What to Wear to a Massage - Read This First (2023)

What To Wear Mar 11

Written by Sophie Diego

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Sophie Diego

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The deadlines are creeping in, the emails are piling up, and booking a vacation—at this point—is next to impossible. It’s common to feel like a deer in the headlights in these situations, as we all have our own responsibilities and errands to take of.

Emotionally, we are experts in hiding stress from our friends and family to prevent worrisome looks. Unfortunately, our bodies love to betray us. Palms get sweaty, eyebags continue to darken, and the muscles begin to tense.

I know relaxation comes in the form of a 2-week long holiday—but if you happened to fill out your vacation days, how about settling for a massage appointment?

It’s no Cabo or Bali, but a massage can help unwind those sore muscles created from stress. Thankfully, booking a shiatsu doesn’t require much preparation compared to packing for an overseas flight—but there are some things to consider. For instance, you’re probably wondering what to wear to a massage.

It’s no fashion show or runway moment. Spas require loose clothing that’s easy to slip on and off. Save your worries; we’ll teach you what to wear to a massage using 15 different outfit ideas. As an added bonus, we’ll also let you in on some intel regarding quality, fit, and material.

What is a Massage?

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Simply put, a massage is a rubdown of the body. It’s a relaxation technique that involves pushing down on selective tissue, whether it’s on the back, arms, legs, feet, or hands.

Athletes and workout geeks commonly use massage machines or hire professionals to help them unwind after practice. Of course, massages are enjoyed by everyone looking to loosen up.

If you’re looking to book a massage, you’ll need to specify the type you’re after. Varieties include shiatsu, hot stone, aromatherapy, deep tissue, Thai, and prenatal, just to name a few.

What to Wear to a Massage

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Before we dive in, we thought it best to imbue our readers with some massage etiquette. Depending on your comfort level and the chosen therapist, you aren’t required to strip down.

Most massages are topless, but clients can take care knowing they don’t have to take off their underwear. With that being said, they might ask you to remove your bra.

Massage outfits are typically loose in fit and easy to take off. You shouldn’t wear an excessive amount of layers, as it’ll prove difficult to put on again.

In addition, jewelry and accessories are considered a no-go—but fashioning a simple necklace or a ring shouldn’t offer much fuss, especially if it’s tarnish-resistant.

With that out of the way, we’ll provide some outfit ideas for those wondering what to wear to a massage. From slip dresses to loungewear, you can take care knowing that all OOTDs are hassle-free.

15 Outfit Ideas to Wear to a Massage

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Massage clothing should be simple and relaxed in fit. Arguably, no outfit fits this description more than a cable knit sweater, a silk slip, and a pair of heeled boots. Fashionable and functional for spa days, this stylish fit requires no unzipping, unlacing, or the classic skinny jeans shimmy.

It’s a great look to consider if you live in winter or fall, as this ensemble keeps things cozy and breathable. In terms of accessorizing, we suggest donning a minimalistic crossbody bag.

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Nothing’s more zen than cream monochrome fit. This simplistic outfit features a loose white button-up, a pair of wide-legged trousers, and a set of strappy sandals for an elegant touch.

Loose in silhouette, you no longer have to worry about sticky slim-fitting tops or leggings that just won’t budge. The great thing about sandals is that they’re relatively easy to take on and off, which definitely beats a pair of Converses. Sophisticated and practical, this is what to wear to a massage.

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Overalls? Isn’t that too informal for a fancy spa? In some cases, yes—but not if you style them correctly. Instead of opting for a pair of denim dungarees, we suggest opting for linen for a softer, more elegant alternative.

You should make sure that it’s loose in fit, as tighter silhouettes might prove difficult to take off. We suggest layering with an oversized tee underneath and wearing a simple pair of strappy low heels.

For those wondering what’s considered appropriate massage underwear, we recommend a set of boy shorts to keep things conservative.

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Not a fan of bells and whistles? So do massages. If you hate the frustration of putting things on and off again, we suggest opting for a loose, tiered dress. This summertime beauty is perfect for July spa days, as it keeps things light, aerated, and practical for massage appointments.

For shoes, we recommend wearing a pair of slip-on loafers. In our opinion, this is the ideal way to answer the ‘what to wear to massage” question.

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You can never go wrong with a classic loungewear set. For those wondering what to wear to a spa, we recommend wearing a loose sweatshirt and a pair of wide-legged sweatpants. The great thing about this outfit is that it looks fairly composed compared to a mismatched jogger ensemble.

The key is the monochrome hue, as it keeps the OOTD elegant and composed. Of course, we don’t recommend wearing lace-up tennis shoes to massage, but you can easily sub them out with slip-on sneakers.

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Loose, relaxed fits should always equate to the ‘couch potato’ aesthetic. This bodes especially true for 5-star spas, as they usually require their patrons to look a certain way—if you know what I mean.

