A common fear for spa enthusiasts (especially first timers) is the issue of what to wear and what to bare. Is it acceptable to wear workout gear to the luxury resort’s spa? Will my massage therapist think I’m weird if I’m not naked? The questions are never-ending and definitely not a task  to be taken lightly as not enough consideration can land you naked in a mud wrap that clearly requires clothing (and no one wants that). To avoid turning your serene spa day into a total freak-out frenzy, we’ve compiled our top tips to solve your most common spa dress code questions.

What clothing do I wear?

Athleisure has skyrocketed thanks to brands like Lululemon and astigmatism surrounding yoga pants has died down, so we are camp wear your workout clothes to your spa appointment.  You are about be slathered with oils, creams, rose petals and salt crystals, all things that rub off and we personally would rather ruin our workout leggings than our Theory pants.  If you are spa-ing internationally and are at a nice resort, call ahead to see what is culturally appropriate.

What items do I pack?

This question is variable and depends on the length of your stay and your appointment type. If you are only going in for a facial, well then you will need your standard clothes, toiletries etc. But, if you are going in for a full day of pampering from pedicures to a salt scrub and will be spending time in the relaxation area, we think it is best to be prepared. Some items to consider are a spare set of clothes, swimwear, magazine or book and any additional items you will require to get ready for any plans afterwards. All spas will have a changing area but not all spas will have blow dryers, q-tips, lotion or deodorant, so always confirm with the spa so you don’t find yourself in a bind.

What items are complimentary?

Most spas and resorts will offer complimentary robes, appropriate footwear, towels and depending on your treatment, disposal undergarments. To avoid putting yourself in an uncomfortable position, we recommend that when you confirm your appointment you ask what items they provide. Take into consideration that while most spas do not have a towel or robe limit to not abuse the privilege as you wouldn’t want to deprive another guest the comfort that comes from being swaddled in an enormous luxe spa robe.

When is it appropriate to bare all (locker rooms, saunas, treatment room)?

Locker Room+ Sauna:

Traditionally, all locker rooms are separated by gender, but there is always that wildcard spa, so if you are a modest spa-goer definitely phone ahead.  Typically, locker room etiquette is determined by the patrons, you will have the woman walking around sans towel and women opting to change in the bathroom. It’s meant to be a safe zone, where no body shaming is allowed, so go in and do what makes you feel comfortable! If a sauna or steam room is included as a part of the gender separated sections, you are more than welcomed to go in nude (but, please sit on a towel), however, if they are coed, remember to put on your swimsuit before sitting down for a sweat.

Treatment Room:

If you are going in for a massage, facial, back facial or any other “typical” spa service, you will encounter the draping method, which means the therapist will leave the room, you will strip down completely and will lay down on the table and cover yourself with blankets or towels, the therapist will knock and then reenter the room where they will position the towel to only reveal the specific area being treated (one leg, one arm, your lower back etc.). Once an area has been treated it will be covered before the practitioner uncovers the next area to work on.


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