…What Shall I Wear…

“…What Shall I Wear…”

By Sharon Truelove

In the workplace, whether as employee or self-employed, a dress code is used for maintaining a professional appearance. The more professional you appear, the more top-end client  you can attract. If you are not working for yourself, the type of setting will probably dictate what you wear…medical, spa, salon, hospital, ect.


In the medical setting, scrubs are common attire. They may even be supplied by the employer. Spa settings tend to dictate what color is worn, leaving more free choice of what you wear. Some clinics require that a shirt w/the company logo be worn. In private settings, of course, you may wear whatever you think is appropriate.

Listed here, are some helpful guidelines.

What NOT to wear:

Spaghetti straps

Tank tops


Open toed shoes

Oversized sweat pants and/or t-shirts

Clothes that are revealing in any way

What to consider:


Clothes that allow stretching & working from the core

Shoes that support

For women, especially large breasted, a good supportive bra is important

Going barefoot is not good on your back, but if you absolutely must go barefoot-

remember that your client will be able to see your feet through the face cradle

when prone—so, make sure you get regular pedicures

For men, dress casual pants w/a belt and polo is very common

Pockets are convenient on scrubs or aprons, but make sure you don’t “jingle” (loose

coins or other noisey items)

Many professional therapists have agreed  that the least successful attire were baggy sweats & t-shirts.

Take a minute and if you are really brave, tell us what  was the most inappropriate outfit you have seen anyone massage in…keep it clean! And please, WHY do you think it was inappropriate?

18 thoughts on “…What Shall I Wear…”

  1. I personally have not had a massage by someone in inappropriate attire. I would imagine that the worst thing a lmt could wear would be something uncomfortable that didn’t allow them to properly access their clients the way they should for instance long sleeves jeans with no give or the lmt could wear something way revealing and have to much skin showing. But when I am in my place if business I will wear black yoga pants comfortable shoes and a shirt that is appropriate for any treatment

  2. FADED lint filled black. It was mine. I put it away. It also makes a therapist feel proud and gain a little respect from your community. I have gotten NEW clients from wearing my badge and license ALWAYS during the week.

  3. I have only had one that I recall. She was wearing a fitted v-neck t-shirt. She was quite large chested so it was more noticeable than normal. She also had her chest in my face when she massaged my arms, from the head position! The whole massage was terrible though. She used too much oil & even wiped her hands off using my hair. Yeah, ewww. Needless to say, I never went back.

  4. I haven’t had a massage by anyone in inappropriate attire, so I can’t answer that. However, as far as the professional side of things goes, I am used to wearing what most would call a ‘work uniform’, so wearing clothes that make me appear to be a professional massage therapist while allowing me to move and stretch would not be an issue whatsoever. It would be so much more comfortable than the typical ‘blue collar’ attire I have worn in the past!

  5. Good dress tends to go un-noticed but when its bad it shouts at you and looks awful -1st impressions count in our business and altho it sounds shallow I’m most impressed when the outfit matches the image of the business. Sloppy outfit = sloppy business and practices. My personal yuk thing is when the MT isnt wearing socks and shows cleavage.

  6. According to the list in the article, tank tops and spaghetti straps are inappropriate and a lot of us, myself included, are guilty of this in lab. I’ve been trying to wear lighter-weight t-shirts instead of the tanks and spaghetti straps, I have found a few cute, inexpensive t-shirts at places like Ross and Goody’s.

  7. I have had a “professional” massage from someone inappropriately dressed. It made me feel that she was, in fact, NOT a professional at all. No shoes (and yes, I could see her feet through the face cradle and there had been no effort to make them look presentable), VERY revealing clothing–impacted my impression of her and the company she represented.
    Loose yoga pants, comfortable shoes and a shirt that covers but allows the use of the forearms will be my “uniform.” Professionalism for the win.

  8. Hi Sharon, I’ve submitted blog friday (now Sunday) but its not showing up – anyonne else have this problem?

  9. I have only had two massages in my life time and both times they were wearing,what you have described, profession attire. I can see how a massage therapist could become complacent with type of clothing, maybe because of the calm and relaxing atmosphere he or she my be in. Understandably though, I see a client would feel a lot more comfortable when they first meet a massage therapist who is professional minded with clothes to match.

  10. I have seen people wear really tight tops that let their top show. To me that is NOT work approiate. In a work place i would wear the yoga pants and the shirt that is work attire. I believe that how you look is a very big issue to get more business.

  11. I know someone who briefly worked for a less than desirable “massage” place who was required to wear a bikini to massage in. While there were no actual happy endings, the clientele was of course of that type of caliber. She definitely made some very quick money, but was very traumatized by the experience. She still hates massage and does not feel comfortable around older men. What I found interesting was that this seemed to be the only variety of job she was ever offered, which she did not understand. However,the style of clothing she always wore to “look good” for an interview was somewhat revealing, usually either low cut in the front, spaghetti straps, short shorts, or some combination of the three. I hope that she eventually reads a blog or something else like this and learns what is more appropriate to wear to be successful in a more professional environment.

  12. I went to my normal place and my girl (who always wears cute scrubs with nice hair) was full but I really needed to be worked on so I took an appt with someone else there. The lady came into the room dressed in tight levi’s from like 1981 and a shirt that seemed to have been shrunk in the dryer or @ least I was hoping she didn’t buy it that way, and a fannypack. She looked so ridiculous, unprofessional, and I didn’t think it was a very good massage.

  13. As an LMT I think the best attire are yoga pants or scrubs. Working in a spa I have seen many people in inappropriate dress code. I try and look at my attire in a guest standpoint before leaving the house so I feel comfortable yet professional.

  14. I can’t say that I’ve seen many other therapist outside of the class lab time so my view is limited. The ones that I have seen were in appropriate attire. Mainly yoga pants or athletic type clothing (not shorts. Dress is important because people are visual beings. Thus how you dress and present yourself plays the main part in who or what clientel will or will not be drawn to your business.

  15. I’ve never received a massage outside of the classroom, but I could only imagine what could be classified as inappropriate. Dress should be taken seriously, because it’s a representation of you, and how seriously you take your practice. I wouldn’t want to see anyone dressed as with they didn’t care, it wouldn’t be appealing to me.

  16. I have only recieved one massage in a spa and the lady that I saw was very professional. She wore her own style and it looked comfortable yet very professional. I think for me I will wear scrubs. Thank you.

  17. I havent had any real professional massage beside from school but unprofessional attire I feel are people in flip flops,tight jeans, and spaghetti straps. These clothes cant be confortable for a peson to move around in and give a massage. Feet should always be covered in a professional setting. Now like it was mentioned it is okay to take off your shoes if it is confortable to you and i would only do it if there was carpet on the floor. If no carpet you should really keep your shoes on. As far as what your feet look like you should have on socks no one wants to smell your feet as you give a massage. Specially when the client is prone and is in the face cradle and you are at the head of the table and they can see your feet. Other than that spaghetti straps speaks for themselves your armpits are in the open and it usually dont cover up much in the front. Jeans are bad idea because you cant move too freely with them on. I say go with scrubs or yoga pants with a shirt that covers you up. For us ladies that have been blessed wear a sports bra to help keep them in place or wear more than one bra if need be.

  18. This is good information. If left to my own, I’m not sure what I would have chosen; probably baggy t-shirt and sweats. Thank you.