Instead of opting for gym shorts and a baggy tee, we suggest wearing a colorful jumpsuit, such as this lovely example.

Printed with large flowers in green, pink, and blue, this one-piece can help you look the part. It’s generous in fit, so there’s no need to worry about buttons or zippers here. For those wondering what to wear during a massage for shoes, how about a simple pair of kitten heels?

Considered the direct opposite of the previous outfit idea, this OOTD is for those who can’t be bothered. It’s an excellent look to wear if the spa calls for casual, informal clothes.

Here, Hailey Bieber is sporting the classic Princess Diana look composed of biker shorts, an oversized sweatshirt, and a pair of chunky flip flops.

For underwear, we recommend alternatives that don’t come with a rolled hem. This ensures no bunching or bulking when you put on the bottoms. All in all, this is what to wear for a massage if you have no other options.

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If you’re daring enough to wear silk pajamas as outerwear, we suggest fashioning this stylish ensemble. Made out of shimmering, green satin, this loungewear-esque OOTD definitely screams spa vibes.

It checks all the boxes of an excellent massage outfit, as it’s loose and hassle-free. Again, we recommend a minimal amount of accessories, but you can definitely get away with a simple pair of stainless steel diamond studs. For those still wondering what to wear to a massage, this is the fit to opt for.

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Summer is the season of relaxation—so you should totally use it as an excuse to book a massage. If pants and full-length jumpsuits aren’t enough to beat the heat, how about a pair of shorts and an oversized tee?

This simple outfit is all about exaggerated silhouettes and playing with proportions. The baggy shirt keeps things aerated and free, while the high-waisted bottoms help to define your waist. Plus, it’s relatively easy to take on and off, which is what you want if you’re wondering what to wear to massage.

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The quickest way to answer the ‘what do you wear to a massage’ question is to opt for simplistic silhouettes. Case in point, this outfit comprises a satin midi skirt, slip-on sandals, and a white tank top.

It’s elegant, minimalistic, and highly practical for spa days. As we mentioned before, jewelry is considered a no-go, but if you’re adamant about accessorizing—but sure to opt for water-repellant alternatives in case you’re hitting the sauna after.

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Tiered mini dresses are great for summer, but what winter? Obviously, you can layer up with a pair of tights. Unfortunately, they’re not considered hassle-free if you’re heading to a massage. We recommend opting for a full-length gown instead.

For instance, this oversized number comes with a loose fit, an open collar, and sleeves for added warmth. Jackets are a must during December, and luckily, spa resorts usually have coat hangers for added storage. For shoes, we recommend a pair of slip-on boots with elasticated inserts.

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If jersey-knit loungewear isn’t your thing, we suggest opting for linen-based alternatives instead. Created by Etsy seller, SaikoEcoStore, this roomy set features a pair of espresso-stained pants and a loose sleeveless top.

It’s the perfect number to fashion if you’re unsure of what to wear to a massage. Relaxed, contemporary, and relatively easy to put on, spa-goers don’t have to worry about unfastening and refastening.

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If you’re lucky enough to book a spa day in Thailand or India, we recommend wearing a more breathable fit to help combat the humidity. For instance, this relaxed fit comes with a simple tube top and a pair of loose pants.

Dyed in pearl white, this massage-friendly OOTD takes seconds to take on and off. Since most reputable resorts offer a place to store your belongings, you can probably get away with a hat and a neck scarf.

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Speaking of remote spa resorts, this summer-friendly outfit keeps things simple and headache-free for shiatsus and saunas.

This romper comes in a bright yellow print, short sleeves, and a tie-up front to help cinch the waist. It’s an excellent look to consider if you want to get up and go fairly quick, as this OOTD doesn’t involve any excess buttons or zips. For shoes, we recommend a pair of wedge heels.

Matching sets are the best way to look composed without the extra effort. For example, this cohesive fit comprises a simple button-down and a pair of elasticated shorts. Made out of breathable linen, it’s certainly a look to consider for summer spa days.

This top is relatively baggy in silhouette, so you don’t have to worry about wearing a bra. Honestly, any ensemble that doesn’t require a push-up is a win for me.

What Type of Massage Outfits Can You Get?

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There is no dress code when it comes to massage outfits. You’re free to wear whatever you want. With that being said, there are some unspoken rules that clients should be aware of.

