What Do I Wear (or Not Wear) in a Massage?

I just scheduled a massage, do I need to get naked?

wear in massage

Short answer:
No. Absolutely not.
Long answer:
What do you wear in a massage? What massage therapists (myself included) often say to a client is, “Undress to your level of comfort.” Maybe that’s a little bit too vague. Plus, if you’ve never had a massage before, you probably have no idea what that even means. Do I even know what that means? Maybe?! Anyway, here’s what you need to know about clothing during your massage:


I’ve Got You Covered

wear in massage
massage draping

I like to tell people, I rarely will see any more of you than if you were wearing a swim suit. I keep you covered with a sheet and a blanket throughout your massage. When I work on your arm, I hold the sheet in place and pull your arm carefully out from underneath, resting it on top of the blanket. When I do arm stretches, I tuck the covers in tight under your armpit. This makes it so that I can pull your arm over your head without them slipping and exposing your chest.


wear in massage
massage draping

For your legs, there are a couple of ways I drape. For the most part, I will pull sheet under one leg and up along your hip, tucking you in tightly so that we can do leg or hip stretches without you feeling exposed or drafty. Occasionally, I will uncover one leg and tuck the sheet under your other leg.


wear in massage
massage draping

When I work on your full back, I fold the sheet and blanket down to your hips. If you’re wearing underwear or pants, I may tuck the sheet under the waistband. This helps protect your clothes from the lotion or oil and keeps the covers from slipping.


If at any time you’re cold or uncomfortable, just let me know. I have extra sheets and blankets available! If you’d like to read a little more about draping and how you can help your massage go smoother, check out this post.

Where Does This Whole “Your Level of Comfort” Come In?

It means that if you do not feel comfortable removing a particular article of clothing, that is perfectly fine. If you’re wearing a bra, I’ll work around it. Wearing a tank top or shorts or long johns? I’ll work through them. If your feet get cold and you want to leave your socks on, no worries! Want to keep all of your clothes on? That’s okay, too!

hand massage
wear in massage
massage draping

If the texture or bulkiness of your clothes makes massage a challenge, I may use a sheet or cloth over them to smooth out the process. In the event that we reach a point where I feel I can’t effectively treat your issue through the clothing you’ve chosen to wear, I’ll let you know and we’ll figure out another approach.


I Prefer to Wear Clothes for My Massage, What are Some Good Choices?

If you’re not quite ready to undress for a massage, but you’re worried about what will be most comfortable or make my job easier, here are a few suggestions:

  • A bra that hooks in the back can be unhooked while you’re laying face down for a nice full back massage. I hook it again when I am done.
  • Soft materials for shirts and pants are nice. Sweaters and things with a lot of texture can make my skin feel chafed after a while.
  • Snug but comfy clothes like yoga pants, sweat pants, tighter tees, etc, will move around less and make those nice long flowing strokes easier.
  • You’re going to get more of the sensation of the massage through thinner clothes. With something like thick jeans and a chunky wool sweater, you’re likely to feel pressure just fine, but maybe not the lighter touches as well.
wear in massage

The most important thing to remember is, whatever you choose to wear (or not wear) during your massage, it’s okay with me, and I’m not judging you. Your massage is all about you and it’s important that you feel comfortable and relaxed. For some people that means leaving some clothing on. For others, it means taking it all off. There is no right or wrong,

Enjoy your next massage!

2 Comments on “What Do I Wear (or Not Wear) in a Massage?

  1. Pingback: The Secret to a Great Massage - Birch Tree Wellness, LLC

  2. Pingback: Massage Misconceptions Aren't Always Funny - Birch Tree Wellness, LLC

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