With the recent release of a certain BDSM erotic film turned chick flick romance came a surge of interest in more “singular” tastes and the lifestyle surrounding it. But frankly, it’s the kind of fashion that I find most intriguing.
From designer collections to downtown ready-to-wear
The risqué sensibilities of bondage-inspired fashion transcends categories in that you can find a little bit of it in everything – from the obvious Gucci, Balmain, and Gaultier to the closet naughty girl that emerges from out of a body-con skirt, sleek black bandeau, or wraparound leather obi belt.
The key element in a sexy, bondage-inspired look is strapping down (or up) while leaving a bit to the imagination. It can be very minimal yet incredibly striking (case in point again: the bandeau). At the same time, there are also some flashier ways to take to the style (think studs, chains, and other metallic accents).
Brooklyn-based designer and leather-lover Zana Bayne knows what it’s all about. For her, it’s “never about subjugation” but rather it just makes sense to bind and accentuate some parts in an outfit.
She explains this perfectly in a 2014 interview with the New York Times, “The physical aspect of having something cinch you in makes you hold yourself higher. But I always warn people that if you wear it out, people are going to pull on you. It brings something our not just in the wearer, but in those around her… Wearing a collar can make you feel like the most powerful warrior in the world.”
Naturally, bondage fashion is not just about the clothes but the attitude. It’s edgy, powerful, and inevitably sensual. Any of these words ring a bell?
Cop the look
So this is how you can channel your inner dominatrix (or submissive, depending on how you look at it) – minus the hand cuffs, of course.
If you’d like to start small and subtle—and I will never stop mentioning this—get an obi belt, preferably in leather or a similar material. It’s the perfect accessory for dressing up an outfit, making it edgy and sexy in that BDSM way while still looking completely innocent.
Another closet essential for bondage beginners is a bandeau and perhaps its more voluptuous cousin, the bustier. Throw in your choice of either leatherette leggings, spiked heels or a body-con skirt/dress and you’re all set for a wild night out.
Additionally, you can try out a body chain, collar or leather choker, and an abundance of wide bands to wear on your wrist, upper arm, thigh, or anywhere you please, really.
One tip for the relatively “safe” dresser: cinch that frilly dress or crisp, white oxford shirt and watch it turn less than innocent. And as for some final advice from the expert, a.k.a. Ms. Bayne, “What can you do with a strap, a ring and a buckle? That can take you so many places.” That is, think outside of the blindfold, ladies.