As we previously mentioned, a good spa OOTD should be loose in fit and hassle-free. If you’re in need of additional specifics, we’ll feature some common ensembles to consider:

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  • Loungewear: casual, comfy, and easy to put on, sweatpants and sweatshirts can definitely be your go-to massage outfit. With that being said, we don’t recommend wearing skin-tight leggings or sports bras to your appointment.
  • Elasticated wide-legged pants: while it’s also considered loungewear—we’re referring to linen-based alternatives. They’re much more breathable compared to joggers, making them ideal to wear for summer.
  • Loose dresses: puffy skirts and baggy silhouettes are ideal to wear to a massage appointment. Of course, skin-tight gowns are considered a no-no.
  • Jumpsuits: While you’re free to wear denim overalls, we suggest opting for more elegant alternatives for massages. It’s important to find a set that’s relaxed in fit and soft to the touch.
  • Oversized t-shirts and blouses: this styling tip is considered a no-brainer, but it’s best to wear a baggy top during spa days. We’ll discuss why in a later segment.

How to Choose The Best Massage Outfits

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Still stuck on what to wear to a massage? From the 15 outfits we’ve featured, you might’ve picked up on a few common themes. But, I’m sure that some of you have skimmed through this article.

If so, we aren’t here to judge. We’ll discuss how to choose the best massage outfit based on four criteria: ease, comfort, price, quality, and material.

As we previously mentioned, ease and comfort are key to a good massage outfit. Itchy fabrics, such as acrylic and 100% wool, should be avoided at all costs. Instead, you should opt for softer and breathable materials such as linen, cashmere, and cotton.

Wearers can also mitigate frustrations when it comes to additional ‘bells and whistles.’ This includes clothing with unnecessary buckles, buttons, or zippers. Trust me, massages call for stretchy garments.

You don’t have to spend an exorbitant amount of money on comfortable clothing. With that being said, quality does entail a heftier fee.

In terms of estimated costs, your budget should be around $50 to $100 for a two-piece set. In addition, customers should also account for when and how often they’ll wear their purchases.

What Not to Wear to a Massage

Massage outfits are the zen in fashion. It should involve zero headaches and hair-pulling. Considering that most spas and clinics require you to undress, there are some outfits to avoid wearing to your appointment. Need the deets? We’ll dish out a few for readers to take note of:

  • Skin-tight clothing: Nothing’s more frustrating than wiggling out of a stiff turtleneck or blouse. Save yourself the hassle and opt for something oversized.
  • An excessive amount of layers: I know, fashion is all about layering—but this doesn’t apply to massage appointments. Basically, you don’t want to be left with a pile of clothes that you inevitably have to put on again.
  • Jewelry: massages are not the time to double-stack your jewelry. If you really want to accessorize, try sticking to one necklace or ring.
  • Lace-up shoes: this rule doesn’t apply to lace-up slip-ons. But, if the only way to put on your shoes is to untie the bow, we suggest leaving them at home.
  • Tights and knee-socks: again, you don’t want to wear an excessive amount of layers. Trust me, nothing’s more annoying than putting on a pair of tights.
  • Itty bitty thongs: of course, your nether regions will be covered with a towel. But, to keep things tasteful in case of accidents, we recommend wearing a pair of boy shorts next time.

Best Places to Buy Massage Outfits

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Congrats! You finally know what to wear to a massage. Now, it’s time to decide where you’re going to buy them. For those in need of recommendations, we’ll spotlight a few places to consider shopping:

  • Gentleherd
  • Nap Loungewear
  • Etsy
  • Urban Outfitters
  • Rabbit
  • Kotn
  • Barefoot Dreams

Final Thoughts

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I get it; outfit coordination can involve a lot of stress—but nothing’s more ironic than worrying about what you’re going to wear to massage. Again, spas don’t offer a specific dress code, but they’ll likely suggest loose, hassle-free outfits to help save some frustration.

In most cases, some clinics recommend informal wear to their customers. On the other hand, luxury resorts may require their patrons to dress up. Fortunately, relaxed fits can easily be dressed up or down.

Hopefully, you’re one step closer to figuring out what to wear to a massage. From tiered mini dresses to jersey-knit loungewear, there are dozens of OOTDs to consider. With styling stress out of the way, you can now focus on unwinding those tense muscles.

Got any other fashion questions on your mind? Check out some of our articles:

How To Wear a Garter Belt

How To Wear Ankle Boots

How To Wear Loafers

How To Wear Crocs

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FAQs

Do I take all my clothes off before a massage? ›

You'll want to strip down to just your undies. Take off your bra—it'll get in the way of the back massage and who can relax with underwire poking you anyway? Also, if it's just an upper body massage, you can leave your socks on, otherwise, slip them off so the therapist can work on your soles.

What should you wear before a massage? ›

We advise that you wear something comfy and stretchy on the legs, e.g. leggings or joggers, and avoid wearing belts, jeans, trousers/shorts without any stretch or lots of pockets (unless you require deep tissue work on the legs, then shorts or underwear will be necessary).

What a female should wear to a massage? ›

Remain Fully Clothed

You'll be happy to know that you can head to your massage fully clothed. If you opt for this route, consider the clothes you want to wear and what might or might not work. It's best to leave heavy fabrics, such as denim or wool, at home and choose lighter clothes that are thin and form-fitting.

