Be it leather or latex, lacy lingerie or uniforms, people getting off on garments is nothing new. MisKnickers outlines some of the main ways we fetishise clothes, and looks at some of the most common and popular clothing fetishes.
Here’s a run-down of the main ways and reasons clothes are fetishised.
This is when the wearer desires the physical effect of the clothing. People wear corsets for the restrictive feeling, high-heeled shoes for the changes in height and posture, or latex for its appeal as a second skin. But this functionality aspect goes further than the wearing itself. It can also include the donning and removal of the garments. For example, as much as shoe fetishists may love wearing their shoes, many experience a heightened thrill in ritual of putting on or taking off their footwear or having someone assist.
Although some of the functional aspects of the clothing may also be seen as ‘sensual’ as they make us ‘feel’ a certain way, what we are focused on here is the sensations. The sensual fetishist is more concerned about how the clothes look, smell, sound, feel, and even taste. It’s the shine of the latex, the smell of the leather, the click-clack of heels, or even the earthiness of dirty denim on your tongue.
A large part of this fetish is what the clothing represents, and we see this most clearly with the fetishisation of uniforms. This is such a common fetish that it’s gone pretty much mainstream – the sexy nurse, hot fireman, and naughty schoolgirl tropes immediately come to mind. Typically, the outfits are used in roleplay scenarios so the sensual and functional aspects of the garments are less important than the overall representation. Other uniforms commonly fetishised include military, medical and police.
Now we know why we might fetishise clothes, let’s take a look at the most common clothing fetishes.
Just to be clear, this isn’t just a fancy word for ‘undies’. It’s how we categorise the fancy undies themselves – by definition lingerie is underwear specifically designed to be sexy and/or fashionable. The arousal a fetishist gets from lingerie manifests similarly to that of the shoe fetishist – collecting a particular style or brand, arousal from wearing the clothes, and the sensory appeal. Some lingerie enthusiasts also enjoy ‘stuffing’, which is exactly as it says: pushing lingerie into the vagina, arse, or mouth for sexual gratification.
The most popular item of fetishised hosiery (a category that also include pantyhose and socks) stockings are another example of fetish clothing that maintains enough mainstream appeal to make it accessible. Most stocking fetishists will have a particular style that really turns them on; fishnets, silk, stay-ups, or sheer. Whilst the gay community takes sock fetishes to new heights with guys loving sports gear and the whole locker room vibe.
Footwear is arguably the most common clothing fetish – the only close contender being lingerie. This fetish can manifest in many ways; collecting and wearing a particular style of shoe and/or finding arousal watching others wearing them eg. stilettos, boots, sneakers; smelling and tasting shoes; giving or receiving service to shoes eg. bootblacking. A footwear fetish generally falls under the umbrella of podophilia – foot fetishism – a fascinating and fun place to play. Unlike some fetishes, shoes seem to be equally adored by the whole of the gender spectrum, and (like lingerie) they are often a valuable first step for guys exploring their femininity.
Corsets are a hugely fetishised garment which enthusiasts will tell you is all about the restriction and the control as much as the look. Having your corset laced, or lacing someone into their corset, can be a very sexy undertaking. You can read more about corset on our recent article.
The huge appeal of latex is due to its ability to tick all the boxes for why one fetishes clothing – latex is functional, sensual, and embodies some edginess. Wearing latex is an extremely tactile experience, so it’s no surprise that sensual explorers get into it. At fetish parties you will often find a latex shining section run by a latex fetishist who will lovingly polish your outfit to a high gloss. Don’t confuse latex with other smooth shiny fabrics eg. PVC, lycra/spandex, or ‘wetlook’ vinyl – all of which have their own group of devotees. While they may look similar from a distance, there is no mistaking the unique smell, texture, sound and sight of latex, and for fetishists there is no replacement.
Like latex, leather ticks all the fetish boxes, but when it comes to symbolism, leather’s long history has it steeped in meaning. It was one of the first materials used to protect us from the elements and was an item central to the establishment of some of the earliest kink scenes and fetish communities. It’s longevity as a fetishised fabric seems proof of its versality, sensuality and general appeal – within the kink scene, leather groups constitute one of the largest subcultures. It is worth noting that vegan leather and pleather are acceptable alternatives that only die-hard leather snobs would condemn. That said, like PVC, spandex and vinyl, vegan leather and pleather can also be fetishised for their own individual appeal.
‘Everyday’ Clothes Fetish
Stilettos, leather and lacy things are often overtly ‘sexy’, but clothing fetishes don’t stop here. For some, it’s the everyday pieces that turn them on most. Believe it or not cardigans are a thing for some people. Denim jean are a big everyday favourite: the dusty, sweaty smell; the rip of sound when a zip jerks down. And with the rise of the ‘dick print’ some people are finding trackypants arousing. Similarly, activewear is often attractive to people who want to have (or see) that nice frontal wedgie or pubic mound.
There are as many clothing fetishes as there are clothes to wear, and the examples above only just scratch the surface of possibilities. Not sure if your love of clothes or shoes has crossed into a fetish? MisKnickers explains more in an earlier article.
So when you’re about to press buy on that amazing clothing item online have a think about your motivation. Maybe you just need one more pair or stilettos or perhaps your subconscious is persuading you to indulge your shoe/foot fetish. We’d love to read your comments about what turns you on.