You can’t really get much more boudoir than old Hollywood glamour. The smoky eyes, the fabrics, and the poses – it was all so very sexy and feminine. The era is a great source of inspiration for boudoir lingerie, whether you’re looking to the ’20s and ’30s or as late as the ’40s and ’50s.
Let’s look at some icons from the era: Rita Hayworth, Greta Garbo and Mae West. These women oozed sexiness even when they were fully clothed – sometimes especially. They weren’t just sexual objects, they were strong female role models as well. Oh, and they were beautiful too, each in their own way. All of these characteristics are perfect for boudoir inspiration.
The shapes and styles of lingerie from old Hollywood really focus on the female form. That’s not to say that it’s a rigid “theme” to follow. Some of the looks have a real emphasis on draped fabrics, with contrasting textures. Other looks rely on tight fitting lingerie, where the waist is accentuated as the focal point.
The key to capturing the old Hollywood glamour look is to think about your own female form. There’s no point in copying Rita Hayworth’s look if you’re more Claudette Colbert. The first thing to do, is to determine your best feature. This might be your eyes, your tiny waist, your legs, etc. Once you decide on that, you can then build the look from there. Let’s take a look at ways you can accentuate different features. And don’t forget, the other key to old Hollywood glamour is in the detail – that means accessories!
There are quite a few lingerie stores specialising in lingerie that looks as though it is from the old Hollywood era – try Kiss Me Deadly for example.
Let’s start from the top, and work our way down…
If you have a particularly striking face, you will probably want to keep the rest of your look simple. Pick your best characteristic and emphasize that, then view the rest as a compliment. Think Elizabeth Taylor – she was all about her unusual eyes, the hair and even clothes all took a back seat to that main feature.
Anything from a long flowing nightgown, to just using fabric to drape around yourself could be a very simple, elegant backdrop to your main feature. Make sure the fabric is soft and feminine. Silks, satins, and furs will work well. Perhaps accessorizing with layered necklaces and long gloves.
Even if you decide to be naked for your boudoir shoot, you can still leave a lot to the imagination with careful placement of props and materials. Don’t forget, it’s often the bits you don’t see that make the composition incredibly sexy.
Your chest may be your best feature – and let’s face it, that’s a pretty good feature! You basically have your pick of which looks might work for you. Halter neck and sweetheart necklines, as well as strapless, were abundant features of the era. You have a wide range of options to draw inspiration from.
A vintage swimsuit could be the foundation for a really sexy and fun photo shoot, whether you go for a classic one-piece or a high-waisted bikini. Alternatively, you might choose some lacy lingerie separates – these can be accessorized as much or as little as you want.
Similarly, you have a broad choice if you’ve been blessed with an hourglass figure. You could opt for an elegant gown, cinched in at the waist. Or you might choose a bustier or corset.
Note: if you want to make the most of your bust, go for a bustier. Bustiers are designed to accommodate the breasts and accentuate the cleavage. Corsets are more about creating smooth lines and may have a tendency to flatten everything out.
If you have killer legs, you really need to consider stockings and suspenders. Paired with the right heels, this will make for an incredibly sexy photo shoot. Don’t worry, if you choose to focus on your legs as your key feature, this doesn’t mean you’ll be on your feet the entire time. Stockings are sexy whether you’re standing, sitting or lying down. We might choose to have you leaning against the wall to start, then on the chaise longue and even lying down with your legs up the wall for another pose.
The common thread, no matter which features you chose to emphasize, is that the details and accessories will really finish off the look. Old Hollywood glamour was all about the richness of the images, the softness, and femininity. Don’t forget that we have a large selection of props to help build the mood. We have fabrics and vintage jewelry we can use to layer up and really complete that glamorous image.
It is a really good idea for you to do a few practice runs at home for how you will have your hair and makeup. This can be an excellent excuse to have fun with your girlfriends trying out looks for what works best for your face and your outfit choices. Don’t forget, you’ll have the opportunity to touch up your look in between poses.
We also have all of the technical elements to create those soft images – whether black and white or colour. We will make sure the lighting is just right to highlight all of your best bits. You don’t need to worry about any of that, we can and will figure all of that out on the day.
As always, it’s important you feel comfortable in whatever you choose to wear. As well as building a theme, we want to capture you as an individual. The old Hollywood glamour idea is just a means to this end. We aren’t trying to manufacture something false, we are trying to represent you as an individual, your truth, your personality.
Often people find it easier to relax when they embrace a fantasy, but it’s important you don’t lose yourself! We want you to have fun, but we don’t want you to become someone else. We aren’t looking to manufacture something we think is sexy, something we think you want, or everyone else wants. This whole experience is very specific to you. No two boudoir shoots are the same. No two models or images turn out the same way.
At Evie Smith Photography here in Milton Keynes, we want you to feel beautiful. Then we want you to see that it’s true. We can and will have some fun along the way of course, but it’s important to remember that your confidence and empowerment is key here. It’s what it’s all about.