The Best Lingerie For A Boudoir Shoot, According To Professional Photographers

Tips from the pros on how to feel sexy and confident in front of the camera.

by Andrea Gale
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If you have a boudoir photo shoot planned, you’re probably looking for the perfect thing to wear that will help you feel your most beautiful. Whether your vibe is classic and minimal or sexy and statement-making, the best lingerie for a boudoir photo shoot helps you tap into your spicy side, and makes you feel confident in front of the camera. To learn more about what to look for, Bustle reached out to several boudoir photographers who know how to make people feel their best in front of the camera.

The Experts

Lindley Ashline, a professional boudoir and portrait photographer and founder of Body Liberation Photos, has been photographing BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and plus-size people for nine years. She’s been featured on The Phoblographer and the Food Psych podcast, and she’s known for her body-positive, image-boosting work.

Kara Payton has been a professional travel photographer and videographer, plus a luxury boudoir and wedding expert for over 20 years. She also offers personal coaching services and has been featured in Green Wedding Shoes, Expertise, The List, Wedding Pioneer, Kansas City Star, KCTV 5, and Voyage KC.

After working for six years as a professional photographer, Mikaela Wendel-McBride founded her boudoir photography brand WMNKND in 2019. She sees boudoir photography as a way for her clients to practice self-love.

How To Shop For Lingerie For A Boudoir Shoot

Stock Up On A Range Of Styles

Since many photographers recommend bringing multiple options to suit multiple settings (and moods), consider picking up more than one piece below to set yourself up well. Ashline recommends choosing “one outfit for each half hour of your shoot, plus 1-2 alternate looks if you’d like the photographer's advice in person.”

A boudoir shoot implies a bit of disrobing, but the amount is entirely up to you; whatever lingerie you choose should help you feel confident and beautiful in your skin. “Go with your gut when choosing outfits for your session,” Ashline shares. “If you love the way you feel in it, you’ll be comfortable in a way that will come through in your images.”

For those ready to bare all, Wendel-McBride says she “definitely recommends doing at least one bra and panty set.” For those who prefer a little extra coverage, consider a lacy robe or ethereal nightgown, pieces that channel a little old Hollywood glamour and offer some extra coverage without feeling stuffy. Payton and Wendel-McBride both love a bodysuit or teddy. “Lace, sheer, strappy, and mixed material bodysuits are often my personal favorite,” Wendel-McBride says, as “the detail is fantastic for close up photos.” But when in doubt, opt for simplicity. “Classic, timeless and minimal will always win when you look back,” Payton says.

That said, you’re certainly not limited to traditional lingerie. Wendel-McBride recommends playing around with “button-downs, jackets, blazers, and cardigans” for “more variety” in your photos.

Pick Embellishments & Colors That’ll Make Your Photos Pop

For another way of getting comfy in front of the camera, many boudoir photographers suggest selecting lingerie that celebrates your favorite features. “Don't seek out something to ‘make a part of your body smaller’ or minimize what you don't love,” Payton says, instead suggesting, “let's focus our wardrobe on things you love.” For example, if you love your bust, choosing a bra with cleavage-enhancing bows or embellishments can be a confidence booster. These special details come with the added bonus of being potential focal points that can bring a photograph to life.

As far as color choice is concerned, Wendel-McBride recommends that you consider the “aesthetic or ‘vibe’” you’re going for in your photos. “Sexy and sultry? Then I would recommend black and red. Bold and adventurous? Try some fun patterns and jewel tones. Playful and flirty? Pastels and blush tones. Bridal? You can’t go wrong with white and something blue.” Most of the pieces here come in a plethora of colors, so you can choose the one that suits your preferred aesthetic and setting.

Play Around With Accessories

Because a boudoir shoot is all about letting loose and having a little fun, you may want to include a prop, like a loopy pearl necklace or a pair of sheer, thigh-high stockings. This can be especially fun if upcoming nuptials are the reason for your session, says Wendel-McBride, who recommends bringing along “heels, veil, jewelry, garter, your wedding day lingerie, and/or anything else that will remind you of your wedding day when you look back on these photos for years to come.”

Prep Your Outfits Before The Shoot

Ashline recommends cleaning and pressing your chosen items, trimming any loose threads or tags that might be visible through the fabric, and making sure they’re “free of stains, pilling, snags, holes and runs.”

Once you’ve made your selections, be sure to take them for a test run before the day of the shoot. “Make sure you try on any lingerie that you are considering for your boudoir session,” suggests Wendel-McBride. “You should feel confident and comfortable in any outfit you plan on wearing.”

