Classic pieces of lingerie defined. Pros and cons for each body type. And, of course, accessories. Learn to navigate the world of boudoir lingerie with ease.
Let’s be real — lingerie is confusing, intimidating, and overwhelming. On a good day, you’ll try on seven things only to walk away with a Baby Doll that’ll look good when you lose five pounds and put on heels.
Lingerie may be hot once it’s on, but getting there is a whole different story.
That’s why we wanted to provide a comprehensive guide to finding the types of lingerie that fit and flatter you. So grab a glass of wine, pull up a catalog, and let’s dive into the sexy world of boudoir lingerie.
Classic Boudoir Lingerie Pieces: Pros & Cons
Almost immediately after walking into a lingerie store, you’re likely to be overcome by confusion.
“What’s a Boost-ee-err?
“Will a Brazillian cut hide my booty?”
“Where’s the front of this thing?”
The trendy, half-French lingo leaves you standing there thinking, “Ugh, what am I doing here?”
Here’s the honest truth. We can make you a believer. All you need is some basic training and some time in the dressing room.
Once you find a few signature shapes and styles, you’ll get to know what looks good on you. So the next time you walk into that local boutique, you’ll be a woman in charge.
Bra and Panty Set
It doesn’t get more classic than a bra and panty set. And most women find this tasteful combo to be the least intimidating choice when it comes to picking out boudoir lingerie. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find the perfect set for your body.
- When a bra is properly fitted, it creates shape and lift that’s extremely flattering in standing poses.
- Bras with underwire and no padding provide support without pushing you out of the bra.
- “Brazilian” or “Cheeky” style panties can cover just enough to make you comfortable, while also showing just enough to be totally sexy.
- Bra and panty sets are generally the least intimidating form of lingerie since we wear them every day.
- If you want to hide your tummy or hips, a bra and panty set isn’t the ideal choice.
- Heavily padded or push-up bras can push you out of the bra or create spill-over, especially in laying poses.
- If a bra isn’t properly fitted, it can make an otherwise sleek shape look lumpy or saggy.
Corsets create a dramatic, hourglass shape in the waist. In order to qualify as a corset, however, the piece must have drawstrings in the back that allow you to cinch it as tightly as desired.
- Corsets offer a dramatic transformation in the shape of the waist when worn correctly.
- Corsets are great for curvy women or women who want to tighten and emphasize their waists.
- Corsets are also great for women with straight bodies who want to create more of an hourglass shape.
- Waist-cinchers — a corset without a bra attached — often create spill-over on the top and bottom, unless you have an extremely petite frame.
- Corsets can be tight-fitting and less comfortable to move in than other lingerie pieces.
- Corsets don’t provide the same lift and shaping that bustiers do.
Like corsets, bustiers are designed to create shape — they just don’t have the drawstrings. Bustiers focus on the breasts, rather than the waist.
- Bustiers act like a temporary breast lift.
- Bustiers provide moderate shaping in the waist, while dramatically lifting and shaping the breasts.
- Bustiers don’t change the waist as dramatically as corsets do.
- When worn with more full-coverage panties, sometimes bustiers can squeeze the lower part of the tummy. Opt for low-waisted or skimpy panties with a bustier to avoid this problem.
Bodysuits are flattering on most body types because they provide shaping throughout the entire natural S-curve of a woman’s body.
And bodysuits just so happen to be a personal favorite of Lindsay’s.
- Bodysuits hug the body. They’re cut and designed in a way that pulls you in and up.
- Many bodysuits have extras that add support and shaping, such as ribbing, paneling, boning, wire, cups, padding or even drawstrings.
- Bodysuits hold things in and smooth things out, bringing the best out of every body type.
- When worn with a bra, basic bodysuits transform into a piece that provides lift and shaping in all the right places
- Black bodysuits look fierce on camera.
- There is nothing bad about putting on a bodysuit. 😉
Think of a slip as the softer, more angelic sister of the bodysuit. Like a bodysuit, it’s flattering on all body types because it gently hides, while bringing the best out of every shape. Slips, however, are generally more feminine, in lace or mesh fabrics; yet modern shapewear is also making slips that look more matte or luxe, which look great on camera.
- Slips hug the body. They’re designed to pull you up and in.
- Slips hide stretch marks while still accentuating shape.
- Slips hold things in and smooth things out, creating a great shape on everyone.
- When worn with a bra, slips provide lift and shaping in all the right places.
- A slip with different colored side panels is extremely thinning.
- There’s no reason bad reason to slip into one of these classic pieces.
