Latex’s journey towards acceptance in the fashionable mainstream has been a slow one. For decades – nearly a century – it was seen only as the material used to make niche fetish gear or necessary but unfashionable items such as raincoats and boots. In contrast, the recent emergence of high-fashion latex has been rapid and explosive.
Perhaps you’ve always wanted to give wearing a latex a try but only worked up the confidence after observing its recent popularity. Maybe you’d never given a thought to latex as a part of your everyday wardrobe, but were inspired by the stylish outfits worn by celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, Kylie Minogue or Lady Gaga. Or perhaps latex plays a regular part in your bedroom activities but you’re now looking for ways to incorporate it into your office or date-night ensembles. Regardless of your reasons, we’re here to help you pick out an eye-catching latex outfit – or several - which draws inspiration from the latest fashions.
Why did it take latex so long to become fashionable? Why is it happening so quickly now? What can I do to become a part of this fabulous trend? All of these are questions the Laidtex staffers have asked ourselves at one point or another – and will attempt to answer to the best of our ability in this informative guide!
Is ""Fashion Latex"" Something New?
This is a complicated question with no “one true answer” – after all, what is considered “fashionable” has always varied from country to country, time period to time period and even person to person. However, there are some objective facts regarding the history of latex and fashion that, when compiled together, form an accurate and fascinating timeline.
The Rise of the Raincoat
The first major company to use latex to manufacture clothing was Mackintosh, a United Kingdom-based establishment which produced waterproof raincoats. Mackintosh raincoats derived from vulcanized rubber first appeared in the 1840s, and the company still produces a wide range of “weather-proof” latex garments today.
A thick, bulky, full-body-covering raincoat, as the first Mackintosh models were, does not seem like something which would ever be considered the height of fashion or the latest trend in sexual style. And indeed, for the most part Mackintoshes were appreciated for their function rather than their form – a garment which was useful to wear in the rain but would never be donned when attending a high-class party or ball.
The Mackintosh Company actually took great strides to present their wares as attractive and desirable and move away from their “purely functional” label. Several magazines, at least one produced by the company itself, depicted attractive women in pinup-like poses while wearing these latex raincoats. These efforts from the minds behind Mackintosh were more effective than the coat’s creators could ever imagine – these magazines and those who read them mark the first appearance of what would eventually become known as the latex fetish.
Soon, clubs such as the Mackintosh Society had formed specifically around appreciation of the coats, specifically their erotic appeal and a shared fondness for wearing them on dates or in bed. They began to meet up regularly to discuss their shared interest. Many of these outings featuring long walks through the English countryside in the rain – for coat lovers, perhaps a form of foreplay. Many of these early fetishists even wrote letters to the Mackintosh magazine proudly and cheerily declaring how the coats had improved their sex life!
Had this trend been allowed to continue undisturbed, latex might have become a part of mainstream fashion as soon as the early 1900s. However, the rise of latex was unfortunately stopped by two powerful forces – the law and the sex-negative attitudes of the time period
The government of the United Kingdom shut down several magazines featuring sensual latex images, such as the widely popular London Life. In addition, they prosecuted a number of stores and brands which produced latex gear aimed at fetishists. Seemingly defeated, latex retreated to the shadows, away from the bright spotlights of runways and fashion magazines.
In the 1960s, designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Malcom McLaren did add a few latex pieces to their signature collections. In addition, an influential 1977 documentary, Dressing for Pleasure, examined the world of latex fetishism in depth and attempted to introduce it to the public. The documentary included interviews with both fashion models and members of the Mackintosh Society, which continued to meet regularly despite the societal taboo.
Unfortunately, Dressing for Pleasure was quickly banned, and its number of public showings was incredibly small. Although the rise of the Internet allowed latex fetishists to get into contact with and meet one another far more easily, the material would not return to the mainstream until very recently.
The Latex Fashion Explosion
Starting in 2015 – and seemingly out of nowhere – latex was back. Its popularity as a fashion statement began to grow as a number of influential celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and her siblings, Katy Perry, and Rihanna wore latex to various red carpet events. Latex was back in the public eye and this time, it was here to stay!
Exactly why latex re-emerged in the late 2010s is a fascinating subject and one for which even us latex enthusiasts have no answer. Some fashion bloggers credit the popularity of the Fifty Shades of Grey book and movie series. Others point to the widely circulated Italian pinup calendar Pirelli, which in 2015 featured a latex theme. Model Gigi Hadid publicly praised latex during an interview about the calendar, calling it extremely comfortable and declaring her intent to add several latex pieces to her regular wardrobe.