Ready for your closeup? Keep scrolling for the best lingerie for a boudoir photo shoot, all vetted as camera-ready by Amazon reviewers who’ve struck a pose in these sexy pieces.


This Lace Bodysuit Shoppers Can’t Stop Raving About

From a deep V-neckline and high-cut legs trimmed in gorgeous scalloped lace, to adjustable criss-cross back straps and a cheeky bottom, this lace bodysuit has so many details to spice up a photo shoot. A peekaboo lace cutout adds subtle visual interest, and there’s a snap crotch for easy restroom trips, so you can get back to being photographed in no time. No wonder shoppers can’t stop raving about it; over 18,000 Amazon shoppers have given it a five-star rating.

Positive review: “I ordered for a boudoir shoot and it turned out beautiful! I absolutely loved it and felt confident in it. The lace is gorgeous and the fit was perfect.”

Sizes: Small — 4X-Large | Colors: 36 | Material: 65% Cotton, 35% Polyester


This Retro-Inspired Lace Set With A Bra Top & High-Waisted Panties

The high-waisted panties included in this lingerie set feel so retro-inspired, perfect for a boudoir photo shoot. The wireless bra has double adjustable straps and a hook-and-eye closure, and the cheeky bottoms are adorned with corset-inspired lacing up the back. Both are made of stunning floral lace that one reviewer described as “soft” and “not scratchy at all.” This set is stunning enough for photographs, and comfortable enough to earn a place in your regular lingerie rotation.

Positive review: “Bought this set for a boudoir photo shoot. Loved every second of the outfit! It is [...] comfortable. I have 38 DD so I was worried on how the top would fit but it was very comfortable and did not pull too much.”

Sizes: Small — 4X-Large | Colors: 12 | Material: 95% Polyester, 5% Spandex


A Sheer, Short Lace Robe That Comes With A Matching G-String

Whether you’re layering it over another piece of lingerie or wearing it all on its own, this short lace robe will look stunning in photographs. Made of sheer lace with delicate scalloped edges, with a satin tie waist and luxe butterfly sleeves, it manages to be both gorgeous and daring. It even comes with a dainty, coordinating G-string for a complete ensemble.

Positive review: “I loved this piece for my boudoir shoot! It covered but sheer enough to make a statement! Beautiful and affordable !”

Sizes: X-Small — 5X-Large | Colors: 19 | Material: 35% Polyester, 65% Cotton


This Sexy 3-Piece Lingerie Set With A Garter Belt

This best-selling three-piece lingerie set is backed by 8,000 five-star ratings, more than one from people who’ve featured it in their boudoir photo shoots. The spicy trifecta of a garter belt, strappy wireless bra, and thong panties is full of special details, from heart cutouts on the garter belt to cleavage-highlighting straps on the bra and cutouts adorning the thong. Add a pair of knee-high stockings for the garters to complete this show-stopping boudoir look.

Positive review: “bought this set for a lingerie photo shoot and it was my favorite outfit of the day! everything fit true to size and the heart details are so cute”

Sizes: Small — XX-Large | Colors: 20 | Material: 85% Nylon, 15% Spandex


This Lace Teddy With Strappy Details & Eyelash Lace Trim

Cleavage-highlighting straps and delicate eyelash lace trim combine with peekaboo lace cutouts in this lace teddy, while the sheer back and cheeky bottom are eye-catching and minimal; this bodysuit will photograph well at any angle. Adjustable shoulder straps ensure your perfect fit, and the cups have the statement-making style of underwire, but are unwired so you can stay comfy during your shoot. A snap crotch makes for easy restroom trips.

Positive review: “I’ve always been nervous to purchase lingerie, but the fit was perfect! I am completely satisfied with this purchase. It made me feel so beautiful for my photo shoot ;)”

Sizes: Large — 4X-Large | Colors: 13 | Material: Not Listed


This Sweet & Sexy Sheer Mesh Bodysuit

At once delicate and sensual, the sweet polka-dot mesh and floral lace of this bodysuit contrasts with the daring sheerness of the material and deep V-neckline. Featuring adjustable spaghetti straps and a thong bottom, you can wear this gorgeous bodysuit with a pair of tuxedo pants for an effortless evening ensemble once your photo shoot is done.

Positive review: “It fits like a glove and is fantastic quality. The lace is soft and not itchy, and it hugs my body in allll the right places! Bought it for a boudoir shoot I have coming up and cannot wait to see it in my photos. If you’re contemplating, DONT, just buy it!”

