The attire that a masseuse wears is largely dictated by the institution that she works for. Different companies have widely differing styles of uniform that are meant to convey the prime focus of their enterprise and the degree of professionalism that they embody.
Over the years, certain general trends in masseuse wear have established themselves to become parts of the de facto uniforms of both institutions and freelance masseuses. There are four main categories of masseuse clothing:
Upper scale massage centers, like those in country clubs, often have their masseuses in white tunics reminiscent of retro nurse uniforms. Hospital-type scrubs are also popular, particularly among spas. Others eschew them for a more casual approach of just shorts and T-shirt, usually with the company insignia.
Where possible, masseuses work within the confines of regulations set for them but frequently adapt for their own ease and range of movement. This gives them the ability to give their clients the best service possible.
Generally, giving a massage is a physical workout for the masseuse. Because of this, they prefer clothes that are light and airy. Cotton and breathable spandex materials are popular.
Whereas not strictly part of any masseuse uniform, the bandana has become popular in the headwear category for its ability to stop beads of sweat stinging the eyes, or worse, falling on the client! Headbands also work well in this respect.
For tops, short sleeves are usually the preferred option. Where possible, sleeveless is even better. Both these keep the masseuse cool whereas long sleeves simply keep sweat confined and leave the arms damp. Some masseuses might start off in a long-sleeved top if dictated by the workplace but then peel it off after the massage has started and they need to remain cool.
Light Polo-Ts work well, as do golf shirts. You will rarely see a masseuse with an elaborate top as it will interfere with the quality of the massage they provide as well as being relatively uncomfortable.
When it comes to bottoms, light and airy one-piece tunics work best. On the other hand, it is not uncommon to see freelancers in shorts, spandex workout leggings and even slacks or jeans. However, the last two in particular do not give a very professional appearance and established massage centers do not allow their employees to wear them.
When it comes to footwear, there can be considerable difference between employer regulations and what the masseuses feel works best for them.
Most employers have a closed-toe footwear policy and many even provide standard shoes for their employees. However, there is the general sentiment among massage therapists that sometimes bare feet offer better stability.
Either way, a masseuse is on her feet for extended periods during a work day and this can create incredible amounts of stress on the feet. Cushioned soles are best in this case. In all circumstances, flip-fops should be avoided for the lack of both support and balance that they provide.
A General Rule
A good rule of thumb for the professional masseuse is to avoid skimpy clothing to reduce the possibility that there is a misinterpretation of the type of services on offer.