A Guide on What to Wear During and After Applying Spray Tan

Christine Steuber
Sep 28, 2022
Check out my guide with tips, recommendations, and outfit ideas to wear during and after a spray tan session.

Are you thinking about trying self-tanning but not sure what to wear after a spray tan session? Don’t worry – you’ve come to the right place to get all the necessary information.

 I’ve put together the best picks and tips on what to wear and created some great outfits to inspire you.

So, before you head to the salon to rock that bronze glow, go through this guide and learn everything about the best clothing during and after applying spray tan.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

When Can Spray Tan Stain Clothes and Why?

While a spray tan can give you an amazing and healthy-looking glow, it can also leave behind unwanted stains on your clothing. 

Here’s a quick guide on when spray tan can stain clothes and how to avoid it.

  • If it’s not applied properly. When you use spray tan incorrectly, it can lead to staining. Make sure to apply an even layer and avoid any missed spots.
  • When it’s not fully dry. Once your spray tan is applied, let it dry completely before getting dressed. Otherwise, you run the risk of staining your clothes.
  • If you’re sweating. If you start to sweat after getting a spray tan, it can also lead to staining. To avoid this, wear loose, breathable clothing to stay cool and dry.

One more tip – when you shower for the first time after spray tanning, keep in mind that you can stain the white towels, too. That’s why I recommend using dark ones for this purpose.

What to Wear During a Spray Tanning Session – 5 Tips

I believe you are already very excited about getting that sun-kissed glow, so now I’ll reveal five tips on what to wear to get the best final look.

Let’s take a look!

Option #1: Bathing suit

Wearing a bathing suit will help you feel comfortable during the spray tanning, as opposed to being naked (but that’s totally fine, too). By wearing a swimsuit, most parts of your body, such as your arms, legs, and torso, will be evenly coated with the spray tan. 

Besides, I recommend taking a swimsuit in a darker shade with you, but it’s not a strict rule since the spray color usually washes off easily and quickly from most swimsuit materials. 

Mint Velvet strapless seamless swimsuit to wear during spray tan
Credit: Mint Velvet

On the other hand, the disadvantage is that you will have lines on the chest, back, and hips. Also, do not wear a swimsuit that ties around the neck or has straps across the back because then you will have additional lines on the upper body.

Option #2: Bikini bottoms

Since tan lines on the upper body can be very unflattering, wearing only bikini bottoms during your spray tanning session is the best bet. Topless tanning is something that many women are afraid to try, but it is actually one of the best ways to get a perfect tan. You’ll never have to worry about getting that pesky “tan line” across your chest and back again. 

By the way, you don’t have to feel ashamed because it’s completely normal to be topless during a tan session.

The only downside is that you will still have lines on your hips and lower body, but that’s not a big deal, at least in my opinion.

So ladies, going topless is the ultimate way to get a perfect all-over bronze glow!

Option #3: Disposable thongs

And if you want to get tanned as much as possible, disposable thongs are the best option to wear! They provide coverage where you need it most while the rest of the body is exposed.

One of the main benefits of disposable thongs is that they help minimize tan lines, which is especially helpful if you’re planning to wear revealing clothing or swimwear.

Another significant advantage of thongs is that they don’t ride up like other types of underwear, which means you won’t have to adjust them during the session.

Plus, after your spray tan finishes, simply cut off your thongs, and voila! No wrestling with tight clothing or inconvenient removal process. 

The only thing I can mention as a drawback is that this option still requires more courage and self-confidence. But, as I said earlier, there is no room for shame. Focus on the glam tan, and nothing else matters!

Option #4: Sports bra & shorts

If swimsuits, bikinis, and thongs are too much for you, don’t worry. You don’t have to remove your entire outfit to get tan. Feel free to go to the session in a simple sports bra and shorts like this:

Sports bra and shorts to wear during spray tan
Credit: Pinterest

Sports bras and shorts are typically made from breathable fabrics, which help keep you cool and comfortable during your spray tanning session.