Sizes: Small — XX-Large | Colors: 6 | Material: 90% Polyester, 10% Spandex


A Floral Lace Cap-Sleeve Chemise That Comes With A Coordinating G-String

For a little more coverage that still turns up the heat, consider this chemise; the cap sleeves and opaque cups offer a hint of mystery, while the peekaboo lace and deep V-neckline reveal just enough. Not only has it won praise for being, as one reviewer put it “super soft, super comfy,” it conveniently includes a matching G-string.

Positive review: “I’m in love with this! Fits so nicely, is so soft [...] Bought for a boudoir photo shoot. Beautiful piece!”

Sizes: Medium — 4X-Large | Colors: 9 | Material: 65% Cotton, 35% Polyester


A Strappy Lace Halter-Neck Bra & Panty Set

Turn up the heat with this lace bra and panty set; the cleavage-accentuating bows of the halter tie-neck bra and coordinating straps of the thong bottom are nothing short of heart-stopping. Those daring strap details are continued at the V-back, so you’ll look incredible from any angle. Oh, and since it’s unpadded and wireless, it’ll feel comfy, too.

Positive review: “Love it ! Doing an outdoor boudoir shoot for my husband and it fits great ! It's comfortable and looks AMAZING !”

Sizes: Small — 3X-Large | Colors: 20 | Material: 95% Polyester, 5% Acrylic


A Vintage-Inspired Sheer Gown With A Dramatic Split Hem

Another argument in favor of retro glamour, this stunning sheer gown features a dramatic split hem, empire waist, and a deep V-neckline with lace cups; a lace panty is included to complete the look. Try pairing it with a red lip and some fluffy kitten heels, and get ready for your closeup.

Positive review: “This is a classic pairing, sexy, long and elegant with miles of cascading fabric, the lace in the cups and g-string is beautiful and has great coverage. Lovely for a old Hollywood feel in your boudoir. This is a meet your lover at the door, flirt through a sexy dinner, and see where the evening leads piece. It would also be alluring for tame to intense photography sessions.”

Sizes: Small — 3X-Large | Colors: 10 | Material: 95% Polyester, 5% Spandex


This Minimalist Lace-Trimmed Teddy From Cosabella

If you feel your best in something a little more casual, try out this teddy from cult-favorite luxury brand Cosabella. It features a relaxed fit for a slightly more low-key vibe, but it’s still packed with photo-worthy details, like gorgeous lace trim and a V-neckline with a lace cutout. The fluttery, cheeky bottoms feature that same lace detailing, and the plunging V-back features adjustable criss-cross straps for an effect that’s as effortless as it is eye-catching.

Sizes: Small — X-Large | Colors: 4 | Material: 93% Modal, 7% Elastane


This Handkerchief-Hem Babydoll Chemise That Comes In 30 Colors & Prints

This handkerchief-hem babydoll chemise comes in 30 pretty colors and prints, so whether the feel of your photo shoot is playful or sophisticated, you’ll be able to find the perfect match. Featuring adjustable spaghetti straps, the plunging neckline is punctuated by a delicate bow; the stretchy, unwired lace bodice clings before descending into a fluttery, sheer handkerchief hem with a split in the center. It even comes with a matching G-string for a gorgeous, one-and-done ensemble, whichever shade you choose.

Positive review: “I am in love with this lingerie! I bought it to do a boudoir photo shoot and I felt amazing in it! Soft material, and good quality!!”

Sizes: X-Small — 5X-Large | Colors: 30 | Material: Not Listed


This Strappy Bodysuit That Also Works As A Hot Going-Out Top

Minimal yet eye-catching, this Savage X Fenty bodysuit is perfect for anyone who prefers a more streamlined look without sacrificing any sexiness. A subtle midsection keyhole cutout and shirred bust are accentuated by double front straps; the strappy thong back and high-cut legs prove that minimalism can still be totally statement-making. Once your photo session is over, don’t put this bodysuit away — it would look incredible worn as a going-out top with structured denim and heels.

Sizes: X-Small — X-Large; 1X — 4X | Colors: 1 | Material: 75% Polyester, 25% Elastane


This Fluttery Satin Slip Dress

Bring out your inner romantic with this satin slip dress; dainty adjustable spaghetti straps, lace trim, and a fluttery, thigh-grazing hem lend the delicate allure of a vintage nightie. Featuring a V-neckline and decorative button trim, it’s full of sweet details to make a photo pop.

Positive review: “My favorite lingerie nighty I own. I was looking for a few last minute lingerie pieces for my wedding and honey moon and bought this on a whim. I’m so glad I did [...] i couldn’t be happier with the fit. I loved it so much it ended up being my first choice on the wedding night”

Sizes: X-Small — X-Large | Colors: 10 | Material: Polyester, Elastane


This Chic Lace Romper With Fluttery Legs

Leave it to DKNY to design a romper that feels so high fashion. Details like the fluttery legs, sheer lace, scalloped edging, and mesh cutouts ensure you’ll look so chic in photographs, regardless of the setting. Just as functional as it is beautiful, this romper also features lined cups, adjustable straps, and a cotton gusset, making this comfy enough to keep on as you roll into bed after your photo session.

