What to wear during your spray tan and after your spray tan is something that I am asked daily.
We will also cover what NOT to wear after your spray tan never ever!
I see outfits that as a spray tan artist make me cringe and I wonder how a fresh spray tan can ever make it through in one piece after the torture.
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What to wear to a spray tan session:
First things first. What should you wear to get your spray tan applied?
Whatever you are comfortable in!
I have clients who wear shorts and a tank top and I have clients who wear only a thong.
My only concern is that we are NOT making tan lines anywhere it’s going to show in your clothing or bathing suit. Also that you feel comfortable while I am spraying you.
I generally advise older/dark colored bra and undies to get sprayed in. Most of my clients go topless with a thong for spraying to make sure that they won’t have any lines that will show.
Spray tan solution can stain certain fabrics such as nylon, leather, wool and silk. Nylon is normally in undergarments so please pick something you don’t care about. I do try NOT to get spray tan solution on what you are wearing when I am spraying you but sometimes there will be a little on the edges of your undies or bra.
It washes out of most fabrics but not all.
What to wear after a spray tan:
This part is EASY!! Dark, protective, loose cotton clothes. LOOSE FITTING!!
- Dark because we don’t want to see any bronzer rub off onto your clothes.
- Protective to keep your tan safely covered while it develops.
- Cotton so we make sure that if any bronzer does rub onto them it will wash out
- Loose so you are not rubbing lines into your fresh tan.
What to NEVER wear after your spray tan:
So I asked some of my spray tan artist friends what items of clothing make them cringe when a client pulls them out of their bag to wear after their freshly applied spray tan, and here is what I got…..
Leggings–These are tight, they rub, they have seams that rub, they have tight waist bands that rub. Did I mention that they rub? LuLuLemon leggings are the worst with ALL the decorative seams and cut outs and criss cross straps. Super cute but not good after a spray tan. Think lines ALL OVER your legs.
Bras–Regular bras, sports bras, cute bras with 25 straps in the front and the back. These come with all sorts of problems. Rubbing over your tan while you are pulling it over your head and sliding it down your arms getting into it, hooking it in the front and then spinning it around to the back. Makes my eye twitch just thinking about it.
Tight Shorts or Pants–These can be hard to pull up over your booty, causing you to drag your thumbs up the side of your leg while you are tugging your bottoms up creating a mess on your leg and your hand. I don’t like shorts EVER after your spray tan. Cover up those legs so they are protected and you don’t stick to your car seats causing the back of your leg to be blotchy and getting spray tan solution on your car seats.
Tight Shirts and Tops–These have to be pulled down over your face, rubbing and smooshing your hair into your tan. Your pretty tan face with the awesome cheekbone contour that I just applied……. Or they have tight sleeves that pull and rub when you are putting your arms through and smear your tan around your wrist and up your arm.
Jewelry–Apple Watches, fitbits, bracelets, necklaces. All of these can rub lines into your fresh tan and also get tanning solution onto your favorite digital wrist device. I know you want to get all your steps in but you are gonna have to be patient and wait until after your shower to put the fitbit back on.
Boots, Pumps, Strappy Sandals–All of these can rub lines into your feet and around your ankles. Definitely not cute in the summer or before your beach vacation.
The basic theme here is that as spray tan artists we DO NOT want you to put on any article of clothing that is going to rub your tan for the first 10 hours after your spray tan was applied.
We say these things because we love our clients and want your tans to be amazing and smooth and properly contoured.
Please wait until after your first shower to wear the above items.
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What to wear to bed after a spray tan:
Jammie pants and a long sleeve t-shirt!!!
Many of my clients are coming in after school or work so bed time is not that far off in the future so we need to think about what is the best thing to wear to bed after your fresh spray tan.
Before you hop into bed, make sure you have some nice soft long jammie pants and a long sleeve cotton tee to put on.
This keeps your legs and arms covered up so that you don’t rest your hands on your tan while you are sleeping causing the spray tan solution to transfer to the palms of your hands.
These are the perfect jammies to wear to bed after your spray tan.
Shop these soft cotton pajamas on Amazon
I don’t normally see my spray tan solution rubbing onto sheets unless you tend to get sweaty at night. If you are worried about getting spray tan on your sheets you can always put an old sheet down or a towel for that first night. Spray tan does wash out of cotton so as long as the sheets are just cotton and not a blend they will wash. If you are not sure what your sheets are made out of then you will want to put on an older set.
As to the getting sweaty at night situation: some people do and others don’t. Try hard to not get sweaty if you can help it. Run the A/C or a fan. Wear lightweight cotton jammies. I know that it is not always possible to control getting sweaty while sleeping. If you wake up in the AM and see that there is spray tan soaked onto your jammies and the bronzer looks messed up on your skin please don’t panic. It is just the bronzer that is a little smooshed and after it is washed off in your shower all will be fine.
What to wear after a spray tan in winter:
If you live in an area that has a winter season, the weather can be very unpredictable. Here in the MidWest where I am, we joke that all the seasons CAN and DO frequently happen in one day. So it is best to be prepared for the worst case scenario before you leave the house for your spray tanning appointment.
Yes, I do tons of tans in the winter. Getting a little glow can help to brighten up your day and keep your spirits up during the long days of winter.
