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Spray tanning is the fastest way to get a bronze glow any time of the year without burning under the sun. That being said, everything you choose to wear after the session will affect how the tan looks. So, if you’re interested in knowing what to wear to keep the tan looking flawless, continue reading.

The Short Answer

The choice of what to wear after spray tanning is dependent on whether it leaves stains, streaks, or marks behind. So, wear dark, loose-fitting clothes from head to toe. Let your tanned feet breathe with sandals or flip-flops.

Furthermore, skip the jewelry, jeans, tights, suffocating footwear, and light clothes. Also, try to avoid deodorants, makeup, and perfumes on the day of the appointment.

What to Wear for the Appointment and Afterward

Here are the choices of what you should either wear or pack with you on the way to the tanning appointment. They’re also the kinds of clothes you should wear after the appointment to preserve your tan.

Dark Clothing

Wearing dark clothes after spray tanning is a no-brainer. Dark colors prevent stains from showing, which is bound to happen, as tans transfer on clothes.

Loose-Fitting Outfits

Loose clothes ensure that the fabrics don’t stick to the tan and rub the tanning solution off your body. And they allow the tan to settle in and become one with your skin.

Skirts and Dresses

Similar to the point discussed above, skirts and dresses are a woman’s best friend after a tan. There’s less fabric to be stained. In addition, their flowy nature allows the tan on your legs to dry down in peace.

Flip-Flops or Sandals

Just like your legs and arms, your tanned feet deserve some freedom, as well. To maintain the consistency of the tan all over your body, including the feet, you should wear proper footwear. So, wear the kind of footwear that leaves your feet as free as possible. The most appropriate options are flip-flops and sandals.

What Not to Wear After a Spray Tan

Now that you have a general idea of what to wear, you should know precisely what kind of outfits and items to avoid so that your tan dries quickly and nicely.


As controversial as it may sound, your bra won’t be good for you after you spray tan. It’ll make you sweat and leave strap marks on your shoulders and back, leaving your tan messy and blotchy.

Jewelry and Accessories

While some may dislike the idea of not wearing any jewelry or accessories, it’s crucial not to wear them on tanning days. These items interfere with anything that you put on your skin. So, unless you want tan lines wherever your necklace or bracelet sits on your skin, you should avoid wearing jewelry and accessories.

Tights and Socks

The worst thing that you can do to your tanned legs and feet is to wear tights, socks, or both on your tanning day. They suffocate tanned skin, make it sweat, and rub the tan off, leaving a blotchy mess behind. If you want that flawless sun-kissed look, ditch anything tight on tanning day.


Jeans are probably the most practical fashion item but not on tanning day. Just like tights and leggings, jeans will rub the tan off your legs. Plus, they’ll feel uncomfortable anyway, so why bother?

Light Clothing

Unless you want the whole world to see brown stains on your white t-shirt, don’t wear anything light or white on your freshly tanned skin. While tans are mostly washable, light clothing won’t look pleasant with the color transfers it’s prone to.

Close-Toed Shoes

We all have a favorite pair of vans, sneakers, boots, or heels. Well, it’s time to show them a little bit less love. To preserve the tan on your feet, avoid any close-toed footwear.

Deodorants, Perfumes, and Makeup

Most people don’t think about the damage many beauty and skincare items can do to tans because they’re less visible or tangible than clothes. However, it’s safe to say that deodorants, perfumes, and makeup will affect how your skin absorbs the tan. So, you’re advised not to wear them for the day.

What to Wear to Bed

It’s important not to put skin on skin after spray tanning, as that may darken the outer layer of your skin even more or make it blotchy and messy. So, if you’re used to sleeping in underwear, pajamas with short sleeves and shorts, or even in the nude, it’d help if you didn’t on the night after you tan. 

Instead, wear loose pajamas with long pants and long sleeves. Wearing socks on your hands will also prevent you from accidentally touching your skin or rubbing the tan off.

To avoid staining your bed sheets, which may happen, consider placing a towel or any disposable barrier between the bed and you.

If you have old bedsheets that you don’t care much about, this is the time to use them. Even better, if you’re a regular tanner and don’t mind splurging, consider purchasing a bedsheet protector from tanning salons that sell them.

In addition, we recommend sleeping in a cool room so that you’re not sweating the tan away and making a mess. And our final recommendation is not to sleep immediately after the tanning appointment. Letting your skin dry as much as possible before you go to bed reduces any chances of staining.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, everything you wear after a tanning session can change how your tan looks. To keep the tan looking as consistent and natural as possible, wear dark, loose clothes, such as dresses and skirts.

Moreover, switch your favorite pair of boots with flip-flops or sandals. Finally, avoid using beauty and skincare products that may prevent your skin from absorbing the tan properly.

I hope this article was helpful for you.  If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to me directly - [email protected]


Grant Kantsios

Sunless tanning business & marketing coach

Hey everyone!  My name is Grant and I've been in the sunless tanning industry for over 9 years.  I started in the industry working for Sjolie Sunless, one of the largest companies in the sunless tanning industry.  Since then, I've had a passion for helping sunless tanning business owners through my work at happytans, with the happytans podcast and website builder. In addition, I created Sunless Evolution with world-renowned spray tan artist Jimmy Coco, who sprays A-list celebrities like the Kardashians and Ashley Graham.

Disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. I do have experience with each of the products or services listed below so I feel fully comfortable recommending them. Please do not spend any money on the products unless you feel you need them to achieve your goals. It turns out a lot of the things I use are free so you should be able to do the same.

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