“I was wondering if you would write an article on fetish dressing. I always find fetish dressing comes off looking extremely tacky and “goth” looking which of course is not the way I want to look. I’d like to be able to incorporate items such as platform “hooker heels”, bondage corsets, pvc, etc. into a more neutral or even girly wardrobe.”
Yes, I know exactly what you mean. There is such a proliferation of cheap “fetish” gaments available, & sometimes it can seem like that’s the only way to make it work. Thankfully, one need not resort to “adult shops” that smell funny & are filled with men in trenchcoats & not much else! You can buy beautiful high-end fetish items online from companies like Coco de Mer, JT’s Stockroom & Madame S.
A lot of designers have also embraced fetish style & made it their own, with high fashion touches — which is great news.
I have to say, though, that while “hooker heels” may look alluring, & cost so little that it’s hard to say no, usually as soon as you wear them for any length of time, you will understand the price, & be wailing “no” all the way down the street. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting with the cheap stuff at first, so you can see whether it’s a style that is going to suit you or not — but if you want to keep it up, I suggest upgrading to the good stuff soon after.
I tend to think that there are a few pieces of criteria to make fetish dressing stylish rather than tacky.
Buy good quality pieces
It’s very easy to go to an adult shop & stock up on PVC trousers, Frankenstein-esque boots & spiked collars — but the reason it doesn’t look good is because you’re basically wearing a whole lot of garbage. PVC doesn’t breathe & you will end up a sweaty mess. In order for it to look more stylish & less goth, you need to buy things which are well made & will last. They must be made with high quality fabrics. Keep your eyes open for handbags or shoes with a PVC finish, anything with an extraneous buckle, things which are spikey, slinky, or exceptionally well-tailored.
Restrain yourself (hee hee)
If you want to give the appearance of being a kinky mistress (or whatever), it’s better to be subtle. You don’t need to walk around in ass-less chaps & a pair of thigh-high boots — it’s too obvious. You want people to give you sideways glances; you want people to have to work at it to figure you out. It’s always best to keep them guessing, & far more alluring. So, when you’re putting your fetish look together, only have a couple of pieces which allude to your cruel & deviant ways. Also, when you’re dressing like this, remember to show off ONE great asset at a time. If your top is all about cleavage, then don’t also show a mile of leg. Retain some modesty — it is much more alluring & stylish.
Remember — you are not pretending to be someone else, or wearing a costume — you are still you. While it can be fun to get into evil mistress character, it’s not Hallowe’en, & there’s a fine line between being stylish & ridiculous. By this, I mean: keep your make-up light. Don’t pull your hair back in an overly severe manner. Don’t be tempted to load your arms with leather gauntlets or draw angry black slashes around your eyes. Wear your favourite perfume — not Eau de Dungeon. Be charming; smile!
I went to my most recent crush, Polyvore, to see what I could whip up for you… Pun intended.
Helmet Lang crochet back sweater, Vanessa Bruno pleat detail skirt, Fendi large B buckle belt, Alexander McQueen patent Elvie bag, Balenciaga heels, sequinned eye mask from Monsoon, black riding crop, two-finger silver ring.
Derek Lam satin smock dress worn with Christian Louboutin studded mary jane platforms. Aren’t those shoes incredible?! Shoegasm! If this looks too simple, however, you could probably throw some white latex stockings into the mix to spice it up.
If you want to stock your wardrobe with a few stylish fetish essentials, you might want to seek out…
Thigh-high (or over-the-knee) boots
A waist cincher or corset (those crazy old goths have the best information on that)
Latex stockings or lamé leggings from American Apparel
A collar of some description — but no spikes, please!
A figure-enhancing pencil skirt
High-heel Oxfords or ankle boots with interesting detailing — buckles, buttons, straps etc.
A big belt that sits on the waist that looks more like a saddle
& just for fun… What’s in my (fetish) handbag?!
Chloé Heloise patent tote, ‘whip me beat me bite me’ patch, ballgag, blindfold, handcuffs, whip, cat mask, Betsey Johnson python driving gloves, Kleenex (boo hoo!) & a Polaroid camera, for capturing those… delicate moments.