But even though this combination is comfortable and boosts self-confidence, remember that you will have visible tan lines on the chest, shoulders, back, hips, and bottom. 

Option #5: Bandeau tops & underpants

And finally, as the last option, bandeau tops and underpants offer more coverage than other types of underwear, so you don’t have to worry about any embarrassing mishaps.

First of all, bandeaus are easy to wear and don’t have any straps, making them the perfect choice for even tanning.

Brandeau top and underpants to wear during spray tan
Credit: Net a Porter

Yet, bandeaus aren’t perfect – you should expect a rather wide untanned line on the back.

As for the lower body, underpants will provide enough coverage, but the hips will mostly remain untanned.

Clothing Recommendations to Follow After a Spray-Tanning Session

Now that your spray-tanning process is over, you want to make sure you maintain that beautiful, even color. But what clothing should you wear to make sure your tan lasts? 

In this section, I’ll give you some recommendations to follow.

Tip #1: Go for loose-fitting clothes

After a spray tan, you want to avoid anything that will make you sweat or feel uncomfortable, so opt for loose-fitting clothes that will help you stay cool and relaxed.

Actually, there are a few reasons why you should consider wearing loose-fitting clothes after spray tanning. 

  • helps prevent the tan from rubbing off your clothes since it does not touch the skin directly
  • allows your skin to breathe and helps to avoid irritation
  • helps the tan stay on your skin for longer because the color won’t transfer to the fabric

In this case, a lightweight linen or cotton maxi dress will be a great option to protect your tanned legs. Here’s what I would wear:

Long loose navy blue dress to wear after a spray tan
Credit: Pinterest

You can also choose oversized T-shirts or blouses made of breathable materials for the upper body. Something like this would be a great option to wear after a spray tan:

Oversized green top to wear after a spray tan Amazon
Credit: Amazon

And according to Lauren from Caribbean Tan, loose-fitting dresses are your best friends after spray tanning, as well as cotton clothes. 

Let’s watch her video to see what else she has to say:

Her main point is that tight clothing and garments with a large elastic band are definitely something you shouldn’t wear after a spray tan. 

Tip #2: Choose darker colors

When you get a spray tan, the last thing you want to do is ruin your favorite T-shirt or pants with brown marks. Remember that color can easily rub off on your clothes and leave you with stained clothing. So, it’s best to stick with dark-colored clothing.

Let’s now take a look at the short YouTube tutorial by Bronzie UK, in which the girl shows that dark pieces are the best option to choose after spray tan. She also wears one practical black jumpsuit which is easy to put on and will not damage your fake tan.

However, there is one thing I would like to follow up on – dark does not necessarily mean black. You can also choose shades of brown, navy blue, or emerald green if you’re not a fan of black.

Tip #3: Opt for full-coverage clothes

To fully protect your “new skin,” remember that full-coverage clothes are the best to wear after a spray tan.

First of all, full coverage means better protection from fading. The clothing will act as a barrier between your skin and the outside world, stopping UV rays or other external factors from affecting your tan.

Besides, you’ll be able to avoid transferring the tanning solution to other surfaces, such as furniture or bedding.

Also, wearing full-coverage clothing can reduce the risk of skin irritation from all bacteria around you. 

Consider something like this:

Full coverage black dress to wear after a spray tan
Credit: Pinterest

I’d also throw on a long-sleeve cardigan in dark colors if it’s cold. 

Tip #4: Cotton is your best friend

When choosing the clothes to wear after a spray tan, focus on cotton fabrics. Cotton is a natural fabric that won’t irritate your skin or stick to it as synthetic fibers can. Besides, cotton breathes, so it won’t trap the heat and make you sweat like polyester.

Furthermore, organic cotton is less likely to cause an allergic reaction, which is why many people with sensitive skin choose it.

For instance, take a look at this cute cotton set:

Loose cotton costume to wear after a spray tan
Credit: Ali Express

Avoid synthetic materials without breathability, which is necessary for your skin after this treatment.

