You've bought your first latex outfit! Now what?
Latex clothing has exploded in popularity in recent years. Once confined only to niche fetish groups, latex has now gone mainstream in a big way! From the runways of Paris to your local nightclub or bar, it seems like everyone is wearing something shiny.
Latex is a great look. It grabs attention instantly and makes the wearer feel sexy and empowered. But it can be a bit of a challenge to wear and care for properly if you've never owned it before. First of all, let's talk about the difference between latex and other shiny materials. Latex is rubber. It is made from the milky secretions of the Havea brasiliensis tree which is indigenous to South America and now mainly cultivated in Asia. It is a natural substance, unlike PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which is another popular shiny material, also called "pleather" or "vegan leather." PVC is synthetic, or human-made. Leather is also often confused with latex. Leather is cured animal skin. Spandex can also be made to resemble latex. It is another synthetic, human-made fabric, often used to make leggings and swimwear. All of these popular clothing materials can resemble latex, but latex is its own thing and behaves in a very unique way.
You will notice when you open your Pippa Latex package, that the latex garments are coated in a slippery substance. Don't worry! It's supposed to be there. No, your garment hasn't already been worn. We coat every latex piece in a high-quality silicone latex polish from Germany before we ship them. This protects and conditions the latex, and also makes it look shiny and amazing. This is how most people like to wear their latex, although some may prefer a less shiny look. The polish also means that your latex garment will last longer and not dry out or crack. Save the Pippa Latex plastic bag your outfit came in. It can be used for storing and/or transporting your latex.
Now, the fun part. It's time to get dressed! Depending on what you've ordered, you may need some help with this (a full catsuit is harder to put on than, say, a bikini). Latex is usually meant to fit like a second skin. It can be very difficult to get such a tight garment on unless you know a few tricks! First, you'll need to make sure that your skin is clean, dry, and free of body oils or lotions. There are two ways you can make the latex less sticky so it'll slide on more easily. One is baby powder. The other is a water-based or silicone-based lube. Pick ONE, because if you try both it'll be a disaster. NEVER use baby oil or Vaseline. Oil-based products will damage the latex.
Let's use stockings as an example, and let's say we're going to use baby powder to make it easier to put on. Shake some baby powder into each stocking. Hold the stockings by their feet and shake out the extra powder. You want the insides to be coated, but you don't want too much loose excess powder inside them. Next, place your foot inside the foot part of the stocking, and carefully pull up the leg. Make sure you're using the pads of your fingers and not your nails. Nails can rip through even thick latex. You may find that a vacuum seal is created between the garment and your body, preventing you from getting the entire garment on. If this happens, you need to let some air into the area from a hem or garment edge. Pull the edge away from your body gently, letting air into the garment, and continue dressing. Don't panic if things don't seem to be fitting right immediately. Many latex garments will need to be adjusted as you put them on. Wiggle around until it feels and looks right! Many of our smaller pieces, like bikinis, bodysuits, and underwear probably don't require any baby powder or extra lube to put on. As a rule, the more covering a latex garment is, the more difficult it may be to get on.
The first thing you might notice is that you are sweating. Latex doesn't "breath," meaning air and moisture don't pass through it as you're wearing it. This is part of its appeal for many devoted latex fans. For the rest of us, it can take some getting used to. Just lean into it, and stay hydrated! Your sweat will eventually dry and the garment will be "stuck" nicely in place. You can give your outfit a final polish when it's on your body, and you're good to go.
At the end of the night, take off your latex and hand wash it in the sink with a mild detergent. Rinse, and either follow with a latex polish that use use in water, such a Vivishine, or a polish applied after the garment is dry, such as silicone lube. (See our blog post about different latex polishes for more details on how to polish.) Hang your latex up in a dark place such as a closet, out of direct sunlight. Or, you can fold it up and put it back in the Pippa Latex storage bag in arrived in! Store in a drawer or other dark place. Always make sure you wash and polish your latex after each use. With proper care, your latex will last for years.