What should you not do during a massage? ›

What NOT to Say / Do with Your Massage Therapist
  • Ask your massage therapist to go see a movie / come to your house / etc. ...
  • Excessive noises. ...
  • Comment on our looks/attractiveness. ...
  • Poke your head out of the room to let us know you're ready. ...
  • Start undressing while we are still in the room. ...
  • Touch us.
3 Jul 2020

What is clothing etiquette for a massage? ›

Wear what you want

Your level of dress is your choice and whatever you choose to wear. If you don't like how something feels, let them your therapist during the session. Communication is key.

Do you take off pants during massage? ›

According to the experts, it's perfectly acceptable to strip down. In fact, depending on what kind of massage you're getting it's actually easier if you don't have on any underwear. Massage therapists are professionals and will make sure you don't feel exposed or uncomfortable.

What do you wear under your robe for a massage? ›

Most people are nude under those spa robes, but it's perfectly O.K. to leave your undies on if you feel more comfortable. Many spas also offer disposable underwear just for that purpose. You can ask for a pair when you're shown to the locker room.

What do massage therapists want you to wear? ›

Instead of kilts, robes, jewelry, and wigs, massage therapists today usually wear medical scrubs, yoga gear, or athletic wear that adheres to the following fashion rules: Is comfortable but also looks professional.

Why you shouldnt shower after a massage? ›

Don't Shower Immediately. Many of our customers admit that they shower as soon as their massage session has ended, mostly to wash off the oil. This is a big mistake. Truth is that the massage simply heats up the essential oils, and they still need another hour to get absorbed into the skin cells.

How do I prepare for my first massage? ›

Put your mind at ease beforehand so that you can fully enjoy your massage in the moment.
  1. Undressing Is Optional, But Normal. ...
  2. Hydration Makes The Massage Better. ...
  3. Plan Your Workout Beforehand. ...
  4. Pregame With A Shower. ...
  5. Breathe Like You're Meditating – It Enhances The Experience. ...
  6. Don't Be Afraid To Ask For What You Want.

Is it rude to fall asleep during a massage? ›

A therapist is still able to perform a high quality massage even if their client is asleep. It's not rude, nor does it insult them in anyway. In fact, sleeping through a massage is a compliment to the therapist. Falling asleep tells them you are relaxed and comfortable and enjoying the time on their table.

Do I wear my hair up or down for a massage? ›

Deciding to wear your hair up or down during a massage is up to you. The massage therapist can work around your hair with whatever option you choose. I find a lot of my clients with long hair wear it up while they are laying face down. After I turn them over, I request them to let it loose.

Should you shave before a massage? ›

It is not important to shave before a massage. Your therapist doesn't care or even notice. The only exception to this rule is if you are having Kinesio Taping, then you must do it 24 hours in advance to avoid skin irritation. If less than 24 hours, use clippers only.

Do you wear a towel during a massage? ›

Choose a roomy one; you don't want restrictive clothing during a massage. If you do go bare, just know that you won't feel exposed. Spa therapists learn how to drape with towels and sheets as part of their professional training.

Should you shower before a massage? ›

Let's get one thing out of the way: experienced massage therapists agree that taking a shower before your massage is a always a good idea. You should rinse off chlorine, perspiration or environmental pollutants before your treatment or therapy, because you don't want all that to be rubbed into your skin.

What parts of the body should not be massaged? ›

These are areas of the body where deep, sustained pressure should be avoided because of the structures that lie beneath. Those areas are the anterior and posterior triangles of the neck, suprasternal notch, sternum, axilla, spinal column, umbilical area, inguinal triangle, popliteal fossa, and the antecubital fossa.

What are the do's and don'ts before a massage? ›

Ten Things Not To Do Before a Massage
  • Don't Sunburn. ...
  • Don't "Caffeinate" ...
  • Don't Eat a Large Meal. ...
  • Don't Run a Marathon. ...
  • Don't Apply Lotion or Oil. ...
  • Don't Apply Topical Medications, Patches or Tapes. ...
  • Don't Take Prescription Pain Medication.
21 Jul 2015

What should you not do before a deep tissue massage? ›

Do not eat a heavy meal or drink a large amount of liquids in the hours before your massage. Deep tissue massage requires intense pressure, which can be uncomfortable if your stomach is full or trying to digest a large meal. For a deep tissue massage to be effective, you must be relaxed.

When should a person avoid a massage? ›

Tell the therapist if you have these conditions

Contagious skin conditions (boils, warts, or herpes) Other skin conditions (burns, rashes, or sores) Circulatory system issues (high blood pressure, varicose veins, or stroke) Digestive system issues (ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, or colitis)

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