Tip #5: Avoid tight socks

To maintain that perfect bronze hue, you must avoid tight socks. Otherwise, the fabric will rub off the pigment and leave you with streaks.

Plus, tight fabric traps in heat and moisture, leaving you with sweaty feet that are also more likely to get stains.

Ultimately, your skin needs to breathe! When you wear tight socks, it prevents air from reaching your skin cells, which leads to skin irritation and rashes. Instead, choose looser socks or go barefoot if possible.

Tip #6: Choose a bandeau or strapless bra

When choosing underwear, a bandeau and strapless bra will be the comfiest and the most practical option to wear after a spray tan. 

The last thing you want is to have straps digging into your skin, right? Therefore, these bra models will help you avoid any potential tan lines on your shoulders.

Unlike regular bras, bandeaus and strapless bras stay in place. This means you won’t have to worry about them slipping down or adjusting them throughout the day.

Intimissimi black bandeau bra to wear after a spray tan
Credit: Intimissimi

Whether you’re headed to the beach or a special event, let your tanned chest and shoulders take center stage by wearing a style that accentuates your sun-kissed glow.

Tip #7: Wear jammie pants and a long-sleeve shirt to bed

Finally, if you wonder what to wear to bed after spray tanning, there is not much philosophy about it. Just put on the comfy jammie pants and a long-sleeved shirt to prevent your sheets from getting ruined.

Here’s a good example to show you what I am talking about:

Jammie pants and long-sleeve shirt to wear after a spray tan to bed
Credit: M&S

This pajama will help you avoid direct contact between your skin and the blankets. Plus, you won’t experience unwanted smudging when taking in different sleeping positions.

While you may love sleeping in short pajamas (like I do), they are simply a bad choice to wear after a spray tan. So, skip them the first night after spray tanning and sleep in jammie pants or some comfy joggers.

What Not to Wear After Applying a Spray Tan?

Now that you’ve got your gorgeous new spray tan, it’s time to show it off! But before you step out into the world looking like a bronze goddess, there are a few fashion no-no’s you’ll want to avoid:

  • Light-colored clothes will absorb the color of your tan and make you look stained. 
  • Tight clothes (bodycons, shorts, pants, tops) will rub off the spray tan and cause streaking.
  • Jewelry also gets in the way of an even tan. Plus, it can react with the chemicals in the spray tan and cause discoloration.
  • Heels, pumps with straps, and ankle boots can easily rub off your tan on the ankles and feet. 

With these fashion tips in mind, you’ll be sure to keep your tan glow for a long time!

When Can I Wear Normal Clothes after Spray Tanning?

At this moment, you’re probably wondering when you can start wearing regular clothes again. The answer is simple: it depends on the type of spray tan you got, so consult with the professional who performed your treatment.

Speaking from my experience, it’s best to wait 24 hours before jumping back into your favorite tight outfit. Still, nine hours is generally the time frame recommended by many salons, including experts from Tropicoco Tanning & Beauty Studio:

As I said, although the recommendation after using the regular spray tanner is nine hours, it’s always better to wait a little longer to make sure the tan has completely dried and spread evenly over your body.

Top 7 Outfit Ideas To Wear After a Spray Tan

After you have done spray tanning, it would be ideal to stay at home for a few hours to prevent sweating and external influences, but sometimes going out or running some errands is unavoidable. That’s why I prepared seven fashion-forward outfit ideas that will help you flaunt your sun-kissed skin.

Let’s open our wardrobe!

Outfit #1: Flowy shirt & wide-leg pants

Need a stylish and comfortable outfit after self-tanning in the summer? Then this outfit featuring a black flowy shirt, wide-leg pants, and navy blue mules is perfect for you!

Black loose shirt and pants to wear after a spray tan

The light and airy fabric of the shirt will keep you cool, while the wide-leg pants are both stylish and comfortable. The navy blue mules are the perfect finishing touch because they won’t squeeze your feet and leave unwanted marks.

