit well, are not overly snug, don’t dig into your skin and don't make flesh squeeze out where it shouldn't!

2 - Uncomfortable Clothes

I know it seems obvious, but in fact, it's more important than you may realize. If you've never done a boudoir session you probably have no idea how much bending and twisting and arching and flexing you will do. The garments you try on in the dressing room of the lingerie shop look great while you stand, posing seductively in front of the mirror, but it's a whole different experience when you have to lie down, prop yourself up in odd positions, and move around in it. You want to have a beautiful and natural expression on your face in your images--not one of pain and mutilation. (Unless, that's your thing!) Doing a boudoir photo shoot is a lot of work, so make sure your clothing is flexible, comfortable, roomy where it needs to be, and makes it easy to glide into those alluring poses.

3 - No Day-Glo Colors

Color is certainly okay in your outfits but the brightness of the fluorescent shades is distracting. The color of your bra should not be the focus of your photograph. This goes for your mani-pedi as well. Traffic Cone Orange is not good! Try to pick the regular color tones--even if they are vivid.

4 - Quick Change

You have a limited amount of time for your session. You don't want to spend 10 minutes getting in and out of each outfit. Pretend you're a supermodel at Fashion Week. Once you get off the runway you need to get out of the last outfit and into the next as fast as humanly possible before the music changes. Find great looks that take a couple of minutes to switch. You can always make final adjustments when you're back on set!

6 - No Costumes

What not to wear?? Just say no to costumes! If you are looking for a theme, find wardrobe that fits that theme or can be combined to create the look you want. If you wanted to do a French maid or schoolgirl look, do not get a maid or schoolgirl Halloween costume. Most costumes are made of cheap materials and are poorly assembled. They are not fitted to your body or really designed to enhance your lines--no matter how hot the model looks on the package.

7 - Don't Get All The Same Look

Even if you do every shot on the same background or set during your session, you must mix up the style of your wardrobe. In your photos you will end up with very different looks. A t-shirt and briefs in front of a wall looks very different from a lacy bra and panty set. They also make you FEEL different when you wear them.

Have a variety of items in your selection. Do not choose all bra & panty sets or all lace items. Mix styles, colors and garment types. Consider bodysuits, slips, chemises in addition to bra & panty sets. Also, when reviewing what you brought to your session, we may mix and match with combinations you hadn't thought of!

Bunch of similar bras

8 - Curvy Girl Tip

Avoid outfits that have a lot of extra flowing fabric. Baby dolls are a really great item to wear for your photo shoot but just make sure there’s not an excess of fabric – it can sometimes make you look larger than you are and hide the curves you want to show! Opt for baby dolls that provide some coverage to the body but don’t go overboard by making it look like a dress.

Body suits are amazing for creating lines, accentuating the right curves and minimizing your middle if it's not your favorite part, without making you look like you're hiding something. Also, don't be afraid of the sheer bodysuit. It's a good thing for anyone to bring to a boudoir shoot.

9 - Tips for Small Busted Women

Do not bring a padded bra that gives you a cup size that’s two sizes larger than you are. A quality padded bra is nice but it can be too much and can look very unnatural in the photos. Also, when you are laying on your back in a photo, you can easily look even smaller as your breast flattens out on your chest and no longer fills the bra. Now you look like you're too small to fill the bra and even less endowed than you did without it.

A lacy or soft bra with a little underwire support is more likely to surround and move with your breast than a padded bra. And that's more alluring than an empty looking bra with a big void in it!

padded bra to large for bust

10 - Tips for Bustier Women

If your breasts need support, wear outfits that provide that support. For example – if you want to wear a bodysuit, you’ll need to make sure support is built into it or you are able to wear a bra with the outfit. If your breasts need a pick me up, do it! If you don't have the proper support, you're breasts just won't have the shape you want in your photos.

So now you have a few additional tools in your boudoir arsenal. When you step in front of the lens your looks and personality will shine, and your wardrobe will just put the cherry on top!

Do you have any any boudoir What Not To Wear suggestions to share? Post them in the comments below!

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