Frequently asked questions
What is Latex?
Latex is a naturally occurring material that comes from the milky liquid found in the rubber tree, Hevea Brasiliensis. A small cut is made in the bark of the tree and liquid latex flows out, which then becomes a solid when it is exposed to air. This is rolled into sheets, and then cut into pattern pieces, much like a cotton sheet. Latex clothes are glued together as latex cannot be sewed.
Why Latex instead of PVC?
If you've searched online for latex you've probably come across clothes made from petroleum products too, like PVC and plastic. These aren't as comfortable to wear due to the backing material, and don't conform to your body like latex so avoid these. They are easy to spot as they are often cheaper and will be sewn.
What does latex feel like to wear?
Latex is smooth, silky and holds your body snugly. Lots of people also note that it makes them feel strong and attractive.
Latex is completely waterproof so doesn't breathe like a cotton piece of clothing would, so it's pretty normal to be worried about sweating inside your new clothes. This isn't really much of a problem thoughand, surprisingly, actually feels pretty good. You might sweat a little bit when you first put it on, but after a bit you'll forget you're even wearing latex, as the sweat helps the garment slide over your skin.
If you're wearing latex on a particularly hot day or dancing in latex it can get pretty hot, so it's a good idea to wear a smaller piece, as your body won't cool through the evaporation of sweat.
here for more tips on how to best wear latex.
Why should I treat my latex clothes?
While there isn't anything wrong with using talc and lubricant with your latex clothing, it can be messy and adds difficulty, so we recommend treating your latex to make it slippery and smooth to touch. Once this is done you can pull on and off your latex without any lube or talc and you can really wear it much like any other piece of clothing. It won't catch on other layers of clothing, which will slide easily over it, and it won't smell as much or make as much noise too. You won't believe how easy it is to slip into, or how silky the outside will be, until you've gotten it done.
The treatment process is known as chlorination, and there are a number of suppliers that can do this for you for a relatively small fee, $20 or so. If you're in the UK, we recommend Catalyst Latex who will chlorinate any of your existing clothes, and sell pre chlorinated clothes too.
If buying a new piece from another brand, we recommend trying it on first with talc to make sure that it fits before sending it to get chlorinated, as chlorination makes it harder to adjust and will void any right of return that you have.
Does latex breathe?
Latex is completely waterproof so doesn't breathe like a cotton piece of clothing would, so it's pretty normal to be worried about sweating inside your new clothes. This isn't really much of a problem though. You might sweat a little bit when you first put it on, but after a bit you'll forget you're even wearing it.
If you're wearing it on a hot day or dancing it can actually have some benefits, as a thin layer of sweat will help your clothes slide across your skin which makes your latex clothing more comfortable the longer you wear it.
If you sweat a bit and are still worried about it you can buy a looser piece, or one with more ventilation, like a sleeveless or halter next dress.
I'm allergic to latex. Can I still wear it?
Unfortunately, if you have an allergy to latex it really is best to steer clear. Some people have reported that chlorination prevents this, but we recommend checking with your doctor first.
What do I need to do to care for my new latex garment?
Latex is a bit like leather in that it needs a bit of special care and attention, but if you follow a few simple rules it should last you many years. You can find more information below, or in our article, here.
Where can I buy latex clothes?
Most latex is sold online, but a handful of stores also have walk in shops where you can try on a selection of their clothes. Our full review of stores is available here, but for a first look Westward Bound and Libidex are good starting points.
Can I wear latex when it's cold outside?
Yes, latex can actually be used as a good insulator when you wear a base layer underneath it. The key is wearing a thin wool or synthetic thermal underneath. If you use a wool layer make sure you wash your latex well to remove the oils after use though. For additional warmth, an outer layer can also help.
When latex is worn without a base layer it feels like the outside temperature on your skin. This is great when it's not too cold, but can get pretty chilly when its below 0.