Baby Doll / Teddy
Baby Dolls and Teddies are generally a bad choice for boudoir lingerie. While they look great in the bedroom, as they move with your body, they generally make anyone look boxy on camera.
- When photographed as a silhouette, sheer Teddies can sometimes show the shape of the body and create an interesting image.
- Most of the time, when photographed, Baby Dolls and Teddies hide the body and make it look wider than it really is.
Romper / Cami & Short Set
Rompers and short sets offer a range of looks — from sexy in silk to playful in cotton.
- Rompers or short sets provide a little bit of coverage if you’re booty-conscious, while still allowing you to show it off.
- They’re also very comfortable to shoot in!
- If you’re going for red-hot sexy, rompers and short sets provide a little more coverage than other lingerie pieces.
Accessories, Accessories, Accessories!
When it comes to accessories, the sky’s the limit. Whether you want to go super simple on one outfit and fully bedazzled with the next, you’ll want to bring some choices with you — no matter what. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Stockings dress up any outfit — whether you want full coverage, lace thigh-highs or a sexy seam down the back of the leg.
- Garters, the straps that attach to the bottom of your lingerie and the top of your stockings, are a must. If you’re tired of seeing spillage over the top of your thigh-highs, opt for stockings without a rubber lining, and hook them in place instead.
- Scarves are great to provide sheer or minimal coverage of trouble spots.
- Clothes — like a bralette, leather jacket, knit sweater or pair of jeans — keep it real by showcasing the sex appeal in your everyday look.
- Jewelry is a must; bring everything that strikes your fancy.
- Stilettos and tall, strappy heels take sexy to the next level.
- Lace blindfolds or masquerade masks add an element of mystery no man can deny.
SchlickArt’s Preferred Shopping List
We get a lot of questions about where to buy boudoir lingerie. However, please keep in mind that buying properly fitted boudoir lingerie is much more important than the brand or store name. That being said, here are a few shops we love:
- Pinned Up Bras: We highly recommend you start here. Run by the fabulous Lisa Szeto, Pinned Up is a mobile lingerie boutique that comes to you! Lisa is an expert in fit and sizing, so you can be confident that you’re wearing the right piece for your body. She will do measurements and a complete fitting for you that will likely change your life. So if you don’t know where to start when it comes to boudoir lingerie, we definitely suggest seeing a professional who can help you learn what shapes, fabrics and classic pieces look the most flattering on you. Plus it’s just fun!
- Victoria’s Secret: We have a love-hate relationship with this infamous lingerie icon, located at Westfield Valencia Town Center. So we’re going to break it down. If you have a proportionate/balanced frame and easily fit in standard store sizes, then it’s worth a visit. However, most of us aren’t standard, and we want to capture what makes your body stand out. That’s why we suggest getting a fitting at a boutique, or by someone who has been in the business for a while. That being said, it’s a great place to get to know lingerie if nothing else. If you’re not sure how different styles fit your perfectly unique body, then grab one of everything and try them all on, girl.
- Venus: Venus offers a wide range of looks without the intimidating shopping experience or startling price tag. Plus, they’re labeled well, so you know which type of lingerie you’re buying. With a mix of classic and modern looks, there’s something for everyone at Venus.
- Lasenza: Lasenza is great for women who have some experience with lingerie and are looking for different or bold pieces to add some dimension to their wardrobe. There’s plenty of ultra-strappy bodysuits and intricate lace in this steamy store. The prices are reasonable, as well.
- Ann Summers: A Brit’s Victoria’s Secret, Ann Summers is inexpensive but totally awesome. The fit is true to size, and the fit will never let you down. It’s fantastic quality for the cost — and it always looks good on camera.
- Journelle: If you’re a lingerie addict, or an appreciator of the finest money can buy, Journelle just may capture your heart and your wallet. The pieces are high-end, designer, one-of-a-kind knockouts — and they have the price tag to prove it.
About Lindsay’s Photography for Women
With the mind of a businesswoman and the heart of an adventurer, Lindsay began to conceive of a different kind of Santa Clarita photography business. In her vision, stepping in front of the camera could be an empowering experience that gave her clients more than just a photograph — it would give people a new way of seeing themselves. With an eye for seeing the beauty in life and in others, Lindsay could use the camera to spread beauty.
About SchlickArt Photography and Video
SchlickArt, a boutique photo and video studio in Santa Clarita, started in March 2012 with the simple idea that empowerment creates a kind of beauty and authenticity that shines through every camera lens. Built on a philosophy — rather than a product, service or person — SchlickArt has rapidly evolved, meeting professional portraiture, business photo and business video needs as diverse as the community we capture. It’s the desire to take care of you, the client, that drives us at SchlickArt.