5 Steps to Becoming an Underwear Model

  • Melissa Keen

Have you ever wondered what it takes to work in the lingerie industry? Are you considering pursuing it, but are uncertain if you have the ability to succeed?

Lingerie modelling involves posing for photoshoots and walking the catwalk in underwear. Brands like Victoria’s Secret, Agent Provocateur and Wonderbra (who could forget the famous traffic-stopping “Hello Boys” advert) make millions of pounds each year. Lingerie modelling is undoubtedly seen as one of the most glamorous forms of modelling, but there’s a lot of hard work behind the scenes.

Lingerie brands also undoubtedly make a huge impact on culture. From sex and fashion to gender and style, underwear has been making waves for years. And with push-up bra sales declining, it looks like the next big thing for the lingerie industry is comfort and confidence over overtly “sexy” underwear.

Modelling underwear isn’t an easy job. If you’re interested in becoming an underwear model, read on to for our tips on breaking the industry.

How to Become an Underwear Model

This fashion niche is a desirable avenue to pursue, yet it takes a certain character to feel comfortable removing their clothing in front of the camera. Lingerie brands do possess specific expectations from models which must be met to enjoy a successful career. During the spring/summer months, brands will also be promoting their swimwear ranges.

1. Feel Confident

An underwear model is required to have enough confidence to stand in front of many people and a camera in just her/his underwear. People will need to look at your cleavage/bum to ensure items fit appropriately. You will also have to endure make-up artists applying products to your skin to make your skin appear flawless in front of the camera. This means a lingerie model has to be entirely comfortable in their own skin.

Remember, these images of you in underwear will be in advertisements and may ever appear in shop windows or large billboards depending on the brand. A lingerie model must feel comfortable being seen wearing little clothing by everyone.

2. Sculpt the Perfect Physique

A slim, toned figure is highly sought after to showcase lingerie. An ample chest size, small waist and pert derriere are required to fill out underwear and flatter designs. A toned stomach is also desirable especially for male underwear models who are required to build a strong six-pack to complement their toned arms and legs.

The niche demands for emerging models to figure out an exercise regime that tones the correct areas to perfection. Underwear models are regular visitors to the gym and their diets are notoriously healthy. Lingerie models generally like weight training using light weights to tone muscles, combined with some cardio to burn fat.

3. Get Flawless Skin

As this type of modelling demands for individuals to showcase a lot of flesh, your skin needs to be radiant and glowing. To achieve a flawless complexion it is important to drink a lot of water and eat a nutritious diet. Remember the foods and drinks that you consume do effect your skin and therefore you need to evaluate what you eat to enhance your complexion. A regular beauty regime will also compliment your skin and present your figure in the best light.

Lingerie models like to moisturise constantly to give their skin lots of hydrating glow. They try techniques such as body brushing (to increase lymphatic flow and get rid of cellulite), exfoliating (to remove dead skin cells) and regular skincare clinic visits to keep skin clear and easy to work with.

4. Do You Feel Comfortable?

A figure that you are proud of and glowing skin will enhance your confidence and allow for you to truly feel comfortable in your own skin, but it can still be nerve-wracking to show strangers so much flesh.

It’s important to try to hide your nerves and wear the designs with pride and self-assurance. Being comfortable wearing very little is a skill that can be mastered with practice and confidence in your talent. If you don’t feel comfortable in a bathing costume at your local swimming pool, you’re not going to feel comfortable lingerie modelling.

5. Know How to Pose

An understanding of body awareness is vital as an underwear model as you need to present yourself with a strong posture. Poses that flatter the figure are essential; your job is to make the underwear look the best it possibly can. Certain poses do accentuate the physique and as a model it is important to recognise these and not twist and move in a way that is unflattering.

Try and practice positioning your body in a way that creates strong, smooth lines to deliver a flawless pose on the day. Do this in front of a mirror and in front of a camera (perhaps with the help of a trusted friend, or with a timer and tripod) – mirrors can sometimes be deceiving, whereas cameras can show you angles you can’t see yourself.

The Realities of Underwear Modelling

The life of an underwear model is not as glamorous as it appears on the pages of well-known magazines and brand websites. Hopefuls working to make it into the underwear industry have to be prepared, flexible and willing to accept the not-so-glamorous side. 

Always Pack a Nude G-String

Always remember to bring a small nude g-string to change into. If you are the last in line to try on a sample set, it’s important to remember that there won’t have been time for washes in between takes. Having a discreet pair of nude undies to wear underneath sample underwear will keep things hygienic and comfortable – you’ll be thankful you brought them.

Remember to find a pair that looks invisible and fits you perfectly – you don’t want odd lines and marks to be made by too-tight underwear.

Prepare to Be Tired

Modelling may seem like fun but it can actually be hard work. Plenty of models must travel a lot to get to certain jobs and may be running on little sleep.

It’s also important to prepare your own food beforehand as you may not be able to grab a healthy bite to eat. Bring a large bottle of water to keep hydrated, and pack some under-eye masks to help with any puffiness around the eyes.

Trimmed to Perfection

Body hair needs to be thought about if you want to be an underwear model. Most brands will require you to have your legs and underarm hair removed, as well as your bikini line.

For men, you may be required to remove chest hair, or to have it neatly trimmed.

Bikini lines will be a constant concern; keeping neat and hair-free can cause blemishes and ingrown hairs, which obviously won’t look ideal on camera. The make-up artist will have to cover the area, which is time-consuming and seen as an annoyance, so it’s important to try and prevent unwanted blemishes on the skin as much as possible.

All personal boundaries will definitely be crossed; the stylist will apply make-up to places that you never thought would need it! It is a very intrusive job that requires for models to be relaxed in these situations.

Make sure that you have a hair removal routine that works for your skin type. Whether that’s shaving, waxing or removal creams, experiment and work with a cosmetic expert to find out what works best for you.

Breast Size Fluctuations

Your breast size changes regularly due to hormones and diet and should therefore be checked every six months. This could mean that you miss out on a job as your chest has suddenly grown. The brand may want a specific breast size that is different to your statistics. Unfortunately, this is out of your control as mother nature takes over. Different underwear brands look for various measurements, so keep attending castings and don’t write off a brand just because they haven’t accepted you for a campaign. 

Keep a Pair of Knickers in Your Bag

In case of an impromptu casting, it’s a good idea to always leave the house with a pair of lace knickers in your bag. Choose a pair that flatters and suits your physique whilst not being too distracting to be within the best chance of securing the role. The modelling industry is very unpredictable with people dropping out or a last-minute change to the requirements. Make sure you are prepared and flexible – just in case!

That Time of the Month

When female lingerie models have to wear thongs and other garments while on their period, they will have no option but to opt for a tampon or menstrual cup rather than a pad. It’s important to realise this if you have allergies or a dislike for these types of hygiene products.

Always be prepared as your period may sporadically appear. Keep back-up tampons in your bag for those unpredictable moments.

How to Be a Lingerie Model

  • Possess strong inner confidence to pose in lingerie in front of a room full of people.
  • Build a slender, toned physique by maintaining a regular exercise regime and healthy diet.
  • Eat a nutritious diet, drink a lot of water and have a good skincare routine to create a flawless complexion.
  • Have a great understanding of body awareness to present flattering poses.
  • Feel 100% comfortable exposing your figure by wearing just underwear.
  • Always be prepared by keeping the essentials in your bag for last-minute bookings.

Do you have more tips to help individuals understand if they have what it takes to be an underwear model? Share your thoughts with us below

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Posted by Melissa Keen

Melissa's experience in the beauty and fashion world as a writer and blogger spans over five years. Her other interests include reading, yoga and music.