After my recent latex 101 article (which seems to be popular!) I thought I’d now do a “coming out shiny” article off the back of it as there are a lot of people out there who really really want to wear shiny clothing, be it leather, latex, PVC, but they’re absolutely terrified of what their friends and family might think.
Let’s get started with my story…
I was rather young when I first got leather trousers. I’d started working, got my own income, and even though I had wanted some all through my childhood my parents, rather wisely, had told me no. I look back now and agree with them – I was growing very fast and leather is expensive.
It all started at Laser Quest. A guy came in (looking rather cool for the time in full leather, bandana, cowboy boots). He was with a female who I thought might be his girlfriend and he certainly acted straight – being pretty much straight myself I felt a little lift!
My only previous experiences with leather, and trousers in particular, had been associated with gay culture and gay imagery; motorbikes; and rock bands. Yes I’d had a bike, but a 50cc FS1E might look a bit silly being straddled by a fully leathered up dude, and at that point my bass playing was strictly bedroom only.
This guy, though (I even remember his name was Marc) was a different look for me and I liked it. I felt slightly jealous of his confidence as at that time I was quite meek and quiet.
I plucked up courage, went and spoke to him, said “nice trousers, where from?” and I’m not sure whether he thought I was a bit weird or not, but he told me they were from Meadowhall – Street Leathers to be precise.
It was 6pm… Meadowhall closed at 8… I could get down there and get some and be like Marc in less than two hours!
So it happened. I went down to Meadowhall, paid a ridiculously high price for a pair of very average quality leather jeans; went home; and hid them in the wardrobe. Only to wear them when I was in the house on my own.
Confidence boost gone. Drat!
The first time I wore them was…
In 1996 I started a degree with the Open University. The first course (S101) had a summer school which was a week at Keele University.
I was learning bass and getting much better at it, I was wanting to join bands, but my image really didn’t say “Musician”. I looked a bit geeky!
I went away to summer school with a bit of stubble and blue jeans on, arrived at summer school, and the first evening after lectures I changed my image. I shaved my first goatee beard, put on the leather trousers that had been hiding in the wardrobe, gelled up my flat hair into some cool spikes, and gave myself an image makeover!
That night I went to the Union bar with my new image and it felt great. Nobody really knew me. Nobody really knew what I was about, and I could play at being whoever I wanted.
Do you know what happened?
Nothing. Nobody commented. Nobody said a thing. Nobody pointed and laughed.
And that, my friends, is the biggest step to going out in leather for the first time.
They’re not out there, they aren’t weird, and when you are seen for the first time in your new leather jeans nobody will actually care!
I thought I’d have people making village people jokes but nope. I didn’t end up running back to the room crying. I just sat in the union bar, talked with my fellow science group, and nobody said a thing about them.
Breaking them in to friends
Family and friends are the next big hurdle.
My next step was more distant friends (my prog rock music community).
I went to see a band in Bury. Traveled in blue jeans, changed in the car into leather jeans, went to see the band. Again… Nobody noticed. Nobody cared. My apprehension was going very rapidly.
So… On to closer friends. One of my biggest worries.
It was Christmas. We used to go down Swinton for a drink just before Christmas. I’ve never really done the alcohol thing though! I did it again. Headed out, changed trousers in the car, and looked rather nice in my fluffy sweater, leather jeans, black leather boots. When my friends saw me nobody mentioned the trousers… Until later 😲
We went to one of their houses after. One of the group, Mark, commented on my leather jeans – saying if he’d have known I was going to wear mine he’d have worn his! (Ironically, the year after he did wear his but I didn’t wear mine!).
All in all, positive responses all round and every single anxiety I had defused.
I also wore them to meet friends in Cornwall in the 90’s. It’s the first photo I have of me in them. I look very very different!
This was the most difficult of the lot for me, and it did involve a white lie… But it did coincide with me joining bands.
Rather than saying I’d bought them from Meadowhall a couple of years previous I said I’d only bought them there and then. They were to be stage wear, but actually, they ended up being regular wardrobe clothing.
First time my mum saw me in them she said “cool” and then bought some herself. She even wore them to one of my gigs!
Since then leather has become more and more a part of my wardrobe.
I’m now doing the same process with latex. I’m at the stage of close friends with that… Let’s see how that goes eh? After all latex is a bit more “out there”
10 thoughts on “B-b-b-but I’m scared…”
Happy to say I’ve been wearing my leather and latex gear since I was 15. 20 fun filled years. I would never be told what to wear and when and that includes society. I’m grateful in the fact that I have always been able to pull it off. Maybe it’s the shaved head, maybe the tattoos, the fact I have always been followed by security guards (I have the face of a chav, said to me numerous years ago), maybe it’s all of the above but I have never ever had anyone openly put me down. Considering I would go to work in a hoody and latex jeans (did I mention that it was a Police station? I spent 13 years on the front line. There are a lot of, and rightly so, criticisms of the Police, but, my employer always accepted as I was and never ever looked down on me for wearing gear and on nights out, never treated me differently on my sexuality or what I wore, I always feel I have to prove it, thankfully, many photos were taken, both in sane mind and sometimes a little worse for wear lol).