Loving the Look & Feel
Here at Laidtex, our personal opinion is simple – more and more people are starting to learn just how great latex looks and feels! We’ve compared it in several of our articles to a “second skin,” contouring comfortably to your natural shape and enhancing your existing assets. It is our firm belief that there is not a single body type out there which doesn’t look downright amazing when wrapped in a stylish latex getup!
If the look weren’t enough, you can’t forget the feel! We firmly believe that latex is one of the convenient materials possible to wear. As it contours to your skin, your clothes do not move or slip around as you go about your day. Yep, you heard us right – that means absolutely NO need to constantly pull, tug or otherwise adjust your outfit every couple minutes. You’ll be completely free from awkwardly shimmying or shuffling around to shift the various pieces of your ensemble back to their intended positions. You can wear latex all day without having to devote a single thought to worrying that a single piece of your fashionable getup might have slid out of place!
Plus, latex straight up just feels awesome to wear. The close, snug fit against your skin keeps it lightly stimulated throughout the day, giving you the feeling that you are getting a constant warm, reassuring embrace. This stimulation also encourages your skin to regulate its temperature constantly, keeping it warm and moist with no risk of drying out during the day.
If you’re starting to get the idea that latex might truly be “the whole package,” well, then, you’d be right! Whether it’s a small accessory like a vest or belt or an entire head to toe ensemble, latex fashion will make you look great and feel great from the moment you slip into it to the moment you take it off at the end of the day. It’s more than just a fashion statement – it’s a comfortable, aesthetically appealing, confidence boosting style choice.
First Steps into the World of Latex Fashion
Now that we’ve sold you on why you should add latex to your daily wardrobe, it’s time to move on to the how. If your only mental image of latex is the kind of tight black leggings frequently seen at clubs or the full-body suits used by fetishists during their bedroom play, the idea of stepping out in latex on an average workday might seem daunting.
However, as latex’s popularity in the fashion world grows, so do the available options. Even though it’s only been in the spotlight for a few short years, latex has moved far beyond monochrome black outfits geared at fetishists. You can find everything from a formal, elegantly cut latex jacket to a jaunty latex hat to even a pair of latex shoes! Not to mention the veritable rainbow of colors and patterns in which latex is now manufactured.
But don’t worry. Us Laidtex staffers definitely remember our own tentative first tries at creating a fashionable latex ensemble to wear to the office, a date or a party. We’ve each contributed our favorite tips and suggestions to create the list presented below:
Tips for Getting Started with Latex Fashion
Pretty in Pastels
When you think about the words, “latex fashion,” Kim Kardashian’s stunning dress probably comes to mind. And for good reason – it was the talk of fashion magazines, blogs and TV programs for weeks after she first stepped out in it!
If Kim’s pale pink bodycon dress (the work of UK-based designer Atsuko Kudo) appealed to you as much as it did to us, then you might just have an idea of where to get started on your latex fashion journey: with PASTELS!
The days in which latex could only be found in a few shades of seductive black or sinful red are long past. The latex vulcanizing and molding process has become sophisticated enough to produce results in practically any color imaginable. That’s why we can proudly recommend light, delicate pastels as a great first color option.
Why pastels? Well, first off, they look good on practically everyone – you definitely don’t have to be Kim Kardashian to pull off a nice pastel. Secondly, because pastels are not particularly bright or attention-getting, they might make you more confident if you are wearing latex out in public for the first time. You’ll present an elegant, understated image very different from the traditional idea of shiny, bold latex – appropriate for the office, a fancy dinner date, a high-class party or dance, and anywhere else you might choose to show off your new ensemble!
We also recommend mixing and matching your pastel colors. Pair a delicate shade of light pink similar to Kim’s famous dress with soft greens, faded blues or even gentle yellows or purples. You’ll look like the peak of fashion, and you might even surprise your friends and coworkers when they finally realize that that sophisticated getup you’ve got on is made entirely from latex!
Mix and Match
Once you’ve gotten more comfortable with your wardrobe filled with gorgeous latex pastels, it’s time to add in some variety! Our next recommendation is to mix and match colors to create stylish, eye-catching but still appropriately formal ensembles.
For example, pair one of your pastel tops with those black leggings that you’ve been dying to try out. Add a dark colored jacket to a more colorful dress or top. Try out latex accessories – such as shoes, belts, gloves, or hair pieces – in a different but complementary color than your dress or suit.
Additionally, advances in the manufacturing process of latex have now made it possible to create garments featuring prints or two or more colors. So if you’re looking for something fun or funky, give some multicolored, striped, or checked latex pieces a try! We especially love pieces which contrast two dramatic colors, such as red and black, to create an overall eye-catching statement!
If you’re looking to bring latex into your rotation of office-appropriate outfits, our number one recommendation would be to experiment with lengths. Longer pieces will “class up” any outfit, and a longer latex top or dress will go a long way towards removing the “sexy” association which many people unfortunately still have with the material. Not to mention, a longer latex piece will accentuate your gorgeous arms and legs!