A long sleeved jacket with a hood to cover your face will protect you from the snow, sleet or rain since water in all its forms on your spray tan will cause polka dots. Loose gloves may also be a good idea if the weather is very bad or it is blowing out. If there is snow or slush on the ground then a loose boot such as an UGG type will protect your feet from the wetness.
What to wear after a spray tan when it rains:
Similar to what to wear after your spray tan in the winter is what to wear when it is raining. You have to keep your airbrush tan protected from the water. I would recommend that having an umbrella or rain poncho handy, keeping covered up with a rain parka with a hood and parking as close as possible are good spray tan tips for a rainy day.
How cute is this umbrella?!!!
Shop this umbrella on Amazon
What to wear after a spray tan in the spring/summer:
This is the busiest time of the year for getting a spray tan. And it is also that time of year where we are more uncovered and more skin is showing making any messed up bits on your tan more visible. Also many formal events such as prom and weddings are happening in the spring and summer which come with formal photography.
Keeping your tan in place as it develops is important. My favorite spray tan outfit for spring and summer is a soft cotton maxi dress. I recommend something in a dark color so you can feel comfortable going without your bra, so there are no lines or marks in your tan. Add a cute scarf for some extra coverage and no one will know.
Events To Spray Tan For:
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- How Boutique Clothing Models Prep For Photo Shoots
Best spray tan clothes:
So now that I have gone over what not to wear after your spray tan and cautions of what can happen to your tan if you wear the wrong things, does that mean that you have to wear your oldest, yuckiest, baggiest clothes in public?
No you don’t!
I am met with “no one ever sees me like this” and “I can’t believe I am out in public like this” every day.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
There are plenty of really cute spray tan friendly tanning outfits that we can put together for you to wear after your sunless tan. Things that you can go back to work in or even out for a bite to eat before heading home without feeling like you just rolled out of bed and shouldn’t be seen in public.
If we just follow the guidelines I explained above when choosing an appropriate spray tanning outfit you can keep your spray tan protected and be stylish at the same time.
So let’s get started with a few choices of some cute clothes to wear after your spray tan and why I like these options.
Spray Tanning outfit:
Let’s start with the perfect long dress to wear after your spray tan the black maxi dress!
Shop this long cotton maxi dress on Amazon
I love this dress for several reasons: It is loose and soft covering your legs protecting them from sticking to anything you may sit on, there are no bands around the arms or waist to rub your tan, the shoulders and upper arms are covered with soft fabric so you will not stick to your car on the way home and your seatbelt will not be directly on your skin, the neckline is a v-neck so easily pulled over your head without touching your face. And there are pockets. And I LOVE pockets. This dress does come in many colors but I would stay with one of the darker ones so you don’t notice any bronzer should any rub off and you can go braless with a cute scarf added to the outfit.
This maxi dress has a little pattern to it that is fun and floaty and is a bit shorter.
Shop this dark patterned maxi dress on Amazon
This patterned maxi dress is a similar style to the first one I showed you with the deep v-neck for easy over the head dressing, loose sleeves that cover the shoulder but it is a bit shorter while still covering most of your leg. Perfect for after spray tan wear.
I LOVE this high low loose cotton tunic dress
Shop this High Low Loose Cotton Tunic Dress on Amazon
If you like a shorter dress this style is perfect!! The longer back covers the legs for sitting while the front still shows off your pretty tan legs. Still has an open neckline for easy over the head and shoulders are covered for the seatbelt and care ride home.
Prefer pants to pull on after your spray tan then these are the perfect pair
Shop these Drawstring Pull On Soft Pants on Amazon
Soft loose with an elastic and drawstring waistband is the perfect set up for comfy cute pants to slide on carefully over your fresh spray tan. No tight legs to rub and you won’t stick to the car or any furniture with all of your skin covered.
Pair these pants with a soft t-shirt.
Shop this soft V-neck Tee on Amazon
Again a soft V-neck silhouette is perfect for easy over the head dressing and can be paired with the drawstring pants above or even a maxi skirt for a cute outfit. Add a fun scarf for a little extra coverage in the front and no one will ever know that you aren’t wearing a bra!
Spray Tan Onesie
For those of you that want an outfit that is specifically made to wear after your spray tan I present to you the spray tan onesie!!! This is a step in zip up one piece outfit that has long sleeves and wide leg pants to keep your fresh spray tan protected and you all covered up. I’m not sure that I would wear this one out to dinner but it does provide all the required protection for your tan while it is developing.
Shop the spray tan onesie on Amazon
Spray tan shoes
I always recommend a flip flop for after tanning, unless of course it is raining and then I do want those feet covered up with a loose cotton sock and loose shoes. Even your tennis shoes are fine with the laces loosened up just to get you home safely and then you can go barefootin’
I hope this helped you decide what to wear when you are getting organized for your spray tan appointment and maybe you can even pick something that makes you feel cute to wear home!!!
As always if you are loving the outfit on the model in the picture head over to Blue Layne for all the adorable choices!!
Photo Credit: Emily Martin Photography
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Hi, I’m Kathryn! I’m here to help you have the best spray tanning experience possible. When I’m not creating beautiful sunless tans, I am working with my students or writing for my blog sharing everything I know about how to get the perfect spray tan, how to give the perfect spray tan, and how to build a boutique spray tan business.