Positive review: “Best Teddy ever!!!! So comfortable, love to sleep in this.”

Sizes: Small — X-Large | Colors: 2 | Material: 86% Nylon, 14% Elastane


This Adorable Puff-Sleeve Top & Thong Set Made Of Polka-Dot Mesh

Why choose between adorable and sexy when, with this polka-dot mesh set, you can have both? The cropped ruched top features sweet puffed sleeves that you can wear off the shoulder, and the sheer polka-dot mesh guarantees you’ll still generate plenty of heat. The cute thong bottom features adjustable bow-tie sides that match the tie along the top’s neckline. Choose from 25 colors, including plenty of sweet pastels like baby pink and lilac, plus a few bolder shades for contrast.

Positive review: “I love this set [...] I wore for a photo shoot with a strapless black bra under it. The top is completely see-through but the bottoms cover [...] the perfect amount. definitely recommend for the price!”

Sizes: Small — XX-Large | Colors: 25 | Material: 95% Polyester, 5% Spandex


This Show-Stopping Long Tulle Robe

Channel old Hollywood with this stunning robe; the floor-pooling length, sheer bodice, and fluffy tulle trim will look incredible in a photograph (and in person, too). The simple, unadorned neckline is the perfect minimal accompaniment to all that show-stopping trim at the hem and sleeves, while a tie waist adds structure. Whether layered over other lingerie or worn alone, if you’re looking for a statement piece, it’s hard to do better than this.

Positive review: “I bought this gown as a maternity photo prop. It was STUNNING. It came quickly, the fit was great [...] colours bang on. PERFECT for the vibe I was going for. Excellent.”

Sizes: Small-Medium — 4X-Large | Colors: 28 | Material: Tulle


You Might Also Like: This Oversized White Button-Down Shirt That’s Low-Key Sexy

If you prefer a slightly more relaxed feel for your boudoir shoot, consider this oversized white button-down shirt. The structured notch collar and button front and cuffs would add such a playful element, and you can button or unbutton to reveal as much as you like. An oversized silhouette, soft fabric, and dropped hem ensure are subtle, relaxed touches, and there are versions with and without pockets to suit your preference. As practical a choice as it is playful, you’ll keep this shirt in rotation long after you’re done with your shoot; it would be perfect as a chic beach cover up or as a sleep shirt.

Positive review: “Bought this with the intention of wearing it at my boudoir shoot! It was so soft [...] I chose to just keep it on & wear it out with my jeans from there!Love this & will get a ton of use! True to size & the over sized fit of it is perfect!!”

Sizes: Small — XX-Large | Colors: 12 | Material: Viscose


Worth Considering: A Pair Of Sheer, Lace-Trimmed Thigh-High Stockings

Whether you’re pairing these thigh-high lace-top stockings with stilettos and nothing else, or wearing them with another item on this list (they’d look amazing with that button-down white shirt), they’re nothing short of sexy. Sheer nylon and spandex reveal just enough skin, while an inner silicone band prevents annoying slipping. They’re available in so many colorways, too. If you’re going to bring a prop to your shoot, these stockings make a strong case for themselves.

Positive review: “First time ever wearing stockings. I wore them for a boudoir shoot. They are amazing. The rubber keeps them in place perfectly. Took them on and off a few times with no tears.”

Sizes: A-B — E-F | Colors: 36 | Material: 88% Nylon, 12% Spandex


Also Nice: A Multi-Strand Faux-Pearl Necklace

Two long, loopy strands of faux pearls in varying lengths make this necklace the perfect prop to bring along to a boudoir photo shoot. Both playful and elegant, try layering them on top of a lingerie set or your bare skin; loop them around several times or cinched into a knot — with so many fun possibilities, you and your photographer may have difficulty choosing just one.

Positive review: “This necklace is made of great quality. The pearls are all the same coloring and size. This necklace could pass as the real thing. It can be used as a prop or for a special occasion to dress up an outfit. I love mine! Great price, too!”

Styles: 15 | Material: Faux Pearl


Lindley Ashline, professional boudoir and portrait photographer and founder of Body Liberation Photos

Kara Payton, professional boudoir and wedding photographer and personal coach

Mikaela Wendel-McBride, professional boudoir photographer and founder of WMNKND Boudoir