Outfit #2: Sports bottoms, loose T-shirt & casual flip-flops

And if you’re a fan of sporty outfits, I am sure you’ll like this look! These wide sports bottoms, a fancy T-shirt, and cool flip-flops are the perfect combo to wear after a spray tan.

Sports pants loose T-shirt flip flops outfit to wear after a spray tan

It’s not too formal or dressy like the first one, so it’s perfect for everyday style. Dark colors will prevent visible stains on clothes, and the soft and breathable material will keep your tan intact.

Outfit #3: Flowy dress & stylish flip-flops

As I stated earlier, after using a spray tan, you’ll have to avoid anything that will make you sweat. That’s why wearing a loose-fitting dress and flip-flops will help you stay comfortable and keep your tan looking good for longer.

Consider something like this:

Flowy zebra-pattern dress flip flops outfit to wear after a spray tan

Since jewelry is not allowed because it can ruin the tan, you can elevate your outfit with a hairband or hoop. Also, if you decide on a maxi dress like this one, avoid putting your leg over your leg to prevent friction and possible smearing of the color.

Outfit #4: Silk hoodie, sports pants & Uggs

Although flip-flops are the best option because you won’t have to wear socks over your newly tanned skin, it’s still impossible to wear them after spray tanning in winter. 

In that case, you can complete your outfit with loose boots such as Uggs that will not squeeze your foot.

Just look at this cute combination:

Silk hoodie sports pants uggs outfit to wear after a spray tan

A silk hoodie will cool your skin and not stick to it after a spray tan. The pants are also wider and allow for unhindered movements without the risk of ruining your tan.

Outfit #5: Striking sporty look

And if you are not a fan of dark colors, you can choose more striking shades, such as green. Green usually looks great with a dark tan, and if you pair it the right way, you can look spectacular.

For instance, take a look at this sports pants, hoodie, and Uggs combo:

Tie-dye sports pants green hoodie uggs outfit to wear after a spray tan

These tie-dye pants are an excellent option because even if you get a few stains, they won’t be noticeable in this colorful pattern. Of course, always choose a looser model and ensure that the elastic around your leg is not too tight.

Outfit #6: A breathable blouse & long pants

Speaking of colors, are you ready to see the colorful, light-airy matching set?

In addition to looking great, this type of clothing is an excellent option to wear after spray tanning because it is breathable and does not cling to the skin.

Check it out:

Breathable blouse long pants outfit to wear after a spray tan

The best part of this outfit is a light shirt, which you can easily put on and take off without rubbing against your skin and possibly removing your tan.

Outfit #7: Lightweight top & black maxi skirt

Finally, I have prepared another summery, airy combination that will not ruin your bronze tan. This outfit features a flowy emerald green top, black maxi skirt, cute flip-flops, and a hair tie, creating a cute and simple look:

Loose lightweight shirt maxi skirt outfit to wear after a spray tan

As we can see, the T-shirt is loose-fitting with butterfly sleeves, while the beautiful maxi skirt flares out towards the bottom.

Ultimately, tanned feet will also keep their nice tanned look, thanks to the soft flip-flops.

Over to You

And that’s it, my dear readers! Here we conclude the guide on the best clothes to dress after a spray tan session.

Let’s once again go through the basic things you need to remember:

  • During spray tanning, you can wear swimsuits, disposable thongs, sports bras, shorts, bandeau tops, and underpants.
  • Always wear loose-fitting clothes after spray tanning. 
  • Do not wear tight socks or anything with tight elastic around the ankle.
  • Avoid bright clothes after a spray tanning session.
  • Choose a bandeau or strapless bra.
  • Do not wear jewelry during or after spray tanning.

Okay, now you are ready to shine and proudly show your irresistible bronze tan, right? 

If you enjoyed this guide, I invite you to read the other beauty articles on my blog.

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