We suggest a knee-length or longer latex dress (possibly in a pastel color, as discussed above!) paired with a snappy jacket or blazer. Alternately, try out a longer tunic style top over a pair of leggings or other pants. Either of these ensembles would be fully appropriate for any office environment while still being made entirely from comfortable, sensual latex!
A Cut Above
Along with latex’s general emergence into the fashion world came experimentation with a wide variety of cuts by top designers, brands and manufacturers. If you’re already a latex lover but have been looking for ways to bring it into your daily life as well as your nightlife, we recommend adding some classy cuts to your existing wardrobe.
One example would be to try a high-necked dress or top as part of your office ensemble. This will give even traditional black latex a classier, more understated effect which can be perfect for that big work meeting or sophisticated dinner party you’ve been looking forward to for weeks. It will also emphasize the elegant lines of your body and focus attention on sometimes neglected parts such as your neck, shoulders and arms. Don’t worry – you can still hang on to your lower-cut latex pieces for dates, trips to the club, and, of course, the bedroom!
Refine the Shine
It hurts us to even remotely suggest downplaying that signature sleek, “wet” shine which gives latex so much of its sensual appeal. However, it’s important to acknowledge that latex’s distinctive shine is what a lot of people think of when they consider its more erotic reputation. After all, dominatrix outfits and full enclosure suits alike are usually shined to a glaring, eye-catching brightness every time that they are to be used for bedroom play.
Therefore, it might sometimes be a good idea to go easy on the shine spray when wearing latex to the office or to a formal event. Don’t worry: the more “refined” shine will not detract at all from latex’s aesthetic appeal or comfort. Instead of the “wet” look to which you might be accustomed, you’ll find yourself giving off more of a warm “glow”. Your outfit will still highlight all of your body’s best points – just with slightly less risk of blinding your co-workers when you stand under the office’s bright fluorescent lights.
Even if you’re going with a slightly more subdued shine for the workday, we still recommend keeping a small bottle of your shining agent of choice in your purse, bag or briefcase. This will allow you to touch up during the day if your shine happens to get scuffed or dull too much. Just make sure you wait a few minutes after each touch-up before sitting back down at your desk, giving your friend or partner a hug, or anything else which runs the risk of causing the shining spray to smear before it is fully dry.
Our last tip is a simple one: if you’re head over heels for latex fashion but aren’t quite ready to head out in a Kardashian-esque dress, start small. What do we mean by “small,” exactly? Why, with accessories, of course!
Latex accessories can help you get a feel for what wearing the material is like without being as dramatic an experience as stepping out in a full ensemble. Additionally, some accessories, such as shoes or hair pieces, can be worn with other materials without running the risk of scratching, tearing or damaging the latex. This makes accessories and other small pieces a great way to get used to wearing and caring for latex before working up to entire outfits.
The amount and variety of latex accessories currently available for purchase is, in our humble opinions, downright astounding. Pretty much anything you might possibly want to wear or own can be found in latex form. If you’re looking for ideas to get started, some of our personal favorite latex accessories include:
- Shoes, especially ankle boots and high-heeled pumps
- Hair pieces, including but not limited to flowers, bows, and headbands
- Neck adornments such as scarves, detachable collars or even wide necklaces
Start with one or a few of these accessories, and we can promise that, in no time at all, you’ll be confidently ready to step out decked from head to toe in fashionable latex!
As with all latex pieces, remember to practice proper care at all times. All latex should be washed by hand using gentle, unscented soap and then stored in a dark, room temperature environment. See here for more information about putting on latex outfits or here for instructions regarding cleaning and storing your new fashion items.
Unless your latex garment has been chlorinated (see here for more information) you should avoid layering latex pieces with garments made from any other materials, especially thick ones such as leather. This can cause dyes from the other material to bleed onto the latex (or vice versa), ruining its brilliant color.
Any metal – including but not limited to buttons, belt buckles and jewelry – will also cause discolored patches to appear on the surface of the latex. In the worse case scenario, rough materials like leather can even rub too hard against the latex and cause it to tear. For best results, stick to latex pieces only when designing an ensemble!
If you follow these tips, you will quickly and easily be able to enter into the exciting new world of latex fashion. So why wait? Pick out some pieces now and start finding your place in a tradition which has been around for well over a hundred years – the love of shiny, snug, gorgeous, comfortable latex!
Head over here to browse our amazing catalog filled with the latest and greatest in fashionable latex garments and outfits. If you have any questions about the fashion tips or advice presented in this article, feel free to contact Laidtex at any time. We love talking latex couture with our fans!