Forced into the mainstream by the popular “50 Shades of Grey” books and movie series — the latest of which hits theaters on Friday — BDSM has become a subject most women are now at least minimally aware of. As it applies to clothing (or accessories), BDSM-inspired wardrobes can include restraints, bondage, leather, collars, corsetry, latex, rope, chains and confinement; think lace-up, corsets, chokers, harnesses, latex or even straight jackets. Do you see where this is going?
The fashion world is far from unfamiliar with many of these pieces — how many pairs of fishnets do you see per day on Instagram? Items that were traditionally viewed as “scandalous” are now being incorporated into everyday style. A prime example? Lady Gaga wore latex to meet the Queen of England in 2012.
Now, just because you haven’t left the house without a choker in the past six months does not qualify you as a BDSM domme princess. However, if you’re interested in casually incorporating kink into your wardrobe this winter, here is the who, what, where, and how we’ve seen it done.
Pastel-colored corsets paraded through Rihanna’s Marie Antoinette-inspired Fenty x Puma Spring 2017 show in September at Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild in Paris. We saw Kim Kardashian wear corsets repeatedly around the same time — often over her husband’s famous Pablo merch. Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Karlie Kloss and Gigi Hadid have all laced up as well, which shouldn’t come as too much of a shock if you follow said Instagirls on social media. When it comes to accenting your curves and cinching in your waist, you can’t beat a corset. We suggest trying one layered on top of a sweatshirt or oversize sweater to create some shape, or if that’s not your style, it can double as a belt over a dress or tailored blouse.
When was the last time you went to a fashion party, scrolled through Instagram or flipped through a magazine and saw a neck without a choker? We’re betting it’s been quite a while. Chokers also hit the runways — at the aforementioned Fenty x Puma show on both men and women, for example — and have become so damn mainstream that even Matt Lauer tried one out on the “Today Show.” Luckily, if you’re not super-adventurous, chokers come in a wide variety of materials and sizes, from delicate ribbons to bolder, lace-up styles and thick leather collars adorned with metal accents. It seems that the rule of thumb for chokers is that there are no rules: the piece pairs just as easily with a formal evening gown as it does with a casual T-shirt or bodysuit.
Nearly reaching choker-level popularity, fishnets are experiencing a resurgence, but this time, they’re being styled differently than they have in the past. For instance, they’re frequently layered under jeans — sometimes even pulled visibly above the waistband, a la Kim Kardashian — and they are regularly being paired with sneakers and more masculine boots by everyone from Sarah Snyder to Calvin Klein campaign model and singer, Tommy Genesis. Of course, you can try mesh out on top, too, like Hailey Baldwin did recently with the sheer look shown above. (We have a handy guide to styling fishnets right here, too.)
The wallet chain is seeing a comeback thanks to brands like Vetements, Alexander Wang, Louis Vuitton x Supreme and Balenciaga. Saint Laurent even has one available if you want to go a step up from the offerings at Hot Topic. This is definitely not a subtle accessory, so don’t be alarmed if trying one out with an everyday denim look elicits an eye roll or two from your nostalgic, former “scene kid” friends.
A photo posted by Bella Hadid (@bellahadid) on
Demna Gvasalia’s spring 2017 Balenciaga collection featured super-tight spandex boots and latex outerwear. (Business of Fashion even mentioned Berghain in its review of the show, referring to Berlin’s notoriously exclusive sex club.) Bella Hadid, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga have tried the material out on the red carpet, and while this is perhaps the most difficult of the bunch to pull off in everyday life, it seems Gvasalia’s got the right idea utilizing it in outerwear. But whether you attempt a full-on latex dress, some slick, slim-fitting pants or a jacket as an alternative to leather, you’re bound to turn heads.
Most notably worn by Queen Bey’s Formation Tour dancers, harnesses are often seen in costume but can also to add a little edge and shape to otherwise soft, slouchy winter looks — like over sweaters or more formal frocks like Duckie Thot’s Baja East dress (see above). Zana Bayne even collaborated with & Other Stories this year, well before wearing and selling her “Not My President” harnesses at the Women’s March or donating half of the proceeds from her “Nasty” choker.
Homepage photo: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images
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