outfits for boudoir: lingerie

One of the most common questions I get when planning boudoir photo sessions is “what should I wear?” The easy answer is anything and nothing. But I know that isn’t all that helpful. So this article, part one of two articles about what to wear for a boudoir photo session, focuses on lingerie.

When most women think of lingerie, they usually think of bras and panties or bodysuits, but there are plenty of other types of pretty and sexy lingerie you can wear for a boudoir photo session. And they come in a variety of sizes, including plus sizes.


Bodystockings typically, but not always, cover the legs and torso, and occasionally the arms. But don’t mistake the coverage for boring. They come in a variety of materials, such fishnet, sheer, and lace, and varying degrees of coverage, such as crotchless, strapless, cupless, elbow length, knee length, and more. Bodystockings come in a variety of sizes, including plus sizes; some come in one-size-fits-most too. Selecting a bodystocking with a perfect fit is often less complicated than selecting other lingerie items. Bodystockings are versatile. They can be worn by itself or in combinations with other lingerie and clothing pieces.

photoshoot theme ideas - staircase
Ananda - Mesh Bodysuit

Babydolls & Chemises

photoshoot theme ideas - staircase
Staircase | Alissa

Looking like short nightgowns, there are subtle differences. Chemises normally have a snugger fit and hug the body, hitting around mid-thigh. Babydolls are a looser fit, have a shorter hemline and often have cups for extra support. Thanks to dress-like cuts, both babydolls and chemises play up bust and hips, drawing attention to the waist. They are available in a variety of cuts and materials. Wear alone or combine them with other pieces of lingerie for a unique look.

Chemise (Photo: Spicy Lingerie)
Chemise | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE


Bodysuits come in a variety of materials from solid and opaque, to lace covering the naughty bits, to sheer and racy. They can come with or without cutouts, including crotchless. Many offer closure (snaps) They offer some shaping and smoothing as well as some bust support.

While bodysuits can often be worn in public with other clothing, like jeans, teddies are strictly for the boudoir. They typically come in sheer and lace materials, plunging necklines, revealing cutouts, and more. Since they are meant to move with the body, they are quite comfortable yet make women feel gorgeous.

Bodysuit with Robe | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE
Mesh Teddy | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE

Corsets & Bustiers

Bustier | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE
Corset | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE

Corsets and bustiers have been used as both lingerie and outerwear to shape and accentuate curves. They create the classic feminine silhouette by cinching the waist and supporting the bust. If you love the look and aesthetic of a corset but want less boning and cinching, a bustier is a perfect alternative that doesn’t sacrifice style for comfort.

Garters & Garter Belts

Stephanie wearing stockings & garter belt

Originally designed to hold up stockings, garter belts are now as much, if not more so, ornamental lingerie pieces than purely functional since stockings and hosiery can stay up on their own. Many garter belts have adjustable straps so you can wear stockings of varying lengths while remaining comfortable to wear.

Lingerie Sets

For a boudoir, I often recommend getting a lingerie set for one of your outfits. You can wear them after your photo session whenever the mood strikes and you’ll feel beautiful all day long knowing what you’ve got on under that dress or jeans and a t-shirt. A well-fitted lingerie set makes you look as amazing as you feel, even if you’re the only one who sees it! Additionally, investing in a high-quality bra and underwear set that fits your body and flatters your shape will make you feel comfortable whether you’re wearing it under your outerwear or all by itself.

TK Shakur wearing a matching bra and panty set

Gowns & Robes

Short Robe/Kimono | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE
Long Robe | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE
Keyhole Cutout Gown | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE


Camisoles, or camis, are loose-fitting sleeveless woman’s undergarments which cover the top part of the body but are shorter than chemises. A camisole normally extends to the waist but is sometimes cropped to expose the midriff, or extended to cover the entire pelvic region. Camisoles can be worn as undergarments daily or outerwear.

Damsel Doll modeling in her camisole and matching panties


Lace Harness Bralette (Photo: Spicy Lingerie)
Lace harness bralette set | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE

A bralette is a bra without underwire or other structural elements. They often work better for women who have smaller breasts, since they don’t offer much support. Note that some bralettes don’t have clasp closures and need to be removed over your head.

Corsets & Bustiers

Dark Angel Lingerie Costume | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE

Maybe you’re already a lingerie aficionado, or you want to make date night memorable for your significant other. If you’re ready to get creative with your undergarments, lingerie costumes might be for you. Costumes are often much more creative than lingerie sets, such as shown in the photo above with black angel wings and halo. Lingerie costumes are limited only by your imagination. Have fun with them!

Sexy Nurse Lingerie Costume | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE

Something More Daring?

If you’re the more daring type, you can wear cupless, crotchless, and/or peek-a-boo lingerie

Cupless Lingerie | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE
Peek-a-boo bray and crotchless panty set | Photo courtesy of SPICY LINGERIE

Where to Shop

There are so many places, brick and mortar and online stores, to buy lingerie. Here are some that I find have good selections, a variety of sizes, and good prices.



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