It is one of my biggest frustrations. There are many guys out there who spend a fortune on leather & latex which is not cheap in any sense of the word but end up taking photos in front of their bathroom mirror. It is the most often asked I question I have had down the years whether or YouTube, Twitter or in person “how do you do it?”. Simple, I put it on, I walk out the door. whether it be casual to go to the pharmacy in ASOS faux leather tracksuit bottoms or more of a night out in ‘The Black Cap’, Camden wearing latex jeans and a nice black top, after 20 years, it is still the most liberating thing in the world for me to do and, if you love wearing it, it will you to. So, if you’re reading what I am writing and thinking about it, just do it!
That’s awesome! Do I know you from Instagram?
Probably. TBF, I am not a fan of Instagram. I am wary of my photos appearing anywhere now to be honest as I have found photos of me, for example when I was wearing a latex bomber jacket and jeans and found out it was on some porn site I have never even heard of. I should be flattered with the comments that were there but, it is the feeling of knowing, someone I don’t know has essentially taken something that don’t belong to them and planted it in front of some very dodgy people I don’t know. Does that make sense?
I found this website by mistake, I wish I had thought of it as I had ideas to do something similar which is why I set up my very amateur YT channel lol. Truth be told, I have no idea what I am doing. Mr. Riegillio were sending me gear as well to show off so just made sense. Ther tracksuit was alright, it did its job of turning heads but, I don’t know if you agree, but naff, thin PVC is next to useless. Finding thick PVC clothing I find, is quite difficult. I explain to people that decent PVC can be tested when sat down. If you look at the knees, PVC should never lose its shape and never look stretched as the crap naff PVC will stretch and that’s it, it will never go back. This is unfortunately what Mr. Riegillio is and is heavily, heavily overpriced. So, if you ever want a volunteer to comment on leather/latex/PVC clothing, I’d be more than happy to. As you can see, I can talk for Britain and am just happy at last to find someone online who clearly has the same thought process I do to wearing gear out and about.
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Yeah same. My photos end up shat out all over Pinterest, which is why I watermark them all. At least if I’m going to have my image all over the internet then I should at least drive traffic back to my home. I’m always a fan of comments and chat. I don’t get enough here so thanks for the responses!
Not a problem. I love to share stories (of which there are many) of times in gear and even saying to people that if you do it as long as I have and as casual as I have for so long, 9 times out of 10, you forget you have it on. Latex is a bit different dependant on circumstances. I always say I learnt the hard way with latex and still do. Latex in cold weather is suicide but I don’t let that stop me.
The only down side is some guys see it as a license to touch or even slap which annoys me no end. I have been stood at the bar in Vauxhall, and this one always stands out, I fully latexed up, gloves included, every guy bar this one, properly hard open palm slap straight over my arse. I weren’t expecting so it not only shocked me but it hurt as well. It’s how you can relate to woman in how some men can be a>h>s.
Latex is horrible in winter. If I’m at an event I’ll try and change there if it’s really cold. Leather is my go to winter material of choice, although pvc is also not too bad in winter and it’s certainly warmer than latex!
Agreed on the touching. I went out on a friend’s 27th birthday in my ASOS pvc suit a few years ago (there’s a post somewhere about it – search Jake) and it was a licence to be inappropriately stroked.
I am to stubborn. I think the cold weather is a person and in my head, I’m like “I don’t care if it’s cold, I am carrying on”. I end up spending money because I end up in Costa’s and the like. Funnily enough, you saying about wearing PVC in winter, is the advice I have given to people instead of latex and I agree. PVC is perfect if you want the shiny on but can’t be bothered with the polishing etc. I am a task master on myself with polishing. I has to shine. One of my biggest pet peeves is people wear latex and then don’t polish it or don’t do it properly.
Shame once again the woman have shown how it’s done. PVC has been around for them in shops for a few years now. They wear it with style. When the likes of ASOS and H&M sell this for men, people are buying it as some sizes would be out of stock but, if you can find the men wearing it, let me know. When I was a kid 20 years ago, men in leather was quite a common site on T.V. Etc. PVC could be found. 2021, it would appear Eastern European guys take the crown!
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I remember a few guys on TV wearing PVC. The eleven o’clock show was my inspiration to try it – Brendan Burns wore both blue and black PVC and looked amazing in it. Also, the Big Breakfast had one guy who regularly wore electric blue PVC jeans. It’s amazing how you remember these things!
Yes, I also remember the Big Breakfast guy. I’ll have to try and find a clip on YT. I had a pair of ocean blue PVC jeans around 2004 which also could be transformed in to shorts I.E. The zip was around the top of the leg. I liked them, but, they were a pain in the arse in reality.
We will continue to fight the good fight though. Not sure where all the good guys have gone when it comes to PVC, but we will ensure no one wore them in vain lol.
I still see it occasionally, but I usually find the people wearing it look bad in it 😪