Skip to main content

What to Wear to a Massage: A Beginner’s Guide

I enjoy writing about health and wellness topics and offering tips on home remedy solutions.

What to wear to a massage?

What to wear to a massage?

When you’re first starting with massage therapy, it can be confusing to figure out what to expect at your appointment and what kind of clothes to wear, especially if you're thinking of getting a full-body massage. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the process of going to the appointment, including what to wear to a massage as well as how to feel comfortable.

Introduction: Why Get a Massage?

When people think about what to wear to a massage, they are often referring to getting either a back, neck and shoulder massage, or a full-body massage. Your arms, legs, hands, and feet, as well as your neck, back, stomach, and buttocks, are typically all included in a full-body massage. They are great for anyone and everyone, and come with many benefits, such as relief of stress, the release of muscle tension, reduction in pain levels, and improved circulation.

But it's quite common for people to feel concerned about undressing and exposing private areas of their bodies, especially during a first-time massage therapy appointment. They may wonder what to wear to a massage because they want to be comfortable, or because they are not sure what should stay on and what should be removed. Perhaps it's comforting to know that registered massage therapists are trained in exercising the upmost professionalism when it comes to this matter.

Even with a full-body massage, the majority of your body is actually kept covered during the process. While massaging that area of your body, your therapist might unwrap your arm and shoulder or expose your leg. She will hold the towel up as a screen when she needs you to turn it over so you can do it privately.

If this is your first time getting a massage, a good starting point is to schedule a "back, neck, and shoulder" massage first to determine your level of comfort. If everything goes well, you can schedule a full-body massage at the following time.

Your First Massage Appointment

Your massage therapist should ask you about any symptoms, your medical background, and what you hope to get out of the massage before the session even begins. She will discuss the styles of massage available to you, as well as the techniques they'll use during the session. If you don't know which style would suit your needs the best, she will help you determine the right choice.

What to Wear to a Massage

You typically wear loose-fitting clothing to a massage therapy session and then undress to the extent that makes you feel comfortable for the treatment itself. So, when you go for your first massage therapy appointment, think about wearing comfortable clothes that are easy to slip in and out of. When your skin has become clammy, warm, and covered in oils and lotions, getting tight-fitting clothes back on can be challenging.

T-shirt and shorts: an oversized cotton t-shirt and a pair of loose-fitting shorts are ideal choices to make when thinking about what to wear to a massage. Running shorts are usually easier to pull on and off than the tight-fitting styles of shorts or capris that you'd typically wear for yoga, for example.

Sweatpants and a hoody: if the outside temperature is chilly, a casual pair of sweatpants and a hoody are ideal over-layers. Not only will they keep your temperature warm, they are comfortable and cozy to keep you relaxed and happy after your treatment.

Undergarments: you'll likely want to strip down to your briefs if choosing a full-body massage, in which case cotton underwear is the most comfortable and breathable choice. To make it easier for you to put your bra back on, if you wear one, it should be as light and comfortable as possible. Some ladies choose to wear a bikini under their clothes, especially when enjoying a massage at a spa with other facilities where a bathing suit is required. At the time of your massage, it's quite straightforward to remove a bikini top if you feel comfortable doing so.

Scroll to Continue

Footwear: after a foot massage, you should wear cotton socks and a pair of running shoes so that your feet are nice and stable and can breathe as freely as possible. It can be tempting to throw on a pair of flip flops but oils and lotions can occasionally make the soles of your feet slippery.

Accessories: it is helpful to the massage therapist if you don't wear any jewelry to a massage so that it doesn't interfere with the application of oils and lotions to your skin. Wedding rings don't usually pose much of a problem, but necklaces, for example, can get in the way of a beneficial shoulder and neck massage.

It is also a good idea not to wear any lotions or moisturizers, as the therapist will apply specially formulated products to your skin during the session. If you have sensitive skin, you can talk to the therapist before your appointment about what kind of lotions or gels they use.

Undressing for a Massage

When you are ready to undress and lie down on the table, your massage therapist will leave the room. Before the therapist returns to the treatment room, you will be asked to cover yourself with the sheet or blanket provided. Except for the area being worked on, you are always covered by a sheet or blanket.

Treatments are frequently performed directly on the skin while using a lotion or oil to help the therapist glide over the affected area. So it's usually best to undress down to your lower underwear or the bottom half of a bathing suit. Ultimately, the more skin you feel comfortable exposing, the better your massage will be.

Your therapist can modify the treatment plan to your comfort level if you don't feel comfortable taking off your clothes to have the massage performed directly on your skin. Before entering to start the treatment, your therapist will knock to make sure you're ready.

Putting Your Clothes Back On

After the session is finished, the massage therapist will explain that they will leave the room, so you can get up and put your clothes back on. Since it is common for clients to experience dizziness if they get up too quickly, it is a good idea to take your time getting up from the table and get dressed slowly.

You will now realize that the clothing you wore to your massage needed to be very loose fitting to make it easier to put them back on, especially if oils and lotions were applied during your treatment. Since the air in spas and salons tends to be humid and skin usually feels warm or sticky after massage therapy, trying to re-dress yourself with tight-fitting clothes like jeans or leggings can become challenging.

A Comfortable Combo: Hooded Sweatshirt and Shorts

A Comfortable Combo: Hooded Sweatshirt and Shorts


What you wear to a massage depends on your comfort level and the type of massage you're getting. It's best to wear loose, easy-to-get-into clothing for a full-body massage, and cotton clothing that doesn't fit too tightly is a smart choice. It might be best if you dress appropriately so that the therapist has easy access if they are going to focus on a specific area, like your back or neck. What you choose to wear will ultimately depend on what is most comfortable for you and what is simple to put back on after the session.

© 2022 Louise Fiolek

Related Articles